Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his first executive orders as president would undo President Donald Trump’s immigration initiatives, calling them “racist” and “disgusting.”
“My first executive orders will be to reverse every single thing President Trump has done to demonize and harm immigrants, including his racist and disgusting Muslim ban,” Sanders, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, tweeted Monday, taking particular aim at the president’s travel ban on several countries.
The statement followed the Trump administration’s victory at the Supreme Court on Monday, allowing it to move forward with a rule barring green cards to immigrants who have used taxpayer-funded benefits in the past. The rule can prohibit permanent status to immigrants who have used any slate of government services in the past, such as food stamps, Section 8 housing, Medicaid or other benefits.
The statement was the latest window into how a possible Sanders administration would manage immigration policy.
During an interview with VICE earlier in January, Sanders said he was “willing to consider” the possibility of spending taxpayer dollars on tearing down sections of Trump’s southern border wall. In that same interview, he also doubled down on his vow to ban nearly all deportations, adding that he “might” make an exception for illegal aliens who are convicted of a “terrible, terrible crime.”
Sanders unveiled his comprehensive immigration platform in November 2019, staking out positions that place him on the far-left spectrum of his fellow Democratic presidential contenders. The democratic socialist lawmaker, among many things, proposed dismantling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), reorganizing the Department of Homeland Security, creating a pathway to citizenship for the country’s estimated 11 million illegal aliens, and decriminalizing illegal immigration altogether.
Combining the senator’s immigration and climate agendas, Sanders also pledged to accept a minimum of 50,000 “climate migrants” in the first year of his presidency. He also expressed interest in establishing a $14 billion legal defense fund to pay for poor foreign nationals’ immigration cases.
“We must stand together with our immigrant friends and neighbors and stand up to President Trump’s xenophobic words and actions,” his proposal read.