CUCCINELLI: DeSantis is right: Rhetoric won’t stop cartels at our borders, only force
By: Ken Cuccinelli
Read the full piece in The Hill
The situation at our southern border has reached fever pitch and a breaking point, with no current solution in sight.
Since Joe Biden’s administration took the helm, nearly 9 million illegal immigrants have made their way into our country. In July alone, more than 200,000 migrants crossed the border illegally, including families, shattering previous records. This crisis is not just about illegal immigration — it is about national security and safeguarding American lives.
Last year, more than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, with most of those drugs coming across our porous southern border. We hoped to see permanent change under the Trump administration, of which I was a part. But despite the rhetoric and the promises of 2016, the border wall was never finished and the cartels were never challenged. Now, those cartels effectively control our southern border.
If we want a chief executive who will protect our borders without excuses or empty promises, Ron DeSantis is the only person with the competency, backbone and disregard for red tape to get the job done right.
The human smuggling trade is now a $20 billion industry, with cartels raking in billions in profits over the past year alone by controlling smuggling routes. It is a crisis that has surpassed our worst fears and festered under each administration for the past decade. Ruthless cartels that operate an international slave trade through murder and drug trafficking will not respond to hollow campaign slogans, they will not respond to “root cause” panels and they certainly will not respond to the weakness we are currently projecting. DeSantis is the only candidate for president in 2024 who understands that sinister cartels will only respond to force, and he will use all available resources to end the carnage at our southern border.
DeSantis is ready to mobilize our military and regain control of our borders by deadly force if needed — something that sets him apart from the rest of the GOP field. He is not afraid to label Mexican drug cartels as transnational criminal organizations, and to confront them with force. Currently, cartel operatives cut through portions of the border wall with impunity, flooding our communities with dangerous drugs that kill our citizens. Gov. DeSantis’s response sends a clear message: Those attempting to smuggle drugs into the United States will face the full force of the United States, and cartel members attempting to break down our border will end up dead.
We cannot afford another four years of rhetoric that allows this unmitigated national security, human smuggling and drug overdose crisis to continue. DeSantis’s commitment to border security, including securing the border immediately by using our military, attacking the cartels and using force against drug smugglers, represents a no-excuses approach that resonates with those who prioritize the safety and security of our great nation. It takes a president who will not back down in the face of opposition or political pressure — and that’s exactly how DeSantis operates.
Our nation’s border security is a crisis, and it demands unwavering dedication and action. Gov. Ron DeSantis is the leader who embodies these qualities. His resolute commitment to securing our border without excuses sets him apart in the 2024 presidential race. As supporters of a strong stance on border security, we must unite behind a candidate who will not waver or make excuses when it comes to safeguarding our nation.
Ken Cuccinelli served as the 46th attorney general of Virginia and is the former acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under the Trump administration. He is the founder of Never Back Down PAC.