Vivek Ramaswamy Disagrees With Nikki Haley’s Illegal Immigrant Rhetoric

Businessman and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that he strongly disagrees with comments made this week about how to discuss illegal immigration by a rival GOP candidate— the former Trump U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).

“Let’s keep in mind, these people who are wanting to come here— they want to come for a better life too. They have kids too. They have a heart too,” Haley began. “So we don’t need to be disrespectful. We don’t need to talk about them as criminals. They’re not. They’re families that want a better life and they’re desperate to get here,” she concluded.

Ramaswamy posted a simple response, “Strongly disagree.”

Regardless of whether it is respectful or not to talk about illegal immigrants as criminals, it is Ramaswamy who is technically correct according to the U.S. federal code. Immigrating to the United States from another country illegally is a federal crime.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) “mandates that immigrants who are unlawfully present in the U.S. for 180 days but under 365 days must remain outside the United States for three years unless pardoned,” according to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.

Meanwhile, Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several offenses related to illegal immigration, including alien smuggling, domestic transporting of undocumented aliens, harboring illegal immigrants, encouraging/inducing illegal immigration, and aiding or abetting unauthorized entry into the United States.

Haley’s comments could even be a crime under the encouraging/inducing clause of the immigration statute. The Supreme Court even upheld the federal ban on encouraging illegal immigration in June last year against a legal challenge that it violates free speech.

In a reply to Ramaswamy’s post, another user of the X platform posted a meme that said, “Americans are tired of having their ancestors compared to the migrants of today. Settling in an undeveloped land and building a civilization is not comparable to showing up in a post-industrial nation and signing up for benefits.”