(NewsNation) — Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, he would deploy the military to police the border.
In the interview, Ramaswamy said a border wall is not enough, pointing to tunnels created by cartels that run under already-existing border barriers. He specifically mentioned the southern border, though indicated he would potentially deploy troops to the northern border as well.
Entrepreneur Ramaswamy is one of the many candidates vying for the 2024 Republican nomination for the White House. While former President Donald Trump remains the favorite, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, many other candidates are challenging them for the nomination.
Unlike many in the race, Ramaswamy does not have a background in politics. The biotech entrepreneur has said he believes America has an identity crisis and he hopes to help America build a national identity.
“I’m running to revive those basic ideas I think most of us agree on,” Ramaswamy told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo. “Meritocracy, free speech, open debate, self-governance over aristocracy.”
The border has been a central theme for Republican candidates who have accused the White House of allowing a crisis to develop at the southern border. Congress, which is responsible for immigration laws, has not passed any meaningful immigration reform since the 1990s.
The number of migrant encounters has fallen since the expiration of Title 42 in May, although border states say they continue to be strained. States far from the border have also seen an impact, as some border states have bused migrants to other locations.
Attention has also focused on the importation of fentanyl, which has contributed to rising overdose deaths in the U.S. Some lawmakers have suggested classifying cartels as terrorist organizations due to their role in trafficking the drug.
Previously, Ramaswamy has called for the use of troops to combat drug trafficking by cartels, going as far as to suggest sending troops into Mexico. He told NewsNation’s Leland Vittert cartels should be pursued the way the U.S. pursued Osama bin Laden, though he pushed back on suggestions that doing so would constitute invading an ally.
“If the US military has one job it is to protect U.S. soil here in the United States, including the southern border,” he said. “Treating the cartels like terrorist organizations doesn’t just mean freezing their assets. I think it means justified military force to decimate the cartels.”
When it comes to immigration reform and to the border, Ramaswamy, a child of immigrants, has called for the elimination of the lottery system and the creation of a meritocratic system. He has also spoken against amnesty for those who are in the U.S. illegally, calling for them to be deported as quickly as possible.