- Things got heated on the debate stage in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday as 2020 Democrats discussed immigration.
- The exchanges revealed there’s more of a divide on the issue of immigration among Democrats than they let on, as they generally focus on attacking President Donald Trump on this topic.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in particular, faced attacks after voicing support for decriminalizing illegal border crossings.
- “The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. It’s time to end this draconian policy and return to treating immigration as a civil – not a criminal – issue,” Warren said.
- Meanwhile, Rep. Tim Ryan said, “If you want to come into this country, you should at least ring the doorbell.”
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
2020 Democrats squared off on the issue of immigration during the first round of the second Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, revealing a growing schism among the candidates on one of the most divisive topics the US currently faces.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts called for decriminalizing undocumented immigration, facing fierce resistance from some of the more centrist candidates like Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
“The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. It’s time to end this draconian policy and return to treating immigration as a civil – not a criminal – issue,” Warren said, calling for expanding legal immigration and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
But Bullock contended that decriminalizing illegally crossing the border would only incentivise more migrants to do so. “You are playing into Donald Trump‘s hands,” he said to Warren.
Meanwhile, Ryan said, “If you want to come into this country, you should at least ring the doorbell.”
The one thing all 2020 Democrats appear to agree on regarding immigration is that they oppose President Donald Trump’s approach and feel it’s draconian.
“The biggest problem right now that we have with immigration, it’s Donald Trump,” Bullock said, a notion that no candidate on the stage seemed to oppose.
Similarly, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said that Trump is promoting “racism and xenophobia.”
“He is demonizing a group of people,” Sanders said. “I will end that demonization.”
“What we will do, the first week we are in the White House, is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries,” he said.
The Vermont senator added, “If a mother and a child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path in my view they are not criminals they are people fleeing violence.”