IT BEGINS: Elizabeth Warren Offers New Plan To Decriminalize Illegally Crossing U.S. Border
Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday put forward a detailed plan to “decriminalize” illegally crossing the U.S. border by repealing the law that makes doing so a crime.
“Entering the country without authorization has always been a violation of civil immigration law, but thanks to a former segregationist Senator, it’s also a criminal violation,” the Massachusetts Democrat wrote in a post on Medium. “This additional criminal provision is totally unnecessary for border security, and for a century, it was rarely enforced. But since the early 2000s, it has been used to build and sustain a massive immigration detention complex.”
Warren’s idea: Just repeal that law.
“We should repeal this criminal prohibition to prevent future abuse,” Warren wrote, adding as president she would “immediately issue guidance to end criminal prosecutions for simple administrative immigration violations” and “refocus our limited resources on actual criminals and real threats.”
The 2020 presidential candidate also said she’d establish a Justice Department task force to investigate “criminal abuses of immigrants” by Trump administration officials.
“President Trump and his Administration are comfortable looking the other way while criminal abuses of immigrants pile up. When I am President, I will not. I’ll designate a Justice Department task force to investigate accusations of serious violations — including medical neglect and physical and sexual assaults of detained immigrants — and give it independent authority to pursue any substantiated criminal allegations,” she said.
Warren also called for banning private detention facilities and wants to “remake” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agencies that keeps the border secure.
Our immigration agencies should protect Americans and uphold the rule of law, not pursue punitive anti-immigrant policies that target communities of color. I’ll hold immigration enforcement to the same due process standards as other law enforcement agencies — no more warrantless arrests or stops deep in the interior of our country. I’ll reshape CBP and ICE from top to bottom,” she wrote.
During the second night of the 2020 Democratic presidential debate late last month, moderator Jose Diaz-Balart asked the group to raise their hands if they thought illegally entering the U.S. should be classified as a civil offense instead of a crime. All but Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper shot their hands into the air.
Some candidates are literally going to Mexico to literally help foreigners literally cross the border.
Sen. Cory A. Booker, New Jersey Democrat, last week went into Mexico to help escort five female foreigners into the United States, according to Fox News. He crossed the El Paso, Texas, port of entry into Ciudad Juarez with several immigrant-rights attorneys to help the women get admitted into the U.S. after they had been sent back to Mexico.
It’s becoming a popular political stunt. In his first international trip as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas also traveled to Ciudad Juarez to meet what his campaign called “individuals and families directly impacted by Donald Trump’s cruel and inhumane policies,” The Associated Press reported.
Warren said at the debates that illegal border crossing should be treated as a misdemeanor, with the offending individual being issued a citation, like a speeding ticket — and then being allowed to stay in the country. “We should not be criminalizing mamas and babies,” she said.