Sanders Vows Executive Action to Stop Some Deportations
Bernie Sanders wants to differentiate himself from Donald Trump’s deportation platform. If elected, Sanders vows executive action to stop deportations.
“We cannot and should not sweep up millions of men, women and children — many of whom have lived here for years, contribute to our society and are integrated into the fabric of American life — and throw them out of the country unjustly,” he said on Tuesday.
“It is categorically unacceptable that so many voices insist that the large numbers of desperate, vulnerable and unaccompanied children primarily from Central America who crossed our borders last year should be turned away and sent back to the countries they fled,” Sanders continued.
“Sadly, many of those same voices now advocate for the United States to turn our backs on desperate refugees fleeing violence and terrorism in Syria,” he added.
“Now is not the time for us to succumb to racism and bigotry. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by the anti-immigrant and xenophobic hysteria that Republican presidential candidates are ginning up.”
The Hill reports:
Sanders’s plan calls for “aspiring Americans” to receive citizenship after five years without encountering heavy financial penalties along the way. It also calls for congressional action leading towards a permanent citizenship solution for the nation’s millions of undocumented immigrants.
The plan additionally includes provisions for letting illegal immigrants access healthcare through the Affordable Care Act and ending ethnic and racial profiling by federal agencies at the border.
Sanders and his two Democratic primary rivals are fiercely competing for Latino voters on the 2016 campaign trail.
Illegal immigration is a major issue among that voting bloc, whose size also makes it a major boost for reaching the White House next year.
Former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), running a distant third in the race, attacked Sanders’s new policy outline Wednesday in a statement issued by his campaign staff.
“Governor O’Malley has led with principles, not polls on immigration — he implemented the DREAM Act and drivers licenses for New Americans in Maryland and adopted countless measures to include New Americans into the full light of society,” said spokeswoman Gabriela Domenzain.
“If we want to move America forward and stay true to our values, we can’t resort to the old, nativist, poll-tested politics of the past when it comes to immigration reform and restoring dignity to New Americans,” she said.
“Neither Senator Sanders nor [former secretary of State Hillary] Clinton has shown the backbone or foresight to do what’s right on immigration,” Domenzain said.
Clinton, meanwhile, pledged Monday that she would no longer use the phrase “illegal immigrants” as part of her rhetoric.
“[It is] a poor choice of words,” she said during a Noticias Telemundo Facebook Q&A with immigration rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas.
“As I’ve said throughout this campaign, the people at the heart of this issue are children, parents, families, DREAMers,” the Democratic presidential front-runner said. “They have names, and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected.”
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal.