REMINDER: Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis Fight to Out-MAGA Each Other on Immigration

In response to Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis fighting over who can be more extreme on immigration, DNC National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika released the following statement: 

“If MAGA Republicans cared about border security they would urge their counterparts in the House GOP to fund it — instead, they’re focused on fighting about who would enact the most cruel and extreme immigration policies. Haley and DeSantis stood by as Trump separated families and broke our immigration system. While Haley and DeSantis are fighting to out-MAGA each other on immigration, President Biden remains committed to actually securing our southern border, stopping fentanyl from coming into our country, and keeping Americans safe.”

As a member of Trump’s administration, Haley defended Trump’s cruel and draconian immigration policies and failed to distance herself from his immigration record after the fact. 

CNN: “US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley rebuked the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for ‘hypocrisy’ in its call for an end to a Trump administration policy that could lead to the separation of families detained on the US southern border. 

“‘Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council,’ Haley said in a statement Tuesday. … Haley’s statement comes after the human rights office earlier Tuesday expressed ‘deep concern’ for the US’ ‘zero-tolerance policy’ during a press briefing in Geneva, saying ‘the practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.’”

Politico: “Friends of Haley say she was genuinely surprised, upon joining the administration and immersing herself in the realm of geopolitics, at how often her instincts aligned with Trump’s. (‘On his policy, I agree with everything that he’s done,’ she told me in one interview, an assertion she walked back only slightly when I mentioned deliberate family separation at the southern border.)”

DeSantis refused to call out Trump for his disastrous immigration policies. 

McDermott: “Mr. DeSantis, we’ve got this caravan of people coming to the southern border again seeking political asylum. It’s a big news story right now. They’re in Mexico. You’re on record saying you don’t approve of the family separation policy. How will you respond as governor if the federal policy of taking kids from their parents and bringing those children here to Florida to be held continues?”

DeSantis: “Well, look, I mean, I have to see what my options are.”

The Florida Times-Union: “While DeSantis expressed a desire Monday to keep families together, he did not pin the problem on Trump and his administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to illegal immigration. Instead, in an interview after the event, he joined other Republicans in pointing to a court settlement as the root cause of the problem, along with the amount of time it takes to seek asylum. ‘The reason why the policy is, is because there’s this Flores consent decree which says a minor cannot be held longer than 20 days, so if someone is claiming asylum the cases are not adjudicated within 20 and so then they’ll go ahead and relocate the child somewhere,’ DeSantis said.”

From Congress to the campaign trail, MAGA Republicans care more about competing for the most extreme immigration platform than actually securing the border and preventing drug trafficking. 

The Hill: “Bates claimed that the bill, if enacted, would result in the termination of 2,000 Border Patrol agents, slash the budget of the Drug Enforcement Agency and allow 150,000 pounds of cocaine, 900 pounds of fentanyl, 2,000 pounds of heroin and 17,000 pounds of methamphetamine into the U.S.”

Government Executive: “In response to inquiries from congressional Democrats, agency officials have suggested the cuts included in the Limit, Save and Grow Act would force layoffs, furloughs, hiring freezes or other means to trim workforce costs. Customs and Border Protection said, for example, it would be forced to shed 2,400 front-line agents and officers, while the Justice Department said the FBI would lose 11,000 agents.”

Government Executive: “House GOP is obstructing progress at the border by blocking staffing surge, White House says”

The Hill: “The White House on Tuesday attacked House Republicans over fentanyl, saying allowing a government shutdown would mean not providing funding to fight trafficking of the drug.”

NBC: “White House presses for money to prevent opioid deaths as congressional dysfunction stymies aid”

Meanwhile, President Biden remains committed to securing the border — he has called for major investments in border security and signed into law a major funding boost for border patrol last year. 

USA Today: “In his proposed 2024 budget, the president would allocate nearly $25 billion to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It’s a nearly $800 million increase over the 2023 enacted level.”

Government Executive: “Border Patrol is in line for a whopping 17% funding boost, which includes the funding for 300 new Border Patrol agents that the Biden administration had repeatedly stressed as necessary to handle the record-high numbers of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.”