All illegal migrants who get into the United States are “our people,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, as he campaigns for the Democrat nomination for president of the United States.
“What our campaign is about, and what our administration will be about, is rethinking America,” he told his supporters at a February 22 Texas rally, continuing:
Understanding that all of our people — when I say all, I also mean the undocumented in this country — that all of our people are entitled to basic human rights.
For example, Sander’s plan suggests he will offer America-funded healthcare to all migrants who make it over the border. “Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege,” he told the crowd at his Texas speech. “In America, you should not suffer financial ruin because you got sick.” Breitbart
- Institute a moratorium on deportations until a thorough audit of past practices and policies is complete.
- Reinstate and expand DACA and develop a humane policy for those seeking asylum.
- Completely reshape and reform our immigration enforcement system, including breaking up ICE and CBP and redistributing their functions to their proper authorities.
- Dismantle cruel and inhumane deportation programs and detention centers and reunite families who have been separated.
- Live up to our ideals as a nation and welcome refugees and those seeking asylum, including those displaced by climate change.
- Work with Congress to pass the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal to fundamentally reform our immigration detention system by:
- Ending contracts with private immigrant detention centers.
- Virtually eliminating immigrant detention by requiring a “presumption of release” standard for determining detention, and ensuring that a past criminal conviction cannot be the sole deciding factor in detention.
- Requiring release on recognizance or alternatives to detention for vulnerable persons — including children, pregnant individuals, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, and asylum seekers — and caregivers.
- Authorizing and funding community-based alternatives to detention, which will connect migrants with health, legal, educational, and work resources.
- Mandating all detention facilities meet standards in line with the American Bar Association’s Civil Immigration Detention Standards.
- Mandating routine inspections and enforceable penalties for facilities not up to standards.
- Requiring immediate notification and a mandatory investigation of any deaths in custody of immigration officials.
- Creating a cause of action for migrants mistreated or harmed in custody.
- More than double funding for immigration adjudication to fully fund and staff immigration courts and eliminate the case backlog.
- Ensure justice and due process for immigrants at the border and in the interior, including the right to counsel and an end to cash bail.
- Create a $14 billion federal grant program for indigent defense, set a national minimum salary for public defenders, and set national quotas for public defenders based on population and need.
- Ensure access to translation and interpretation services throughout every stage of the legal process.
- End the use of video conferencing for immigration cases.
- End the targeting, surveillance, and prosecution of migrant justice activists as well as those providing humanitarian and legal aid at the border.
- Break up ICE and CBP and redistribute their functions to their proper authorities.
- Deportation, enforcement, border and investigatory authority would return to the Department of Justice.
- Customs authority would return to the Treasury Department.
- Naturalization and citizenship authority would be given to the State Department.
- Refocus border enforcement on stemming the flow of firearms and drugs at ports of entry that have contributed to the opioid epidemic, ensuring that labor standards on the border are enforced, and stopping human trafficking.
- Ensure those handling the intake and processing of migrants are recruited and trained for a humanitarian mission, not a law enforcement mission.
- End the use of CBP’s cruel, freezing holding facilities, often referred to as “the iceboxes,” or las hieleras. These facilities are designed to intimidate and harm asylum seekers, as well as deprive them of their rights. They have no place in our immigration system and must be shut down immediately.
- Ensure religious observances, such as diet and prayer times, are respected.
- Expand Department of Justice official guidance on profiling to apply at and in the vicinity of the border to stop immigration enforcement officials from profiling on the basis of national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity, in addition to race and ethnicity.
- Ensure schools, places of worship, medical facilities, courthouses and other sensitive areas are exempted from immigration targeting and enforcement.
- End the use of DNA testing and facial recognition technology for immigration and border enforcement.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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