Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who remains in second place for the GOP presidential nomination behind former President Donald Trump, made a major policy statement regarding the ongoing chaos along the U.S.-Mexico border created on day one of Joe Biden’s administration.
As president, he said in an interview this week, he’ll have a new set of “rules of engagement” when dealing with cartels attempting to smuggle drugs into the country.
He made his remarks Thursday evening during an interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters.
“After seeing what’s going on down there, has that changed your opinion of immigration?” Watters asked.
“It confirmed what I had known,” DeSantis responded. “And it’s worse than you think when you actually get down there. And the impunity with which the cartels operate. I was literally in a place in Arizona, there is a piece of wall that just kind of stops.
“So the guy just goes on the other side of where the wall ends, looks out, and he just motions for people to go. There’s no border patrol to be found, they’re in town processing people. And so they’re bringing product into our country,” DeSantis noted further.
“They’re killing a lot of people,” he continued. “So one of the things that I saw — the places where there were barriers, the cartels will actually cut through the steel beams, and they’ll smuggle in backpacks with a lot of drugs.
“So what I said is, wait a minute, we defend the territory of our own country. We’ll have military and everyone down there. If you are in the cartels cutting through our fence to bring drugs in, that’s going to be the last thing you do because we’re going to leave you stone-cold dead. We are having adequate rules of engagement,” he added.
In March, a retired FBI assistant director is sounding alarm bells for U.S. college students who are considering going to Mexico over spring break after four Americans were kidnapped and two of them killed, likely by cartel members.
“No, absolutely not,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes told “Jesse Watters Primetime” at the time.
“The problem with these self-contained resorts – and they have all kids of security and protection and everything – [is] you have to get to the resort. So the danger is getting off the plane or bus or train and getting from the transportation hub to the actual resort which there you have protection,” he added.
He drew a parallel between that situation and the one in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, which resulted in cartel members surrounding four Americans who were only a few miles from Brownsville, Texas.
“En route, you’re in danger, just like these Americans that were killed in Matamoros – because once they crossed the border they were on their own,” Fuentes said.
“They might have gone on their way to a medical facility that had security guards or any of that – we don’t know for sure. But they certainly once they crossed the border they were on their own.”