“This country can tolerate a heck of a
lot more people.” – Joe Biden
The second coming of the July debates happened last night and if you missed it, you missed nothing. This group, like their colleagues in the first wave, believe also that Trump is the source of all evil but admit that the Obama administration–which some seem to believe that Joe Biden was secretly leading–was not exactly what we need either. Nevertheless, as we did yesterday, here’s a selection of statements about immigration from each of the contenders, courtesy of the Washington Post.
CASTRO: The only way that we’re going to guarantee that we don’t have family separations in this country again is to repeal Section 1325 of the Immigration Nationality Act. My immigration plan would also make sure that we put undocumented immigrants who haven’t committed a serious crime on a pathway to citizenship, that we do a 21st century Marshall Plan with Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, so that we can get to the root of this challenge so people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of having to come to the United States.
BENNET: I was part of the Gang of Eight. . . I wrote the immigration bill in 2013 with John McCain that passed the Senate with 68 votes, that gave a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people that are here, that would pass the most progressive DREAM Act that had ever been conceived. . . and had $46 billion of border security.
HARRIS: [A]fter the last debate. . . , I went to a place in Florida called Homestead, and there is a private detention facility being paid for by your taxpayer dollars, a private detention facility that currently houses 2,700 children. I saw children lined up single file based on gender being walked into barracks. The policies of this administration have been facilitated by laws on the books that allow them to be incarcerated as though they’ve committed crimes. These children have not committed crimes and should be not treated like criminals.
GILLIBRAND: I believe that we should have a civil violation [instead of the current law, which makes unauthorized entry a criminal misdemeanor]. It should be a civil violation and we should make sure that we treat people humanely. [W]e must not forget about our values.
BIDEN: I proposed, significantly increasing the number of legal immigrants who are able to come. This country can tolerate a heck of a lot more people. And the reason we’re the country we are is we’ve been able to cherry pick from the best of every culture. Immigrants built this country. That’s why we’re so special. It took courage. It took resilience. It took absolutely confidence for them to come. And we should be encouraging these people. We are a country of immigrants. All of us. All of us. Some here came against their will; others came because they in fact thought they could fundamentally change their lives. And they did. That’s what made us great.
GABBARD: Our hearts break when we see those children at these detention facilities who’ve been separated from their parents, when we see human beings crowded into cages in abhorrent, inhumane conditions. We will have to stop separating children from their parents, make it so that it’s easier for people to seek asylum in this country, make sure that we are securing our borders and making it so that people are able to use our legal immigration system by reforming those laws.
YANG: We can’t always be focusing on some of the distressed stories. And if you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall-to-wall immigrants; you will find wall-to-wall robots and machines. Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy.
BOOKER: The criminal courts is what is giving Donald Trump the ability to truly violate the human rights of people coming to our country, who no one surrenders their human rights. And so, doing it through the civil courts means that you won’t need these awful detention facilities. . . . This is not necessary. We have seen, using the civil system, piloted programs that have 100 percent compliance with the civil courts, where people are evaluated. If they have no justifiable reason to be here, they are returned. If they are, like the people I met in Juarez, who were survivors of sexual assault, who we wouldn’t even let come and present for asylum. We are butchering our values and making ourselves less safe. . . . [Some immigrants] are from “shithole countries” and some are from worthy countries. We need to reform this whole immigration system and begin to be the country that says everyone has worth and dignity and this should be a country that honors for everyone.
INSLEE: We can no longer allow a white nationalist to be in the White House, number one. Number two, we have to make America what it’s always been, a place of refuge. We got to boost the number of people we accept.
DE BLASIO: [I]t’s all kind of charade because there’s 11 million people here, and everyone, in theory, has broken the law, but they’re part of our communities now. They’re part of our economy. They’re our neighbors. . . . And what we need is comprehensive immigration, once and for all, to fix it.
So, there it is: the usual load of vacuous mush. A lot of talk about “dignity” and “worth” and “values” and “that’s who we are,” but it all boils down to ten more non-entities whose heads are filled with unfocused, emotion-laden tripe they hope you’re stupid enough to buy. The only clear idea any of them has is that he or she really wants to rule.
For the transcript, see the Washington Post.