Reporters on CNN: Bernie's 'Open Borders' Immigration Plan Plays Into a Trump Ad

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There is perhaps no greater sign that your presidential campaign had a bad day than when CNN says that your immigration plans will "play into a Trump ad" and that you are "essentially saying we have open borders," but that is exactly where Bernie Sanders found himself on Thursday after Inside Politics host John King and Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim discussed Bernie's radical immigration plans.

King began by sharing the details the socialist candidate laid out in a tweet to overturn everything Trump has done to "demonize" immigrants. "Among his proposals -- a temporary halt to deportations, ending family separation and ICE raids, decriminalizing border crossings. Senator Sanders would also eliminate ICE and CBP outright, a position even his most progressive 2020 rivals have not fully embraced."

King then turned to the panel for discussion, initially turning to Politico's Laura Barrón-López, who talked about how Trump will make immigration a central campaign issue, so the Democrat nominee will need a forceful response.

 

 

Barron-López declared that this is Bernie's attempt to win the Latino vote, especially in the early primary state of Nevada that he lost in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. King wondered if Sanders was winning the primary, but losing the general: 

KING: It's another conversation similar to Medicare for All where you see candidates trying to win the votes of a more liberal Democratic base with positions that raise the questions, can you sell them in a general election if you're trying to -- maybe you have a different map, but if you're trying to retake Pennsylvania, retake Wisconsin, retake Michigan, can you sell an immigration plan that decriminalizes border crossings, eliminates ICE, eliminates CBP, I’m sure you know, reconstruct other agencies, but the headline of that seems to play into a Trump ad. 

Kim then highlighted the divisions amongst the Democratic candidates on the issue, "I mean Julián Castro has been one of the candidates out there very much endorsing this option voicing this action, but Obama's former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has written, if you do this, and a lot of people in the Democratic Party agree with him, this is effectively saying we have open borders to the rest of the world." 

She concluded saying that immigration could become as divisive as health care, "Eliminating CBP is a relatively new one, it’s not something a lot of candidates have talked about at this point, so as the immigration debate kind of heats up a little bit, it could be as divisive as Medicare for All."

Here is a transcript for the November 7 show:

CNN

Inside Politics

12:48 PM ET

JOHN KING: Senator Bernie Sanders today rolling out a long-awaited immigration with a message aimed squarely at the incumbent president.

quote, “we're going to turn over everything Trump has done to demonize immigrants,” Senator Sanders says in a tweet today. Among his proposals a temporary halt to deportations, ending family separation and ICE raids, a decriminalizing border crossings. Senator Sanders would also eliminate ICE and CBP outright, a position even his most progressive 2020 rivals have not fully embraced. An important issue. Not as high as health care when you talk to Democrats, but you've reporting on Sanders making progress among Latino voters. His standing in Nevada has been pretty strong. Is that what we're seeing here, him trying to capitalize? He's very competitive in Iowa, very competitive in Nevada, two of the first four early states, he’s competitive in New Hampshire. Is that what this play is? 

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: It’s a big piece of this play. We know that heading into 2020, Trump is going to make immigration a big piece of his reelection as well, he did it in 2016, and so Democrats, whoever the nominee is, need to have a strong stance on that and need to totally lay out where they are at on that. And, of course, also Sanders is including -- or is trying to make a big play for Latinos. He knows that he lost them in key states like Nevada and California to Clinton last cycle, but in Nevada it was by narrow margins, and so he's trying to make up there because that state is key to a potential pathway to the nomination. 

KING: It's another conversation similar to Medicare for All where you see candidates trying to win the votes of a more liberal Democratic base with positions that raise the questions, can you sell them in a general election if you're trying to -- maybe you have a different map, but if you're trying to retake Pennsylvania, retake Wisconsin, retake Michigan, can you sell an immigration plan tat decriminalizes border crossings, eliminates ICE, eliminates CBP, I’m sure you know, reconstruct other agencies, but the headline of that seems to play into a Trump ad. 

SEUNG MIN KIM: You mentioned earlier that while this hasn't been as prominent a dividing point as health care but it certainly could be. We've seen that in a number of the debates where there have been vociferous disagreements over the concept of for example decriminalizing border crossings. I mean Julián Castro has been one of the candidates out there very much endorsing this option voicing this action, but Obama's former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has written, if you do this, and a lot of people in the Democratic Party agree with him, this is essentially saying we have open borders to the rest of the world. 

That is something that has clearly divided Democrats in the field, the concept of abolishing ICE has also been very divisive, not just in the field, but in the Democrat Party writ large. Eliminating CBP is a relatively new one, it’s not something a lot of candidates have talked about at this point, so as the immigration debate kind of heats up a little bit, it could be as divisive as Medicare for All. 

 

NB Daily Immigration CNN Inside Politics Video Seung Min Kim John King Bernie Sanders
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