- Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday said he’s not for “open borders” but “comprehensive immigration reform.”
- “If you open the borders, my God, there’s a lot of poverty in this world, and you’re going to have people from all over the world. And I don’t think that’s something that we can do at this point,” Sanders said at a town hall in Iowa.
- President Donald Trump has frequently, and incorrectly, said that Democrats want “open borders.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday rejected the notion he supports “open borders” when questioned about his stance on immigration at a town hall in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
When an attendee suggested Sanders supports open borders, or a policy of free-flowing migration, the senator sought to correct the record.
The man referred to Sanders as “an advocate for open borders.”
Sanders replied, “I’m afraid you may be getting your information wrong. That’s not my view.”
“What we need is comprehensive immigration reform,” Sanders added. “If you open the borders, my God, there’s a lot of poverty in this world, and you’re going to have people from all over the world. And I don’t think that’s something that we can do at this point. Can’t do it. So that is not my position.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Oskaloosa, IA: "If you open the borders, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it." pic.twitter.com/INF9GopzIe
— The Hill (@thehill) April 7, 2019
President Donald Trump has frequently said Democrats support “open borders” as he rails against their opposition to his immigration policies. This hyperbolic assertion is not backed up by the facts.
As part of his platform, Sanders supports offering a pathway to citizenship to most undocumented immigrants.
One of the senator’s top 2020 staffers is an undocumented immigrant living in the US under protections via the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), and his campaign has slammed those who’ve criticized this choice.
Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, in late March tweeted, “Unlike the Trump administration, @BernieSanders will not only act to protect DACA recipients and their community, he will ensure this campaign seeks out their voices and treats them with respect.”
The Vermont senator has referred to Trump’s immigration policies as “heartless,” saying, “We must not be about tearing small children away from their families.”
Trump is reshuffling his administration over disagreements linked to immigration and his desire for a more hardline stance on the border. Kirstjen Nielsen, the president’s head of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned on Sunday.