TEXAS, USA — Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is the latest in a series of Republican presidential candidates to make a stop along the Texas border.
But after visiting the Rio Grande Valley, he did not offer a clear yes or no on whether he supports the use of razor wire or the floating barricade installed in the Rio Grande by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Suarez said he did not see either the wire or the buoys in person, but that he did get feedback on them.
“I’m told they’re trying to implement it in a humanitarian way,” he said. “I think both sides have to do their best to avoid a tragic situation.”
The policy of busing migrants outside of Texas to cities mostly run by mayors who are Democrats, “obviously doesn’t solve the problem,” he said.
“I understand why people do it. They’re trying to send a message,” he said. “I’m into solving problems as a public official. I don’t like blaming other people.”
He said shifting federal money from China to Latin America would be top priority for him.
“That creates commerce and prosperity so that you depressurize people from wanting to come to the United States. They’re coming because of desperation and lack of opportunity. We want to make sure they have opportunities in their own communities so they can be prosperous,” he said.
Suarez said he believes his life story -- his parents immigrating to the U.S. after being exiled from Cuba as children – will help him connect with voters who are looking for answers on immigration policy.
But he is barely registering in polls in a field that includes former President Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, the governor of Suarez’s own home state.
Suarez said he thinks Republicans are looking for another option, and he said qualifying for the first Republican presidential debate is “essential” to his candidacy.
“What’s important for me, who is a relatively unknown, is to introduce myself to the country, make it to the debate stage on Aug. 23 and start the process of educating the country on who I am,” he said.