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Member since: Mon Oct 2, 2006, 10:23 PM
Number of posts: 4,760

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Earlier today a DU regular started a thread about Bernie Sanders and "Open Borders".

The poster included a link to an article on the Pacific Standard website written by Jack Herrera with the headline reading:
"Bernie says immigration threatens the Social Safety Net. Research shows Otherwise." Here is a link to the Thread:


The article stated "On the same day Trump tweeted, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders explained in an Iowa town hall why he's against open borders: Too many poor people would come to the United States, Sanders explained, and the country could not afford to pay for policies like universal health care or free college."

This without attribution, link or any basis.

The article then told us what Bernie actually said enclosed in quotation marks. "If you open the borders, my God, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world," Sanders said. "And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it."

The article goes on to use numbers from a research paper done about immigration that shows the benefits of immigration on Government finances. The implication was that Bernie was inconsistent in opposing "Open Borders" because it would threaten his proposed Social Safety Net programs. But as anyone can see, Sanders never made such a claim. In fact, on previous occasions, Sanders has expressed the concern that too many immigrants would drive wages of the working class down. (See below). Interestingly enough, the very same research paper quoted in the Pacific Standard article concludes that exact point. Here is the Research paper and you can read about the impact on wages at this link:


Subsequent posters then joined on to rag about using the term "Open Borders", Repeating Trump talking points, and all sorts of other attacks on Senator Sanders.

I have since finally located the tape of the Iowa Town hall where Sanders took the question about "Open Borders" and you can see his response. Here is the link: See the questioner and Sanders response comment at 1:03:00

Here is a link from a 2016 Time Magazine website article that goes into quite a bit of detail about Sanders and immigration. The last few paragraph offers a good summary:

"He eventually voted for the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, but not without qualms over the guest worker program—using the kind of rhetoric those on the right might approve of.

“It does not make a lot of sense to me to bring hundreds of thousands of those workers into this country to work for minimum wage and compete with Americans kids,” Sanders said in 2013.

But in his current campaign for president, Sanders has been unequivocally in favor of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and he has spoken passionately on protecting families from deportation. Many immigration activists note that Sanders’ plan is more detailed than Hillary Clinton’s.

“It is time to bring our neighbors out of the shadows. It is time to give them legal status,” Sanders said last year in Nevada, in what has become a common refrain for the Vermont senator on the campaign trail. “We are a nation of immigrants… Hard working families coming to the United States to create a brighter future for their children.”


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