Jun 27, 2023, 9:55pm EDT

‘His plan is my plan’: Trump says DeSantis copied his immigration strategy

REUTERS/Reba Saldanha

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The News

Former President Donald Trump slammed his opponent, Ron DeSantis, over the Florida governor’s immigration plan on Tuesday, saying during an interview aboard his plane that it was a copy of his own policy proposals.

“Well, his plan is my plan,” Trump told reporters from Semafor and ABC News. “I mean, he’s basically copied everything I said — catch and release, finish the wall.”

The former president also spoke about DeSantis calling for “deadly force” against migrants suspected of trafficking drugs, saying he’s already “done that” and “would do it” again.

“You have no choice,” Trump added, going on to say that drug dealers “kill on average 500 people during their lifetime” through the drugs they sell.

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Know More

DeSantis unveiled his border plan during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday, promising to focus on illegal migration with red-meat policies that have largely been voiced by other Republican candidates, including Trump.


His plan includes a reinstatement of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, as well as reinstating a national emergency declaration that Trump invoked to release funding for the wall. DeSantis also vowed to end “catch-and-release” by detaining migrants until immigration hearings, find a way to get around a court decision that prevents detention of children for more than 20 days, and put a new emphasis on targeting drug cartels.

Like Trump, the Florida governor promised to complete a wall at the border, suggesting its completion “requires discipline” and “focus.”

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The View From DeSantis

DeSantis’ campaign directed Semafor to his recent comments on Fox News, where he argued that Trump hadn’t delivered on the promises he made regarding border security.

“Well he said that in 2016 as well and then didn’t do it,” DeSantis said, specifically responding to Trump’s mass deportation pledge. “I mean, they had some, but they didn’t have anything out of the ordinary, so, I think we would be much more assertive than he was in his first administration.”

“There’s gonna be a firm and swift consequence to violating the law,” DeSantis added as he promised his potential administration would deliver results.