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Bernie Sanders: I don’t support open borders

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4/8/2019 Caitlin Yilek

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Sunday he does not support open borders.

Sanders, independent senator from Vermont and a self-described democratic socialist, told an audience member at a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, that he was mistaken in suggesting Sanders supports open borders.

“I’m afraid you may be getting your information wrong. That’s not my view,” Sanders said after the attendee asked the candidate how he would fund a social safety net if the United States had an open-borders immigration policy.

“What we need is comprehensive immigration reform,” Sanders said. "If you open the borders, my god, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it. So that is not my position.”

a man wearing glasses © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders said an open-border policy was “a Koch brothers proposal."

“That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States,” he said. “It would make everybody in America poorer —you're doing away with the concept of a nation-state, and I don't think there's any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation-state or in a country called the United States or U.K. or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that.”

Sanders has supported legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for children brought to the United States illegally by their parents, but he faced criticism during the 2016 campaign for opposing an immigration overhaul bill in 2007. He warned then that the bill would lead to lower wages for lower-income workers.

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