Bernie Sanders took swipes at both sides of the aisle over immigration reform, declaring the problem “trumped up.” He vowed to end the “deportation regime,” in which he claims even President Barack Obama is a participant.
On Saturday, Sanders spoke next to the U.S.-Mexican border near Nogales, Arizona, according to ABC News. He took time on the campaign trail to speak with people whose families had been torn apart by deportations, and who have suffered hardship to live in the U.S.
The Vermont senator said, “the so-called immigration problem we face today at this particular moment, is a trumped up and exaggerated problem.”
Bernie Sanders used data from Pew Research to show that more people were crossing the border to go to Mexico, rather than the other way around. He still insisted that having 11 million undocumented immigrants in America is a problem, but not one that requires a wall, instead, one that required, as he quoted from Pope Francis, “compassion not hatred. Good public policy, not bigotry.”
“We don’t need a wall and we don’t need barbwire. We need to fix our broken criminal justice system. First and foremost, it goes without saying that we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need to take 11 million undocumented people out of the shadows, out of fear, and we need to provide them with legal protection, and we need to provide them with a path toward citizenship.”
Before his press conference, Bernie Sanders spoke with two young immigrants, according to CBS News. Julio Zuniga said he came to the U.S. from South America when he was just 7 years old. He suffered a number of hardships because of the legal status, including having to ride his bike 30 miles a day to go to college because he couldn’t get a driver’s license and having his brother deported.
Bernie Sanders castigated what he called the deportation regimes.
“The rounding up of families that happened around Christmas time and continues to happen must end, and as president I will end it.”
Sanders even criticized Barack Obama for deportations.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Obama administration is currently finalizing plans to deport hundreds of families in a swarm of raids. The families will only be ones that have already gone before an immigration court and been ordered to leave the country.
The other immigrant Bernie Sanders spoke to was Jessica Elizabeth Orellana, who reportedly came to the U.S. from El Salvador. Through a translator, the woman said she’d be dead without coming to the U.S. by herself. She was granted asylum.
Although Sanders criticized Obama for deportations, he saved his strongest language for GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
“I would hope that all of us are rightly appalled by the divisive bigoted and xenophobic comments of people like Donald Trump.”
Sanders’ position on immigration does not include a border wall, fence, or any other tangible barrier according to his website.
Instead, it says Bernie Sanders supported the DREAM Act – which allowed some immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16 with conditional residency and, in some cases, permanent residency. He also supports expanding deportation waivers. Likewise, the senator supported immigration reform that would have provided a path to legal status for immigrants in 2013. In past speeches, he has said he is very concerned about the exploitation undocumented immigrants suffer in the U.S., and supports border security, even though he doesn’t think the answer is a wall.
Bernie Sanders also took a moment to talk about the election itself, saying he was disappointed in the results in Ohio. Still, the senator had an ominous warning for the DNC establishment.
“You did not want us to participate in the primary process. Well, we are not going to come out on the general election.”
A Clinton versus Trump election would result in a surge in third-party voting according to another article published here on the Inquisitr. Bernie Sanders’ next shot at gaining some delegates will come this Tuesday, when Arizona, Idaho, and Utah hold their primaries.
[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]