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Haley Campaign Press Release - Fact Check: DeSantis Lies About Haley Support for Border Wall

January 10, 2024

After watching his poll numbers plummet and his super PAC go up in flames, Ron DeSantis is desperately throwing lies at the wall, hoping something will stick. Spoiler alert: It won't.

The truth is Haley got tough on illegal immigration 10 years before Ron DeSantis did anything. Haley never opposed the border wall in 2015. She opposed relying on a border wall exclusively without addressing the many other important steps necessary to fixing America's broken immigration system.

In 2015, Haley criticized politicians for relying on slogans instead of proposing a real plan for cracking down on illegal immigration.

  • Haley (~44:53): "I think that illegal immigration is an extremely important issue in this country. And I think that the candidates have somewhat acted like DC and let the issue get away from them. If we're going to talk about illegal immigration, why are you going all the way to this side and talking about birthright citizenship when you haven't even talked about the illegal immigration itself? What does that mean? It means are you, as a candidate, going to commit to putting troops along the border? Are you, as a candidate, going to commit to the infrastructure—the drones, the planes—that are going to be required to coordinate with the troops on the ground? Are you going to commit that when those illegal immigrants cross the border that you will actually detain them and deport them back? And are you committed to the financial cost that it's going to take to do that? That's what needs to be talked about. If you notice, they're all saying, 'we want to secure the borders.' That's a big deal. What does that mean to you? That's what I want to hear. That's what I think the country wants to hear. What does that mean to you in terms of your commitment to work with Congress to actually secure the border? Don't say you're just going to build a wall. Because a wall is not going to do it. You've got to have commitment of ground troops, equipment, money, all of that to bring it together. Then you're being serious about tackling illegal immigration."

Fact checkers called this attack false.

  • PolitiFact: "Haley didn't oppose Trump's border wall. She said a wall was not enough to reduce illegal immigration."

As South Carolina governor, Haley signed one of the toughest immigration laws in the country, making good on her pledge as a gubernatorial candidate.

  • On June 26, 2011, Gov. Nikki Haley signed the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act, requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest for another reason and suspect may be in the country illegally. The bill required South Carolina employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check the citizenship status of employees.

  • The Post and Courier called these measures "some of the nation's toughest measures to curb illegal immigrants living and working here."

Haley went head-to-head with the Obama administration on illegal immigration.

  • Haley fought Obama's DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to enforce South Carolina's E-Verify law.
  • South Carolina filed a suit challenging Obama's constitutional authority after he issued an executive order giving temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.
  • Haley fought the Obama administration on accepting Syrian refugees, undocumented minors, and Guantanamo Bay prisoners in South Carolina.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Fact Check: DeSantis Lies About Haley Support for Border Wall Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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