To Create 'Welcoming and Safe Nation for All,' Sanders Immigration Plan Would End Family Separations, Break Up ICE, and Tackle Root Causes

With the goal of creating a “welcoming and safe nation for all,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday unveiled a sweeping plan to fundamentally overhaul America’s inhumane immigration system by reversing President Donald Trump’s xenophobic executive orders, placing a moratorium on deportations, ending ICE raids, and confronting root causes—including “decades of disastrous foreign policy decisions”—that have destabilized and impoverished Latin American nations.

If elected president in 2020, Sanders vowed to use his executive authority to “overturn all of President Trump’s actions to demonize and harm immigrants” on his first day in the White House.

“We will end the ICE raids that are terrorizing our communities, and on my first day as president, I will use my executive power to protect our immigrant communities and reverse every single horrific action implemented by Trump.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

But Sanders’ proposal, detailed on his website, makes clear that decades of U.S. foreign and trade policies that long predate Trump must be addressed in concert with Latin American nations in order to tackle “the root causes of migration.”

Sanders also pointed to the climate crisis as a key factor in driving migration and said the U.S. must do its part in combating the emergency and welcoming those displaced by it.

“No parent would take their child and travel thousands of miles on foot except under dire, dangerous circumstances,” Sanders’ plan states. “Decades of disastrous foreign policy decisions in Latin America and bad trade deals have caused destabilization and poverty in South and Central America. We must end global inequality and the international race to the bottom so that no human being needs to migrate for survival.”

Sanders said, if elected, he will “immediately call a summit of leaders from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and other countries.”

The proposal states that Sanders as president will also “acknowledge the history of U.S. intervention in the South and Central American region, as well as overseas, often in support of authoritarian regimes that brutally repressed their own people, and engage with human rights defenders throughout the hemisphere to promote freedom and dignity for all.”