CHARLESTON, South Carolina — Newly-announced 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley told Breitbart News exclusively that if elected president she hopes to steer jobs to Americans, and not allow illegal aliens to get work in the United States.
Haley, who was governor of South Carolina and later served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under then-President Donald Trump, announced her campaign for president on Wednesday. After her announcement speech, Haley sat for an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on stage on a number of issues including immigration and China.
During her speech, she touted one of the toughest immigration laws in the country which she signed as governor of South Carolina called Senate Bill 20. That law, among other things, implemented statewide E-Verify requirements — and provided the governor the resources and ability to enforce it and penalize companies that hired illegal aliens over Americans.
“We are a country of laws,” Haley told Breitbart News when asked about the E-Verify measure. “The second you stop being a country of laws you give up everything this country was founded on. We have got to secure our borders. The fabric of America is legal immigration but those processes have to be in place. We are not going to give people a pass to get into this country. My parents came here legally. They put in the time, they put in the price. They’re offended by what’s happening on the border.”
When asked to expand on the issue, including specifically how she is looking at immigration as an economic issue by talking about E-Verify, Haley told Breitbart News that Americans need to get job opportunities that become available — not illegal aliens.
“What we did in South Carolina with E-Verify was you had to verify that that person was in this country legally or else you could not hire them,” Haley said. “That’s what we put in place in South Carolina, and more importantly we enforced it. When you enforce it, one, that stops everybody from coming across the border. Two, it puts laws in place that matter. Americans need to get these jobs. We need Americans building things again. We need Americans working again. We don’t need to pay them to sit on the couch. We need to get them to work, but we have to have the jobs ready for them when we get them there.”
Haley said that as president she would visit the border — something Democrat President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have consistently refused to do — and that she would listen to Border Patrol agents about their needs and priorities.
“Absolutely, I would go to the border — and not only that, I would listen to Border Patrol families and listen to what Border Patrol agents say they need,” Haley said. “Don’t sit there and listen to what people in D.C. say they need. Listen to those Border Patrol agents because they’re having to deal with it every single day.”
Haley also said she thinks Biden, by giving Harris the border crisis as an issue assignment, may have been trying to throw her under the bus.
“I don’t know if Biden was trying to throw Kamala under the bus, but naming her the border czar and then looking at what she’s done because of it has been a total joke. It cannot continue,” Haley said. “She’s not talking about it. He’s not talking about it. She’s not going to the border. He’s not going to the border. At some point, someone has to go to the border.”
Haley also touted her time working in the Trump administration and pointed to the successful policies under Trump, such as his deals with northern triangle countries including Guatemala and his Remain in Mexico deal with the Mexican government, as policies that were working. She ripped Biden for eliminating those policies and said as president she would reimplement the Trump immigration successes.
“I worked with President Trump as he was dealing with that immigration situation,” Haley said. “I was in Honduras and Guatemala and we were talking to those leaders about how they needed to keep their people there. What the last administration did worked. Biden broke it. The idea that they had Remain in Mexico, the idea that they were building the wall, the idea that we had secure borders — all of that matters. And, Joe Biden went and broke every bit of it and we’ve seen the largest outbreak across the border we’ve ever seen and a number of terrorists crossing the border. He broke something that really worked and now we’re having to go back and do that all over again.”