With Bold Immigration Plan, Bernie Sanders Becomes the Only Candidate to Call for Break Up of ICE and CBP
The plan, released Thursday, also calls to improve working conditions and labor protections for industries that rely on an immigrant workforce, including instating a domestic workers’ bill of rights.
Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped his long-anticipated immigration platform. Arguably the most ambitious of any Democratic presidential candidate’s so far, the plan goes beyond a general call for a path to legal status for immigrants and takes full aim at President Donald Trump’s racist policies at the southern border. Unlike any other candidate, Sanders calls for the break up of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and to improve working conditions and labor protections for industries that rely on an immigrant workforce.
One piece of this is the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would “provide domestic workers with at least a $15 minimum wage, strong protections for collective bargaining, workers’ rights, workplace safety, and fair scheduling,” regardless of immigration status.
“For too long, employers have exploited undocumented immigrants and guest workers to violate labor laws, skirt the minimum wage, and maximize their own profits,” the plan reads. “Large corporations target vulnerable communities as a source of labor and use their immigration status to retaliate when workers stand up for their rights.”
Bernie believes we must stand up for our values and accept refugees, asylum-seekers, and families who come to the United States in search of the American Dream.
This country is a nation of immigrants. Other than the native peoples of the Americas, every one of our families came here from somewhere else. Some came by choice, some by necessity, and others in chains. As we have developed as a nation, each of us has contributed to the growth and prosperity of America in our own way. And our nation has been most successful and most true to its ideals when that prosperity has been shared among all of us. In many ways, that is what this campaign is about: building a movement to create an America where everyone shares in the prosperity that they and their ancestors helped create.
To Bernie, immigration is personal. Bernie’s father came to the United States at age 17 with no money and knowing almost no English. He didn’t have much of an education and no real skills. But he built a life for himself and his family through determination and hard work. Millions of immigrant families in the United States today are doing the exact same thing. That is the story of Bernie’s family and that is the story of America. We have welcomed those who seek the American dream, build our communities and strengthen our economy. More importantly, we have served as a place of refuge and beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution and danger in their native countries, leading the world by example.
We now have a president who is a racist, a xenophobe, and a demagogue. He has tried, as all demagogues do, to divide us by demonizing immigrants and blaming them for society’s problems. He has used hateful and disgusting rhetoric to try to dehumanize an entire group of people, and he has used the power of the federal government to mistreat and terrorize immigrants at the border and in our communities. We must stand together with our immigrant friends and neighbors and stand up to President Trump’s xenophobic words and actions.
Bernie's plan surely sounds comprehensive. The website linked above provides a lot more detail as to the specific things he plans to do as president, including...
- Repeal 8 U.S. Code Section 1325, putting border crossings on par with other forms of immigration violations, such as overstaying a visa
- Use executive authority to allow undocumented immigrants who have resided in the United States for five or more years to stay here free from threat of deportation.
- 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.