Talk about rolling out the red carpet.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the resident Democratic Socialist among the 2020 primary field, revealed a sweeping immigration plan this week that would totally revamp U.S. trade relations, expand worker protections and drastically change things at the southern U.S. border.
The Vermont Senator’s plan, called “A Welcoming and Safe America for All,” lays out a laundry list of proposed changes, including major changes to immigration that would essentially put a welcome mat down at the border (which effectively wouldn’t even exist anymore if anyone can cross as they please).
His plan would expand protections for undocumented migrants and their parents, halt deportations (at least temporarily), decriminalize border crossings and break up the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection agencies, among a host of other things.
Sanders’ plan is in direct contrast to President Donald Trump, who has sought to end much of the illegal border crossings into the U.S., by tying it to a new trade agreement.
Here is what Sanders says he will do on “day one.”
“Bernie will overturn all of President Trump’s actions to demonize and harm immigrants on the first day of his presidency. There is a humanitarian crisis at the border — one that Trump has manufactured,” the plan reads. “Bernie will end the barbaric practice of ripping children from their parents and locking children in cages, thoroughly audit and close detention centers, and work to undo the damage President Trump has done to our immigrant community and our national character.”
The plan then calls to “end global inequality … so that no human being needs to migrate for survival,” calling for a summit of the leaders of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico “and other countries to address the root causes of migration.”
Here are the key points of the plan:
- Put a moratorium on deportations until a thorough audit of current and past practices and policies is complete.
- Stop all construction of the racist and ineffective wall on the U.S.-Mexico Border and instead rely on cost-effective and innovative methods to counter the real threats of drug importation and human trafficking, not manufactured ones targeting the most vulnerable.
- Overturn President Trump’s racist and disgusting Muslim ban and instruct DOJ to drop any litigation or funding restrictions relating to sanctuary cities.
- End President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico,” metering, and “Safe Third Country” policies and allow asylum seekers to make their claims in the United States, to qualified asylum officials, pursuant to international law.
- Reverse President Trump’s attempts to end Temporary Protected Status agreements and extend TPS designations until a permanent solution is reached.
- End President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy and Operation Streamline, returning to the long-time standard of handling border crossings through civil proceedings.
- End for-profit detention and connect detainees with sponsors and supports.
- Reverse DOJ guidance to deny asylum claims on the basis of fleeing domestic or gang violence, including those targeted for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Rescind any proposed rules that deny public housing to families with an undocumented member.
- Finish what the courts started and rescind President Trump’s so-called “public charge” rule to ensure our system does not discriminate on the basis of income or disability and that immigrants do not have to fear endangering their immigration status in order to access basic supports and services.
- Ensure all children who were separated from their families by the United States government are reunited swiftly.
- Convene a hemispheric summit with the leaders of Latin American countries who are experiencing migration crises and develop actionable steps to stabilize the region.
The plan also would expand protections for so-called “Dreamers,” extending legal status to the 1.8 million young people eligible for DACA. And Sanders will “use every executive tool to remove barriers to legal permanent residence and naturalization for as many as possible, even if he has to sign every form by hand.”
Editor’s note: Democrats have repeatedly blasted Trump’s policies toward immigrants, and polls have shown much of America also disapproves of some of his policies and tactics, according to Gallup polls.
What do you think about Bernie’s complete reversal of how Trump has handled immigration? Share your thoughts below.