The plan, exit Thursday, likewise calls come improve conditions in industries that count on immigrants, including instating a domestic workers’ invoice of rights.

You are watching: How does bernie sanders feel about immigration


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Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks throughout the Iowa autonomous Party Liberty and Justice Dinner in Des Moines top top Nov. 1, 2019. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSen. Bernie Sanders speaks throughout the Iowa democratic Party Liberty and Justice Dinner in Des Moines ~ above Nov. 1, 2019. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Thursday morning, Sen. Bernie Sanders reduce his long-anticipated immigrant platform. Arguably the many ambitious of any kind of Democratic presidential candidate’s therefore far, the arrangement goes beyond a general contact for a route to legal condition for immigrants and also takes full aim at president Donald Trump’s racist policies at the southerly border. Unlike any type of other candidate, Sanders calls because that the rest up of U.S. Immigration and also Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and also Border Protection, and also to improve working conditions and also labor protections for industries the rely on an immigrant workforce.

One piece of this is the residential Workers bill of Rights, which would certainly “provide domestic workers with at least a $15 minimum wage, solid protections for cumulative bargaining, workers’ rights, rectal safety, and fair scheduling,” regardless of immigration status.

“For also long, employers have actually exploited undocumented immigrants and guest employees to violate labor laws, dress the minimum wage, and also maximize their very own profits,” the setup reads. “Large corporations target vulnerable areas as a resource of labor and use their immigration standing to retaliate when workers wake up for your rights.”


The release of Sanders’s setup comes after month of scrutiny indigenous leftists and also liberals over his immigration policy — long taken into consideration to be one of his primary weaknesses. His plan follows the typical left positions on immigration, consisting of reinstating and also expanding the Deferred activity for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program; finishing for-profit detention; and also overturning the Muslim ban.

Notably, he additionally goes additional than even his fellow progressive hopeful, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in call for complete demilitarization the the border. To rest up ICE and CBP, under Sanders’s platform, their features would it is in redistributed to other federal agencies. Under a Sanders administration, “deportation, enforcement, border and investigatory government would go back to the department of Justice,” naturalization and also citizenship authority would certainly go come the State Department, and customs government would go back to the Treasury.


Notably, Sanders likewise goes further than also his fellow progressive hopeful, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in phone call for complete demilitarization that the border.

Warren, ~ above the various other hand, pledged in her immigration setup to “remake CBP and also ICE in a means that mirrors our values.” she plan, titled “A Fair and Welcoming immigration System,” which come out in July, calls for the decriminalization of border crossings, broadening DACA, and also raising the lid on the variety of refugees admitted to the U.S. She additionally put forth some signature ideas such as establishing an “Office of brand-new Americans” to “draft a national strategy because that integration” for new immigrants, i beg your pardon would incorporate providing English, civics, and also employment-focused classes.

Former Housing and Urban development Secretary Julián Castro, who’s to be struggling to store his project afloat, is the just Latino candidate in the race and also was the very first to relax an immigrant proposal. His arrangement calls for separating ICE in half and reassigning enforcement attributes to other agencies, including the room of Justice.

As president, Sanders’s plan says he would certainly withhold commonwealth contracts because that employers found to it is in exploiting guest workers, end workplace raids, and implement procedures to protect farm workers. Warren’s arrangement mentions the prestige of coupling extend of legal immigration through “real accountability top top employers who break the rules, manipulate workers, or don’t adhere to an easy labor standards,” but detailed proposals related to workers’ issues aren’t as central to her plan as they space to Sanders’s.

Sanders additionally goes further in providing a time frame for arising a route to legal irreversible status and citizenship because that undocumented immigrants, setting it within five years. Warren and also Castro support a pathway come legal status, but neither has offered a time frame.

Former Vice chairman Joe Biden, meanwhile, there is no released a detailed immigration platform, however came out against the decriminalization the border crossings during the second Democratic main debate. At the July 31 debate, Biden disagreed with Castro, who protected his stance on decriminalizing border crossings, saying the immigrants “have come wait in line.”

“The reality of the matter is, friend should have the ability to — if you cross the border illegally, friend should have the ability to be sent back,” Biden said. “It’s a crime.”

Biden has also defended the Obama-era immigration plans that helped develop our existing deportation state. Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, among the debate moderators, confronted him on this, asking, “Vice chairman Biden, as a presidential candidate in 2008, you supported the border wall, saying, ‘Unlike most Democrats, i voted for 700 mile of fence.’ This is what girlfriend said. You offered as vice president in an management that exile 3 million people, the most ever before in U.S. History. … room you ready to speak tonight that you and also President Obama do a mistake about deportations? Why need to Latinos trust you?”

After Biden dodged the inquiry — offering an incoherent answer that somehow finished with a speak to for conference to reauthorize the Violence versus Women act — Ramos complied with up, asking if Biden believes the he do a mistake through those deportations. “The chairman did the ideal thing that was able to be excellent at the time,” Biden replied. “How about you?” Ramos asked.

“I’m the vice president of the united States,” he said.


Earlier this year, Sanders faced criticism because that his solution to a concern that perpetuated right-wing fearmongering about open borders.

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“What we need is considerable immigration reform,” Sanders stated at one Iowa town hall. “If you open up the borders, my God, there’s a many poverty in this world, and you’re going come have people from everywhere the world. And also I don’t think that’s something the we have the right to do at this point. Can’t execute it. So the is not my position.”

In response, progressives discussed that the democratic socialist had actually parroted false nativist talk points about immigrants. As Daniel Denvir wrote for Jacobin in April: “Bernie’s track document on immigrant is strong. But he right now lacks a interlocutor vision for immigrant justice the identifies an immigrant-dense working class as a protagonist for gradual social and economic transformation today, equivalent the clear and also compelling framing he offers to talk about issues like economic inequality.”

With his new plan, Sanders is lastly refining his vision for immigrant justice.


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