NOGALES, Ariz. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday made an emotional visit to the U.S.-Mexican border. Sanders was joined during the visit by Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada and DREAMers Jessica Elizabeth Orellana Díaz and Julio Zuniga.
“As I have traveled around this country and talked to immigrant families, and particularly Latino immigrant families, I am struck by the fear and sadness that grips so many of them,” Sanders said following the visit. “Fathers or mothers or both sent out of the country having to leave their minor children with relatives or guardians here in the United States. A U.S. servicemember whose spouse was deported. A 12 year old boy who longs to be reunited with his mother. This human suffering has got to end. That is why I am here today.”
In November, Sanders introduced the most comprehensive plan to tackle a broken immigration system of any candidate in the 2016 race for the White House. The New York Times called it “reality-based, moderate, practical and hopeful” in an editorial praising the platform. “His plan starts with the right premise: that immigrants should be welcomed and assimilated, not criminalized and exploited,” the editorial board wrote. “His proposals seek to uphold American values, bolster the rule of law, bolster the economy and protect and honor families.”
If elected, Sanders would:
- Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and private detention centers.
- Offer humane treatment and asylum to victims of domestic violence and minors fleeing from dangerous circumstances in Latin America.
- End policies that discriminate against women and ensure that mothers and wives who come into the United States with their families have the same right to work as their partners.
- Pave the way for a swift legislative path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
- Close loopholes that allow federal agencies to use racial and ethnic profiling at the border.
- Ensure our border remains secure and protects local communities.
- Make it easier for immigrants to access the judicial system.
- Increase oversight of key Department of Homeland Security agencies to guard against waste, fraud and abuse.
- Allow the return of deported immigrants if they would have been eligible to stay under the 2013 immigration bill.
Sanders will fight for comprehensive immigration reform to provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans, but he will not wait for a dysfunctional Congress to act. Instead, during the first 100 days of his presidency, he will take executive action to allow all undocumented people who have been in the United States for at least five years to stay in the country without fear of being deported.
To read Sanders’ immigration plan, click here.