An independent candidate promised on Nov. 7 to decommission immigration agencies and weaken the nation’s ability to enforce immigration law, if he wins the 2020 presidential election.
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has proposed a major overhaul to immigration that includes dissolving both the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agencies.
The plan would reallocate deportation, enforcement, border, and investigatory authority to the U.S. Department of Justice. Border enforcement would focus more on stopping human trafficking, ensuring that labor standards on the border are enforced, and reducing the movement of firearms and drugs at ports of entry, especially those involved in the opioid epidemic.
Customs authority would return to the U.S. Treasury Department while naturalization and citizenship authority would be delegated to the U.S. State Department.
“When I am in the White House we will stop the hatred toward our immigrant brothers and sisters,” Sanders said in a statement. “We will end the ICE raids that are terrorizing our communities, and on my first day as president, I will use my executive power to protect our immigrant communities and reverse every single … action implemented by Trump.”
He plans to suspend deportations, give full welfare benefits to illegal immigrants, and grant entry to 50,000 so-called “climate migrants” into the United States. He will also reclassify undocumented immigration as a civil matter, and force government agencies to adopt a view that immigration is a “historically valued process.”
“We must stand up for our values and accept refugees, asylum-seekers, and families who come to the United States in search of the American dream,” he said. “This is how America was built and it has made our country strong.”
Sanders appeared to be influenced by his own family heritage from Stopnice, Galicia, in Central Europe’s former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
“My father came to America as a refugee without a nickel in his pocket, to escape widespread anti-Semitism and find a better life,” he said. “As the proud son of an immigrant, I know that my father’s story is the story of so many Americans.”
Fox News reported multiple illegal aliens helped Sanders draft his plan after being protected from deportation under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The senator intends to expand the program and use his full executive authority to ensure 85 percent of illegal aliens who have lived, worked, and contributed in America for five or more years can stay in the country without fear of deportation.
He also hopes to extend the legal status of 1.8 million youth who are eligible for the DACA program, and make it easier for all to obtain legal permanent residence and naturalization, even if it means he has to “sign every form by hand.”