Former top California Republican has stark message for Biden as migrants infiltrate upscale beach town


A former top Republican in California is sending a stark message to President Biden and his fellow Democrats as suspected illegal immigrants continue to infiltrate the area surrounding an upscale beach town nearly 100 miles from the southern border.

Scott Baugh, the former minority leader in the California State Assembly who is running to represent the state’s 47th Congressional District, told Fox News Digital in an interview that it is because of Biden and his policies that more Americans are now living as if they were on the border’s edge.

“You have an open border, which is really an existential threat to this country, with 10 million illegal immigrants coming across the border since Joe Biden was elected,” Baugh said. “We need to stop that, and we need to reverse course and set this country back on the right path.”

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President Joe Biden and Scott Baugh, Republican congressional candidate and former minority leader of the California State Assembly. (Getty Images)

The district Baugh hopes to represent encompasses Newport Beach, an upscale town on the Southern California coast where, earlier this month, a group of around two dozen suspected illegal immigrants disembarked from a boat and escaped into the community unimpeded.

A viral video of the incident circulated on social media, but Baugh said such occurrences “happen regularly in Orange County,” and have indeed been increasingly happening along California’s southern coast.

“It makes even Newport Beach a border city, if you will, because migrants continue to come across, illegal immigrants come across. But this is a direct result of my opponent’s policies, where they give free health care and free benefits to illegal immigrants,” he said, referencing his Democrat opponent, state Sen. Dave Min.

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Democrat California state Sen. Dave Min in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, July 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

All they have to do is land on our shore, and they qualify for free health care, free education and free benefits. When you continue to have a magnet that draws people in, that welcomes them in illegally, well, it doesn’t surprise you — it shouldn’t surprise you — that they continue to come,” he said.

“We have to stop those policies and stop the incentive for them coming in. And we just simply need to secure our border and have stronger enforcement,” he added.

Baugh also lamented California’s soft-on-crime policies, such as Proposition 47, a state ballot initiative passed in 2014 that softened penalties for certain crimes, and those preventing local law enforcement from turning illegal immigrants over to federal immigration authorities.

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Scott Baugh, Republican candidate for California’s 47th Congressional District, is interviewed in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Saturday, October 7, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“These policies are inviting crime. And when you don’t enforce crime, guess what happens. More people commit crime, because there’s no consequence,” he said. “It’s just a result of progressive policies where they don’t want to hold people accountable for their illegal actions.”

Baugh vowed that, if elected, he would first work to tackle the border crisis and America’s rising debt, which he said has been driving the massive levels of inflation seen under the Biden administration. 

He added that, in what is expected to be a tight race, undecided voters would ultimately trend his direction because they’re “fed up” with crime, inflation, illegal immigration, failing schools, and want a brighter future.

Fox News Digital reached out to Min for comment, who said, “While I’ll actually bring solutions to the table and work across the aisle to address the border crisis in Congress, Scott Baugh’s biggest supporters just tanked the most conservative immigration deal in a generation — a bipartisan, Border Patrol Union-backed agreement that would have funded cutting-edge fentanyl detection at our ports of entry and hired more than 1,500 new border agents and enforcement officers.” 

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President Biden spoke positively about mass migration during a recent interview on a Spanish-speaking radio show. (Biden photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Migrant caravan photo by Jose Torres/Anadolu via Getty Images)

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“Baugh has yet to admit the truth: he would have tanked this border deal and stood in the way of our nation’s security interests, just like the rest of his do-nothing party, and voters here in CA-47 will see right through his empty attacks in 2024 just like they did in 2022,” he added.

Baugh served as a state assemblyman from 1995 to 2000 and as the minority leader from 1999-2000. In 2022, he ran to unseat Democrat Rep. Katie Porter, who currently represents the 47th Congressional District, but narrowly lost.

Elections analysts rate the race for California’s 47th Congressional District as either “lean Democratic,” “tilt Democratic” or a “tossup.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.



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