As the field of Presidential candidates begins to narrow and Republican candidate anti-immigrant statements run rampant, it is without a doubt a breath of fresh air to see a candidate provide concrete solutions to our nation’s immigration system.
Senator Bernie Sanders joins Governor Martin O’Malley in meeting two key milestones: meeting with immigrant families and providing a detailed immigration plan. The key areas of reform in Senator Sanders’ plan includes issuing executive orders that include bringing more of the 11 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows should Congress fail to act on immigration reform in his first 100 days should he be elected President.
Other reforms include accountability at the border, putting an end to racial profiling and local police entanglement with ICE. One major point in his plan includes shutting down the for profit detention centers who have disregarded the basic rights of immigrant women, children and the LGBT community.
Senator Sanders also addresses the root causes of migration and links them with our free trade agreements which have disrupted the local economies of Mexico, Central and South America.
Lastly, and more importantly, Senator Sanders underscores the absurdity of “sweeping up […] millions of men, women, and children and throwing them out of the country unjustly.”
While the Republican candidates reminisce on racist and shameful immigration policies, create lists of Muslims and shut the door on vulnerable refugees, it is evident that what we need now more than ever is leadership that recognizes the true contributions of immigrants and implements policies that uplifts the dignity of all immigrants and refugees.