See also, by Peter Brimelow: A Long Farewell To Donald Trump, Immigration Patriot. And Thanks.
If the 2024 GOP presidential contest comes down to Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis, then immigration patriots do face a tough choice, particularly with Trump’s renewed red-meat pledge to end Birthright Citizenship. DeSantis looks good on paper. But VDARE.com’s respected Washington Watcher II suspects he’ll duck into the bushes when the Treason Lobby wages war over border security in particular and immigration in general. My response: DeSantis is less likely to betray us than Trump—as his Administration’s largely failed immigration efforts showed.
During that time, I wrote repeatedly about Trump’s flip-flops and general incoherence on immigration. One day a policy would be announced and then the next day modified or withdrawn at the slightest criticism. At first, I blamed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But add the foolish appointments to most positions in the Department of Homeland Security, and Trump’s tolerating deliberate sabotage by his own officials, big and small. Example: He was on both sides of the H1-B visa issue during his campaign, to say nothing of the contretemps among advisers when he was president [Donald Trump flip-flops, then flips and flops more on H-1B visas, by Michele Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post, March 21, 2016].
Also questionable: Trump’s competence. Candidate Trump famously said he wanted a “Deportation Force” but apparently didn’t know that the country has a deportation force that is supposed to identify, arrest and deport illegal aliens. It’s called Immigration and Customs Enforcement [Donald Trump’s ‘Deportation Force,’ by Lawrence Downes, New York Times, November 11, 2015].
I believe DeSantis knows about it and will use it.
As to his immigration policies, POTUS Trump often contradicted himself, his appointees, or both at the same time. When he ordered troops to the border during the Zerg Rush of 2018, he said they would shoot illegals who threw rocks. Kirstjen Nielsen, whom I called Lady DACA, panicked and told the public that neither soldiers nor Border Patrol agents can shoot someone throwing rocks [Confirmed, Lady DACA A #DeepState Saboteur, Federale Fifth Columnist, July 3, 2018]. That was false. A rock is a deadly weapon. Soldiers and federal law enforcement officers can shoot assailants who throw them.
But, disappointingly, President Trump acquiesced to the reversal of his stated and quite legal policy.
To his credit, Trump pushed through some good policies—but only because of outside influence, and often, those policies were announced on a Saturday.
For instance, after I observed that illegals who jumped the border from Mexico, even if claiming asylum, could be returned to await a Credible Fear interview or hearing before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the administrative immigration court system, Trump implemented Remain-In-Mexico. A large hole in the border was closed.
By the end of the Trump Administration, things were turning around with Remain-In-Mexico and Title 42 public-health expulsions. But Kushner, Mnuchin, and others thwarted many attempts to solve the border crisis.
Ken Cuccinelli, former Acting Secretary of DHS, has said the same thing. Cuccinelli wanted to repeal the exemption from payroll taxes for H1-B and F-1 visa holders, a major financial incentive for businesses to employ foreigners. That was a no-brainer for America First Trump, but the Axis shot it down.
Cuccinelli recently explained that when he proposed the change, Trump said:
“OK, Ken, you tell Mnuchin to go do it.”
Well, I couldn’t even get Mnuchin on the phone.
We jokingly referred to him as President Mnuchin. … Trump [didn’t] push them to even pursue his own agenda. … For all his rhetoric about the Deep State, he never either knew how to take them on, or was willing to do it in a determined-never-let-go-until-you’ve won way.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KEN CUCCINELLI, FOUND OF "NEVER BACK DOWN," PRO-DESANTIS SUPER PAC!— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) May 12, 2023
My interview with Ken Cuccinelli, former Attorney General of Virginia and member of President Trump's Team. He is the Founder of the explosive "Never Back Down" Super PAC that has… pic.twitter.com/EN8Q5dJUws
Granted, Cuccinelli was stumping for DeSantis when he made that comment. But it still illustrated Trump’s failure to push for his policies.
As VDARE.com chief Peter Brimelow once told me, corporate executives mostly do what the last person they talked to told them. A perfect example: President Trump’s failure as a leader, especially on the immigration issue.
But what of DeSantis? I agree with Cuccinelli. DeSantis doesn’t back down and he knows how to deal with recalcitrant bureaucrats. He fired incompetent Democrat sheriff Scott Israel and Soros prosecutor Andrew Warren [FL Supreme Court upholds Gov. DeSantis decision to fire Broward sheriff, by Michael Moline, Florida Phoenix, April 23, 2019]. He continues fighting Disney’s homosexual agenda, completely banned tranny and other propaganda in Florida schools, and has continued the immigration fight on all fronts, including sending National Guardsmen to Texas to stop the Zerg Rush.
But let’s go to back to Washington Watcher II:
The one blemish on DeSantis’s immigration record was his refusal to bus illegals out of the state. He famously flew 50 illegals from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last year. But that’s it, and those illegals weren’t even dwelling in Florida. His administration actually caved to the Cuban Lobby and vowed to not ship out any Cuban illegals. That suggests DeSantis might not pursue immigration restriction in order to appease the mega-powerful Cuban Lobby.
As an immigration professional with 28 years’ experience, I politely disagree.
First, the Martha’s Vineyard flight was a one-off and little effort was made before or since on busing. DeSantis started Florida’s busing program in 2022, then expanded it in 2023.
Second, as to the claim that DeSantis is soft on illegals in general:
According to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office, Florida paid for two flights of “illegal immigrants” to be flown to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where former President Barack Obama owns a mansion.
The flights were part of a $12 million program approved by the Florida Legislature to “facilitate the transport of illegal immigrants from this state consistent with federal law,” a statement from communications director Taryn Fenske said.
[DeSantis, Abbott Send Migrants To Martha’s Vineyard, VP’s Home, by Renna Diamante, Spectrum News, September 15, 2022. (Emphasis added)]
The busing has continued in 2023:
Fewer than five months after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration flew about 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.—a move that ended up costing the state around $1.5 million and is the subject of legal challenges—the Republican supermajority in the legislature has granted the administration another $10 million to transport migrants from other states.
In a party-line vote, state GOP lawmakers passed the bill that gives the state broad authority to find and move migrants in other states to so-called immigrant “sanctuary cities” outside Florida.
[After Martha’s Vineyard, Lawmakers Give DeSantis $10 Million More To Move Migrants, by Valerie Crowder, NPR, February 10, 2023]
With regard to the Cubans, while the Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy was ended by Barack Hussein Obama as one of his last acts in office, and Trump did not restart it, Traitor Joe Biden appears to have quietly renewed it.
As a governor, DeSantis can’t do anything about it. An illegal cannot be removed from a state without that illegal's agreement. That’s why the Democrat-inspired investigation into the Martha’s Vineyard exercise will likely come to nothing:
A criminal investigation is being launched into how a group of migrants was sent from Texas to Massachusetts with Florida taxpayer money on orders from Governor Ron DeSantis. …
Sheriff Javier Salazar says these migrants were “lured, hoodwinked and exploited” for political purposes and that’s why he’s opening an investigation. …
Some Democrats have urged the Justice Department to investigate the flights, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, whose district includes San Antonio.
A federal investigation might be complicated, however. It’s not clear whether anyone boarded buses or planes unwillingly, or that their civil rights were violated.
[Criminal Investigation Opened Into Gov. DeSantis’ Migrant Flights To Martha’s Vineyard, CBS News, September 19, 2023. (Emphasis added)]
All those illegals bused or flown to Sanctuary Cities went and will go voluntarily. They sign documents attesting to that, so the FBI and Department of Justice can’t initiate criminal kidnapping and/or civil rights charges.
To state it clearly: Governors cannot deport anyone with the exception that invaders can be pushed back, which can only happen at the land border, i.e., in border states.
States are limited in what they can legally do. DeSantis is doing almost as much as he can. Thus he can cooperate with the U.S. Coast Guard, which still intercepts and returns Cubans, Haitians, and other illegals found at sea.
VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow has asked me about three possible problems with DeSantis.
But pivoting for that reason tells me he can pivot back once he’s president and will tell the warmongers to get lost. Obvious question: Will he?
But back in 2018, DeSantis said he doesn’t believe the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Birthright Citizenship, and that the conservative majority on SCOTUS might back Trump if he did what he promised: sign an executive order banning it [DeSantis and Trump are kindred spirits on immigration, but birthright proposal causes awkwardness, by Zac Anderson, Herald-Tribune, October 31, 2018].
What DeSantis might do about it, we don’t know. We do know Trump vowed to end it and didn’t. And now, he’s repeated the promise to end it that he broke the first time around.
Well, I for one don’t take their support for DeSantis seriously. Ryan has confessed that he supported “anybody but Trump” [Has Paul Ryan endorsed Ron DeSantis for president?, by Tom Kertshcer, Wisconsin Watch, May 25, 2023].
And anyway, unlike the GOP Establishment, DeSantis is right on every issue from war and illegal immigration, to black crime, and Critical Race Theory, to homosexuals, “transgenders,” and drag queens around kids. He is more akin to Viktor Orban than any other Republican [America’s Viktor Orban Driving His Opponents To Strange Coalitions, Federale Fifth Columnist, April 11, 2023].
So, on VDARE.com’s signature issue, my personal opinion: DeSantis beats Trump.
Undoubtedly, some in Trump Land learned lessons from his first-term failures.
But we don’t know if the Axis of Evil will be back should Trump win the White House. We’d better go with someone else.
The blogger Federale (Email him) is a 4th generation Californian and a veteran of federal law enforcement, including service in the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies.