Bernie Sanders Reminds Voters That He Is Absolutely Against Open Borders
“If your point is, open the borders, my god, there’s a lot of poverty in this world and you’re going to have people from all over.”
Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, rebuked an audience member who suggested the self-described democratic socialist supported open borders.
The audience member had begun to ask how Sanders would fund his vast social safety net if the U.S. were to adopt an open-borders immigration policy. Sanders interrupted him, countering, “Who do you think is suggesting opening the borders?”
The man responded by suggesting that Sanders had supported such a proposal, which is erroneous.
“I’m afraid you may be getting your information wrong,” said Sanders. “That is not my view. I think what we need is comprehensive immigration reform. If your point is, 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 is something we can do at this point. Can’t do it. So that is not my position.”
This is nothing new for Sanders: In fact, during the 2016 campaign, he famously told Vox‘s Ezra Klein that open borders were a right wing “Koch brothers proposal” that would make “everybody in America poorer.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Oskaloosa, IA: “If you open the borders, 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.” pic.twitter.com/INF9GopzIe
— The Hill (@thehill) 7 April 2019
The UK LeFT will need to reassess its own views on migration and Open borders as we see Freedom of movement coming to an end.
No one can accuse Bernie Sanders of being right-winged here is what he had to say on open borders and the race to the bottom for low paid workers.
You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …
Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.
Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …
But it would make …
Excuse me …
It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?
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 UK 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. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?
I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialised world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.
Then what are the responsibilities that we have? Someone who is poor by US standards is quite well off by, say, Malaysian standards, so if the calculation goes so easily to the benefit of the person in the US, how do we think about that responsibility?
We have a nation-state structure. I agree on that. But philosophically, the question is how do you weight it? How do you think about what the foreign aid budget should be? How do you think about poverty abroad?
I do weigh it. As a United States senator in Vermont, my first obligation is to make certain kids in my state and kids all over this country have the ability to go to college, which is why I am supporting tuition-free public colleges and universities. I believe we should create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes. I believe we should raise the minimum wage to at least 15 bucks an hour so people in this county are not living in poverty. I think we end the disgrace of some 20 percent of our kids living in poverty in America. Now, how do you do that?
What you do is understand there’s been a huge redistribution of wealth in the last 30 years from the middle class to the top tenth of 1 percent. The other thing that you understand globally is a horrendous imbalance in terms of wealth in the world. As I mentioned earlier, the top 1 percent will own more than the bottom 99 percent in a year or so. That’s absurd. That takes you to programs like the IMF and so forth and so on.
But I think what we need to be doing as a global economy is making sure that people in poor countries have decent-paying jobs, have education, have health care, have nutrition for their people. That is a moral responsibility, but you don’t do that, as some would suggest, by lowering the standard of American workers, which has already gone down very significantly.