Miami mayor: Hispanics are 'trending Republican' for reasons unrelated to immigration

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, a possible 2024 GOP presidential candidate, says immigration reform must start with stronger border security.

Published: March 7, 2023 10:43am

Updated: March 10, 2023 11:41pm

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who is mulling a 2024 Republican presidential bid, told Just the News that Hispanic voters are "trending Republican" for reasons that aren't connected to immigration reform. 

Interviewed after his address at CPAC, Suarez emphasized that immigration reform must start with stronger border security.

Suarez recalled his conversation with a border agent who said total migrant encounters at the southwest border under President Biden have surpassed four million.

"So that's significantly greater than what was happening under the prior administration," he noted. "That has to change. There have to be resources dedicated to that issue." 

Suarez mentioned the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill that Congress passed in December that included funding for border security in foreign nations but not in the U.S. "None of which was for border security, so that's issue number one," he said.

He also called for the "right size legal immigration" that's tied to the state of the economy.

"We just have to have the right nexus between the economy and what we need as a country in legal immigration," he said.

As important as immigration reform is, Suarez believes Republican appeal to Hispanic voters transcends the issue.

"I think Hispanics are already trending Republican, and I think they're trending Republican for issues that have nothing to do with immigration," he said. "And I think we have to continue to build on that, and that's something that I'd love to continue to be a part of.

"I think secondly, you know, I think we have to respect the people that came here legally, and I think we're a country of law and order. And so people who came here legally and waited in line and did it the right way deserve respect, and so that's why I think a lot of Republicans feel that a path to citizenship is problematic."

Suarez said he's still considering a run for president in 2024.

"As you know, the due diligence related to that is extensive, and it's obviously a big decision," he said at CPAC. "So I'm going to continue to go through the process, and when I'm ready, I'll make the decision."

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