AOC slams Ron DeSantis over his desire to send US special forces to Mexico to combat drug cartels: 'So reckless that it's difficult to even capture'

AOC slams Ron DeSantis over his desire to send US special forces to Mexico to combat drug cartels: 'So reckless that it's difficult to even capture'
  • In a NYT interview, AOC pushed back against DeSantis over his idea to send US forces into Mexico.

  • DeSantis said last week that he'd send US special forces into Mexico to go after drug traffickers.

  • Many of the GOP presidential candidates have sought to project a hard-line stance on border issues.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a new interview blasted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his support for sending United States special forces into Mexico to combat drug cartels, calling the idea "reckless."

During a conversation with The New York Times, the third-term New York Democrat argued that DeSantis' remarks illustrated the inattention that many American leaders give to other countries in the Western Hemisphere.

"Such a suggestion is so reckless that it's difficult to even capture," she told the newspaper.

"But the political incentive for Ron DeSantis to say something like that speaks to the lack of real attention that we pay domestically to our role as a member of this hemisphere," she continued. "Part of our increased engagement in the region is not just about how we are thought of in Latin America, but also domestically, how we understand our closest neighbors."

During the first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate, DeSantis spoke of the need to declare a national emergency "on day one" to push back against drug traffickers in Mexico.

"Would I use force? Would I treat them as foreign terrorist organizations? You're damn right I would," he said.

"When these drug pushers are bringing fentanyl across the border, that's going to be the last thing they do," he continued. "We're going to use force and we're going to leave them stone-cold dead."

Vanda Felbab-Brown, the director of the Brookings Institution's Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors, told CNN that classifying the cartels as a foreign terrorist organization "doesn't eliminate the diplomatic controversy and outrage in Mexico that any Mexican government would have."

"We can say what we want on our side – from the perspective of the Mexican government and Mexican military, that would be very much seen as a massive violation of sovereignty," she told the network.

While speaking with The Times, Ocasio-Cortez also said immigration was the Biden administration's "weakest" issue.

"This is one area where our policy is dictated by politics, arguably more so than almost any other," she told the newspaper. "There are very clear recommendations and suggestions that we have made to the administration to provide relief on this issue, and it's my belief that some of the hesitation around this has to do with a fear around just being seen as approving or providing permission structures, or really just the Republican narratives that have surrounded immigration."

Insider reached out representatives of the DeSantis campaign for comment.

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