Warren Gets Pushback In Arguing That Decriminalizing Illegal Border Crossings Would Help ‘Fix Crisis At The Border’
The candidates on the first night of the debates scuffled over what to do about immigration and the border crisis. While Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) supported decriminalizing illegal crossings, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock accused her of "playing into Donald Trump's hands." Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defended his proposal to provide health care for immigrants in the country illegally.
Bullock To Warren On Immigration: 'You Are Playing Into Donald Trump's Hands'
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) on Tuesday accused Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) of playing into President Trump’s hands on immigration by calling to decriminalize illegal border crossings. In a heated exchange during Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, Warren argued that the law criminalizing border crossings allowed Trump to separate families and jail children. “We need to fix the crisis at the border, and a big part of how we do that is we do not play into Donald Trump’s hands, but he wants to stir up the crisis at the border, because that’s his overall message,” Warren said. (Elis, 7/30)
Democratic Debates 2019: Which Candidates Would Decriminalize Crossing The Border Illegally?
Pledges to repeal Section 1325 of Title 8 of the U.S. code — which makes "improper entry" into the U.S. a federal misdemeanor crime — have gained traction among some of the more progressive candidates in the large Democratic primary field after Obama-era Housing Secretary Julián Castro pressed fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke on his opposition to repealing the law during the debate last month. Under the widely criticized and now discontinued "zero tolerance" policy, the Trump administration employed Section 1325 to prosecute thousands of migrant parents who crossed the southern border illegally and forcibly separate them from their children. (7/30)
Democratic Debate 2019 Takeaways: Immigration, Health Care
Sanders agreed and defended his proposals to provide undocumented immigrants health care coverage and free college tuition. “When I talk about health care as a human right, that applies to everyone in this country,” he said. Their comments come after 10 of the Democratic contenders were asked in the first debates if they would decriminalize border crossings, and all present raised their hands. (Pager, Kinery and Egkolfopoulou, 7/31)
And in other news —
Ted Cruz Confronted By Immigration Protesters At Los Angeles Airport
Sen. Ted Cruz was confronted at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday by protesters who decried the detention of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. A video shared on social media showed people in the airport chanting, "Free the children!" as a smiling Cruz stood uncomfortably in the terminal. "Americans will not be silenced!" at least one protester shouted. At one point, the Texas Republican took time to pose for a photograph with a woman even as the chants continued. (Cummings, 7/30)