Elizabeth Warren on Immigration
Massachusetts Senator; former head of CFPB; Dem. Presidential Challenger
When I first read about our government spending our tax dollars to take children away from their families, a year-and-a-half ago, I went down to the border, to McAllen, Texas. I saw a cage of nursing mothers [and one why said she fled] Central America: She had given a drink to a police officer, and the next day, she got the word that the gangs believed she was working with the police. She knew that meant that she and her baby would be killed. So she wrapped her baby up and she ran for our border. So what we have to do is we have to restore aid in Central America, get our allies to do that, help stabilize those governments, so people don't feel that they have to flee for their lives in order to have any future.
WARREN: If there are parts of the wall that are not useful in our defense, of course we should do it. The real point here is that we need to stop this manmade crisis at the border. Trump is the one who has created this crisis, and he has done it in no small part by helping destabilize the governments even further in Central America. He has withdrawn aid. That means that families have to flee for their lives, have to flee for any economic opportunity. We need to treat the people who come here with dignity and with respect. A great nation does not separate children from their families. We need to live our values at the border every single day.
WARREN: Well, I start with a statement of principles, and that is, in this country, immigration does not make us weaker, immigration makes us stronger. I want to see us expand legal immigration and create a pathway to citizenship for our DREAMers, but also for their grandparents, and for their cousins, for people who have overstayed student visas, and for people who came here to work in the fields. I want to have a system that is a path to citizenship that is fair and achievable.
Down at the border, we've got to rework this entirely. A system right now that cannot tell the difference in the threat posed by a terrorist, a criminal, and a 12-year-old girl is not a system that is keeping us safer, and it is not serving our values.
Joe BIDEN: What Latinos should look at is comparing [Obama policy to Trump policy]. We didn't lock people up in cages. We didn't separate families. [Obama] came along with the DACA program. No one had ever done that before. [Obama] wanted to find a pathway for the 11 million undocumented. This is a president who's done a great deal.
CASTRO: My problem with Vice President Biden is every time something good about Barack Obama comes up, he says, oh, I was there, and every time somebody questions part of the administration that we were both part of, he says, well, that was the president. I was the first candidate to put forward an immigration plan. We're not going to give up DACA. We're not going to give up protections for anybody.
WARREN: We have to be an America that is clear about what we want to do with immigration. We need to expand legal immigration. We need to create a path for citizenship, not just for DREAMers but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas. We need to fix the crisis at the border. And a big part of how we do that, is we do not play into Donald Trump's hands. President Trump wants to stir up the crisis at the border because that's his overall message. It's -- if there's anything wrong in your life, blame them.
Gov. Steve BULLOCK: You are playing into Donald Trump's hands. The challenge isn't that it's a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president and using this to rip families apart. A sane immigration system needs a sane leader. And we can do that without decriminalizing and providing health care for everyone. And it's not me saying that, that's Obama's Homeland Security secretary that said you'll cause further problems at the border, not making it better.
WARREN: What you're saying is ignore the law. Laws matter. It matters if we say our law is that we will lock people up who come here, seeking refuge, seeking asylum. That is not a crime. We need to have a sane system that keeps us safe at the border, but does not criminalize the activity of a mother fleeing here for safety.
Warren said she strongly supports the Dream Act.
The Brown campaign called Warren "an extreme liberal on illegal immigration who supports amnesty and even wants to reward illegal immigrants with low in-state tuition rates financed by taxpayers." A Brown spokeswoman added: "This is a key difference between Professor Warren and Senator Brown. Senator Brown believes we are a nation of immigrants and we should welcome those who seek a better life in America, but we are also a nation of laws that have to be respected and observed."
This bill authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appoint or provide counsel at government expense to aliens in removal proceedings.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 is hereby terminated.
Proclamation 9844 issued by the president on Feb. 15, 2019: Declares a state of national emergency at the southern border to address the issues of illegal immigration and criminal trafficking into the US: "The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch's exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis."
Opposing the Proclamation (supporting the Resolution), ACLU press release, 2/15/2019 The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: "By the president's very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall 'faster.' This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy."
Legislative outcome Passed House 245-182-5 roll #94 on Feb. 26; pass Senate 59-41 roll #49 on March 14; Vetoed by Pres. Trump; veto override failed, 248-181-3 (2/3 required), roll #127 on March 26
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