Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley repeated her support for sending armed forces across the U.S.-Mexico border to target drug cartels.
“When it comes to the cartels, we should treat them like the terrorists that they are,” Haley told Fox News Digital in a recent interview. “I would send special operations in there and eliminate them just like we eliminated ISIS and make sure that they know there’s no place for them.”
“If Mexico won’t deal with it, I’ll make sure I deal with it,” she added.
The former South Carolina governor, who is running for the Republican nomination for president, also stressed that to crack down on the fentanyl crisis in the U.S., the president has to “go to the true source.”
“China knows exactly what they’re doing when they’re sending that fentanyl across the border. And we need to tell them we will stop all normal trade relations with you until you stop killing Americans,” Haley said.
She continued, “We lost 75,000 Americans last year, and we can’t continue to allow that to happen.”
During the first Republican presidential debate, several candidates were asked whether they would authorize lethal force against armed members of the drug cartel who were recently spotted crossing the U.S. border.
“There would be lethal force used by the Border Patrol law enforcement as needed to protect the border,” former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said while stressing economic pressure on Mexico would be implemented by his administration.
When asked if he would allow special operations to take out fentanyl labs and the drug cartel, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis quickly replied, “Yes, and I will do it on day one.”
“The president of the United States has got to use all available powers as commander in chief to protect our country and to protect the people. So when they’re coming across, yes, we are gonna use lethal force. Yes, we reserve the right to operate. How many more tens of thousands are we gonna let to die?” DeSantis said.
“So as president, wouls I use force? Would I treat them as foreign terrorist organizations? You are darn right I would,” he added.
Former Vice President Mike Pence touted the Trump administration’s record when it came to border crossings and echoed Hutchinson’s call for economic pressure but vowed “we will partner with the Mexican military and we will hunt down and destroy the cartels that are claiming lives in the United States of America.”
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