Senator Bernie Sanders Takes Positions on Immigration

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Although not initially having a position statement on his campaign website and later suggesting that immigrant workers undercut the wage scale of U.S. workers, Senator Bernie Sanders now has staked out a "A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy" on his campaign website.  Here it is:

As president, Senator Bernie Sanders will:

  1. Sign comprehensive immigration reform into law to bring over 11 million undocumented workers out of the shadows. We cannot continue to run an economy where millions are made so vulnerable because of their undocumented status.
  2. Oppose tying immigration reform to the building of a border fence. Undocumented workers come to the United States to escape economic hardship and political persecution. Tying reform to unrealistic and unwise border patrol proposals renders the promise illusory for millions seeking legal status.
  3. Sign the DREAM Act into law to offer the opportunity of permanent residency and eventual citizenship to young people who were brought to the United States as children. We must recognize the young men and women who comprise the DREAMers for who they are – American kids who deserve the right to legally be in the country they know as home.
  4. Expand President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include the parents of citizens, parents of legal permanent residents, and the parents of DREAMERs. We need to pursue policies that unites families and does not tear them apart.
  5. Authorize and substantially increase funding for the Legal Services Corporation to provide legal representation to guest workers who have been abused by their employers. Further, employers should be required to reimburse guest workers for housing, transportation expenses and workers’ compensation.
  6. Substantially increase prevailing wages that employers are required to pay temporary guest workers. If there is a true labor shortage, employers should be offering higher, not lower wages.
  7. Rewrite our trade policies to end the race to the bottom and lift the living standards of workers in this country and our trading partners. Not only have free trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA hurt U.S. workers, they have been a disaster for small farmers in Mexico and Central America.

The positions are pretty conventional Democratic positions and differ dramatically from those of Donald Trump and the other Republican candidates.  They are not that different from Hillary Clinton's.  They are not as detailed as the pro-immigrant platform of the candidate that nobody knows is a candidate, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley.

This post originally appeared on Immigration Prof Blog. Reprinted with permission.


About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson

Kevin R. Johnson is Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1998. Johnson became Dean in 2008. He has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. In 1993, he was the recipient of the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.