Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Visits the Border and Reveals Plan to Secure America
FAIR Take | April 2023
Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina Governor, former United Nations Ambassador, and current Republican Presidential candidate, toured the Southern border on Monday.
Haley, who announced her plan to run for President in February, visited the border to see firsthand the damage wrought by Biden’s open-border policies. She visited with law enforcement, community leaders, and local ranchers, and learned about individuals riding trains from Mexico and attempting to jump off of them into the United States. Haley also went to the front line and compared President Trump’s fence to President Biden’s fence, which she said “wouldn’t stop anybody” and argued that “we need to finish what we started” in building a wall.
Afterward, she told reporters said “We are a country of laws. The second we stop being a country of laws we give up everything this country was founded on. What I saw today was a dereliction of duty. A President has one job. One job. And, that’s to keep America safe.”
Haley then tweeted, “Joe Biden’s lost all credibility – there IS a crisis at the border and he is to blame.” She told reporters, “It’s not just a crisis for the people of Texas, it is a crisis for every American family.”
Haley’s visit comes on the heels of another busy weekend for Border Patrol. According to Chief Raul Ortiz, the Border Patrol apprehended 13,588 illegal aliens over the weekend and seized 64 pounds of cocaine, 135 pounds of fentanyl, 47 pounds of marijuana, 153 pounds of methamphetamine, 6 firearms, and over $100,000 in currency. Three agents were assaulted and among those apprehended were two sex offenders, a gang member, and one convicted murderer.
And while nearly 900 people died at the US -Mexico border last year, there are countless victims of fentanyl trafficking hurting families in the U.S. interior. Haley also described how property owners are paying the price for illegal immigration and drug trafficking. “What we saw, the amount of clothes and trash and paraphernalia and stuff that’s left on their property that they have to pay to clean up. They actually find bodies on the other side – alive or not. What kind of America is this?”
Haley noted that the border crisis isn’t confined to the border; it affects every community and state in the country. Take South Carolina, her home state: According to FAIR’s recent fiscal cost study, South Carolina taxpayers pay, on average, $4,752 per illegal alien. For all of South Carolina in 2023, illegal aliens will cost Haley’s state approximately $746 million.
In a press conference with reporters, Haley outlined her plan to secure the border. The pillars of Haley’s border security plan include hiring more border patrol agents, require businesses to use E-Verify, defund sanctuary cities, and reinstate the Remain in Mexico program and Title 42.
However, details matter. Americans should ask if there will be exceptions to her rules. How will she fund the doubling of border patrol agents when Congress won’t even fund a sufficient number of detention beds after they are apprehended? What federal funding will she take from sanctuary cities and how will she fight jurisdictions that are not bothered about losing funding? Will she exempt individuals or certain countries from her Remain in Mexico program?
As Governor of South Carolina, Haley signed into law strict E-Verify legislation that requires all employers to enroll in E-Verify (beginning in January 2012). An employer’s failure to enroll in and use E-Verify for new hires results in probation for the employer or suspension/revocation of the employer’s business licenses. FAIR agrees that the E-Verify system is ready for mandatory use, and believes E-Verify will curtail the motivation for people to enter the country illegally.
Wrapping up her trip, Haley told Fox News that immigration should be a top priority for anybody running for President. “If it’s not a top priority for our current President, it will be a top priority when I’m President.”
Accompanying Nikki Haley on the border was Congressman Tony Gonzalez (R-TX), who represents the area of Texas Haley visited. Rep. Gonzalez recently said he would oppose the Republican plan to bring several important border bills before the House of Representatives. FAIR has learned that House Republicans plan to use the committee process to consider as many as eight bills which are likely to mirror the House Republicans’ Commitment to America. Of critical importance, these bills will directly address President Biden’s lawless policies that have created the crisis at our borders. They will curtail asylum fraud and end abuse of parole, toughen penalties for those who overstay their visa, and end the catch and release of children and families into the U.S. interior.
Nikki Haley’s border security plan mirrors many of the principals that could be covered in the House immigration package, but time will tell if all Republicans will go along with these meaningful and critical changes. Will Congressman Gonzalez support this package or will he turn his back on Nikki Haley and his Republican colleagues and not support good policies that solve the border crisis and end mass catch-and-release?
As the border crisis continues, FAIR will keep the heat on Congress to make changes and on the Biden Administration to change course.