Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Saturday that he would impose a moratorium on all deportations if he is elected president, establishing him as the candidate furthest to the left on immigration in the Democratic primary, according to Hot Air.
Sanders was speaking at an event hosted by the progressive Latino group Mijente in Las Vegas when he unveiled this new immigration proposal.
"We are going to end the ICE raids that are terrorizing communities all across this country," Sanders said. "We are going to impose a moratorium on deportations. And we are going to, as I mentioned — and there are some things that a president can do with executive orders and some things you can't."
Bernie Sanders Backs A Moratorium On All Deportations Of Illegal Immigrants In US youtu.be
Sanders confirmed the stance later in a tweet saying the same thing.
We must treat undocumented people with dignity. When we are in the White House, we will end the ICE raids which are… https://t.co/uWgK1j5rEn— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1568577892.0
According to The Daily Caller, Sanders also said he would provide free college and health care to illegal immigrants.
The proposal presents a clear trajectory of where illegal immigration policy would go under a Sanders administration. If you choose to stop deporting illegal immigrants, the next step down would be to detain them when they are found living in the U.S. illegally.
But since detention facilities are already overwhelmed, resulting in poor conditions at some locations, indefinite detention during this deportation moratorium would not be a viable option. So, the only other choice would be to release them — or not seek to find and arrest illegal immigrants at all.
Depending on the specifics of this proposal — assuming any even exist and that this was not a desperation leftward jump for attention by Sanders — this may not be a fully open-border policy; however, it certainly takes a noticeable step in that direction.
The Democratic primary discussion now presents the real possibility that a Democratic president would decriminalize illegal entry into the United States, and also prohibit the deportation of anyone found in the United States illegally — while providing them free health care and college education.