Bernie Sanders Releases Ambitious Immigration Proposals On Prisons, Border Security, Citizenship And More

bernie sanders hillayr cllinton martin omalley
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (L), has released what may be the most sweeping and pro-immigrant policy proposal of the 2016 presidential race. His main rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) had been relatively vague on her strategy for reform, though she has stated her intention to secure a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally. Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, (R) made waves in Latino media for proposing an ambitious immigration proposal months ago, one that may have influenced Sander’s proposal. Above: candidates pose at a debate in Des Moines, Iowa, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced a sweeping set of immigration reform proposals on Tuesday, pledging to make the issue a top priority of his administration if elected president. The ten-page proposal proposes pro-immigrant policies from everything like deportation and detention reform to prison reform to rejecting free trade agreements like NAFTA. The six-point plan also proposes humanitarian goals like reducing border deaths and increasing intake of refugees. In a statement, Sanders said that the announcement came in the context of American Thanksgiving.

“As we gather with our loved ones to give thanks, we should reflect on the fact that not all families will be so lucky,” Sanders said. “Millions of families are torn apart by our broken immigration policies. We cannot forget about the aspiring Americans who continue to live in the shadows.”

Sander’s plan is a hybrid of his existing proposals, such as nationalizing the prison industry, and opponent’s ideas, like Martin O’Malley’s proposal to end three-to-ten year bars on immigrants applying for visas after they have been in the U.S. without legal permission (for more or less than one year, respectively).

Calling their plan the “the strongest in the Democratic field,” the Sanders campaign says that the platform would be even more progressive that Gov. O’Malley’s, whose 7-page proposal released months ago is more detailed and promises more to pro-immigrant voters than Clinton’s public statements (she does not have a detailed immigration proposal).

“As president, I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship and is grounded in civil, humane and economic rights,” Sanders said in a statement, promising to take more actions if Congress did not pass such legislation. “[During] the first 100 days of my administration I will take extensive action to accomplish what Congress has failed to do [....]”

The entire proposal is availble here on the Sanders website

 

 

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