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Republican Presidential Candidate Ron DeSantis Meets With Residents Along The Southern U.S. Border

Republican presidential candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, stands on the banks of the Rio Grande during a press conference on June 26, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. | Source: Brandon Bell / Getty

At this point, it’s pretty apparent that Ron DeSantis‘ entire political platform revolves around the Florida governor trying to out-Trump Donald Trump.

Think about it: Trump is generally the one who led the white and fragile propaganda-induced charge against critical race theory, and DeSantis put the anti-CRT crusade on steroids in his state. Trump tried to steal an election he erroneously claimed was stolen from him by pushing the “big lie” about widespread voter fraud. DeSantis seemingly used that “big lie” momentum to justify an election police force, which led to the arrests of almost exclusively Black citizens accused of voting while ineligible. He also intentionally tried to dilute Black voting power by redistricting his state’s congressional map.

More recently, DeSantis has taken up the MAGA mantle of demonizing migrants, generalizing them as hardened criminals and further inflaming his already-bigoted contingency against them. Where Trump was inciting “build that wall” chants and delusionally claiming Mexico would pay for it, DeSantis was essentially kidnapping migrants, flying them to Martha’s Vineyard against their will, and, earlier this month, defending his decision to play around with human lives just to make a political point. Where Trump was characterizing Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug smugglers, DeSantis is doing much of the same in regard to the migrants, only he’s also suggesting they should be killed if they’re even suspected of criminal activity.

On Monday, DeSantis said he supported using “deadly force” against migrants suspected of crossing the border into the U.S. while carrying drugs.


Florida Governor and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis speaks with voters and residents in border-adjacent communities during a campaign event in Eagle Pass, Texas, on June 26, 2023. | Source: SUZANNE CORDEIRO / Getty

From NBC News:

He said drug cartels cut through “massive beams” in the border wall and have “backpacks” that they use to bring in drugs.

“You’re already on U.S. soil once…you get through the wall,” he told NBC News. “You have hostile intent, because you’re obviously running drugs. You absolutely can use deadly force. I mean, think about it. If you were trying to do that — if you were to go to some Texas rancher’s property, break into their house, they’re going to respond.”

It’s not clear exactly how officers would be able to tell exactly who was a drug smuggler and who was not.

DeSantis made similar comments at a press conference beforehand, when he said that smugglers would end up “stone-cold dead.”

“Of course you use deadly force,” he said, adding, “If the cartels are cutting through the border wall, trying to run product into this country, they’re going to end up stone-cold dead as a result of that bad decision. And if you do that one time, you are not going to see them mess with our wall ever again.”

As NBC noted, DeSantis didn’t bother explaining how authorities are supposed to know on sight which migrants are in possession of drugs, but he certainly seems to be advocating for a “shoot first, ask questions maybe never” approach to dealing with brown people suspected of a crime that, in and of itself, isn’t even an immediately violent crime. At some point, it should be considered that, like many in his support base, he just wants to kill illegal immigrants. 

In fact, DeSantis recently demonstrated that he wants to increase the number of brown people in the U.S. who would be deemed “illegal” by putting an end to “birthright citizenship,” which is protected under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to all individuals “born or naturalized in the United States.” As usual, conservatives are very selective when it comes to which parts of the U.S. Constitution they believe are important.

DeSantis is currently trailing behind Trump in polls for the 2024 presidential race, and it almost seems like he’s working on a strategy to convince the MAGA world that he’s even more of a white and fragile woke-a-phobe, a more effective vote suppressor and more of a xenophobic bigot than the last one to occupy the Oval Office.

Basically, DeSantis’ campaign slogan should be: “If you like the other guy, you’re gonna love me! Let’s Make America Evil Again!” 


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