The Democrats’ Positions on Immigration Are Starting to Worry a Lot of Democrats

The death of the so-called Gang of Eight bill in the House of Representatives in 2014 marks the point at which the Democratic establishment dropped any pretense of support for immigration enforcement. The last week in June 2019 will almost certainly mark the point at which the party’s leaders declared not only their unconcealed hostility to immigration enforcement, but their rejection of the very notion that the United States should even have immigration laws.

The week began with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the party’s highest ranking elected federal official, declaring “A violation of status is not a reason for deportation. That’s just not so.” 8 U.S. Code Section 1325 says otherwise, but why let a little thing like a federal statute stand in the way of a political agenda? Pelosi went on to tout a House supplemental appropriation to deal with the humanitarian fallout from the border crisis, “We have legislation to go forward to address those needs,” and also stated clearly her view that anyone who makes it into the country, however they got here, should be allowed to remain. “[I]n terms of interior enforcement, what is – what’s the point?”

But Pelosi’s musings were just the Democratic locomotive approaching the sharp curve at high speed. Just a few days later, the two dozen or so presidential contenders who hope to supplant her as the nation’s highest ranking elected Democrat held their first debate over two nights. That’s where their positions on immigration really went off the rails in the opinion of some high profile opinion columnists whose opinions tend to lean toward the Democrats’ world view.

Andrew Sullivan, writing in New York Magazine, and Jeff Greenfield in Politico, were both left wondering whether the Democrats had lost all touch, not just with reality, but with voters outside of the bubble of the party’s increasingly radical base. “I suspect that the Democrats’ new position — everyone in the world can become an American if they walk over the border and never commit a crime — is political suicide,” wrote Sullivan. Similarly, Greenfield noted, “These candidates aren’t explicitly advocating open borders, but taken together, the policies advocated amount to almost the same thing.” And not just advocating for open borders, observed Greenfield, but also all manner of “’free stuff’ to millions of people who broke the law to get here in the first place.”

Former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, Julian Castro, who apparently is familiar with Section 1325 openly called for its repeal. He also conceded that many of the people who are now violating Section 1325 are really economic migrants. “A lot of folks that are coming are not seeking asylum — a lot of them are undocumented immigrants,” who should be allowed to remain here anyway, Castro said.

While there was some disagreement among the presidential wannabes about whether we should care if people cross our borders without permission, there was none when it came to the question about what expensive benefit programs illegal aliens should be entitled to. All. When the debate moderator asked the candidates on stage if they agreed with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttitieg’s suggestion that illegal aliens be made eligible for federal health insurance benefits, every hand went up. The cost of such a plan? Apparently it would be crass to even calculate the cost of allowing everyone who shows up here to exercise their “right” to health care at the American taxpayer’s expense.

Whether last week’s assertions by the Democratic leadership amount to “political suicide,” as Sullivan suggests, will be determined by the voters in 16 months. What is clear is that the week was a definitive turning point. As Greenfield conclude, “Right now, it seems clear that if either of the past two Democratic presidents had shown up Thursday and advocated their positions from five or 20 years ago—the ones that helped them win a general election—they would have been booed off their own party’s stage.”



Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR column is republished with permission. All rights reserved

3 replies
  1. Kathleen Serra
    Kathleen Serra says:

    We need to stop all entitlements. When that happens, immigration will stop! If this doesn’t stop, there WILL be a civil war!

    • Tracey
      Tracey says:

      Democrats need to go! The history of the Democrat party is filled with slavery/broken treaties with the Native Indians/stole their land etc.. They want reparations, fine, lets make the 5 Native tribes in the south that also owned slaves/Black’s that owned Slaves and Democrats that owned slaves pay them! Not one Republican owned a slaves and fought for their rights/2 amendment/women’s rights and by the way, there was no big switch of party’s that the dem’s like to sell to many, hence giving them the right to call the right, racists/bigots etc.. all lies!

  2. Royal A Brown III
    Royal A Brown III says:

    This says it all …..the Socialist Democrat Party is the party of lawlessness !!!

    “….Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the party’s highest ranking elected federal official, declared “A violation of status is not a reason for deportation. That’s just not so.” 8 U.S. Code Section 1325 says otherwise, but why let a little thing like a federal statute stand in the way of a political agenda?

    Add to this that every one of the 20 Democrat candidates agreed the US taxpayer should fund healthcare for the life of illegal aliens, it is obvious these leftists and their supporters in the media no longer care about our Constitution which established this country as a nation of laws and ……

    Sleepy Joe Biden recently advocated the use of violence against Republicans in the Congress in order to oppress their ideas and votes ….is this the USA? Sounds a lot more like Stalinist USSR to me. Since left has decalred a Civil War on POTUS Trump and his supporters, I say bring it on – we are on the side of Right vs left’s side of Evil – with God’s help we will prevail !


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