One of the more giggle-worthy questions coming out of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign is serious grown-ups actually wondering: “Have Democrats gone too far left”?
Anyone not in the coastal, liberal media bubble already knows the answer to that. That the question is being asked at all might be considered a good thing. After all, the left are notorious for eschewing any kind of introspection in favor of emotions that move them.
But still, there are ideological differences between the Joe Biden wing of the party and the Ocasio-Cortez wing. And these differences are perhaps most pronounced on the issue of immigration — both legal and illegal.
In truth, there are many Democrats who don’t see a difference between the two. This bewilders anyone not in their little ideological orbit, but has become a contentious issue between several Democratic presidential candidates.
Should crossing the border illegally be “decriminalized” or de-emphasized? Should ICE be reformed or disbanded? How many refugees should be admitted into the U.S.?
While the rest of America frets about illegal alien criminals escaping authorities with the eager help of liberal politicians, liberals are more concerned about proving to each other how wonderful and tolerant they are by opening the border and allowing anyone and everyone with a sob story to be welcomed and cared for.
Bernie Sanders released his plan for immigration reform yesterday and it encapsulated the position of the loony left perfectly.
The Vermont senator released a detailed immigration policy proposal on Thursday, writing, “Unauthorized presence in the United States is a civil, not a criminal, offense.” He vowed to repeal existing statutes that put “border crossings on par with other forms of immigration violations, such as overstaying a visa.”
The rest of the Democratic field vied with each other to see who could offer the most unhinged immigration plan. Only Joe Biden still thinks crossing the border illegally is a crime.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren called in July for repealing the criminal prohibition against crossing the border illegally, promising in her own immigration plan to “immediately issue guidance to end criminal prosecutions for simple administrative immigration violations.” South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has suggested he’d support making illegal border crossings civil offenses, but not in cases in which “fraud is involved,” a potentially key caveat. Former Vice President Joe Biden also hasn’t fully backed decriminalization of illegal border crossings, saying during a July presidential debate , “If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It’s a crime.”
Some Democrats — call them the “realists” — know what pushing decriminalization would mean in 2020.
“The problem with decriminalizing undocumented crossings is it fulfills the Republican narrative that Democrats want open borders, and that will be an absolute killer for us in November,” said Colin Strother, a Texas Democratic strategist who lived for years along the Rio Grande.
But most Democrats want to be seen as “doing good” or being right rather than winning. And if they run on a platform that includes this open-borders nonsense, they will be slaughtered.
Sanders has received the endorsement of AOC and Ilhan Omar — for obvious reasons.
In Thursday’s plan, Sanders also promised to use executive orders to halt construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, put a moratorium on all deportations until current federal policy can be audited and allow people seeking U.S. asylum to remain in the country while their claims are processed rather than being sent to Mexico or elsewhere. And he vowed to break up the Department of Homeland Security.
Sanders is not likely to win the nomination. But his acolytes are deeply entrenched in the Democratic Party and will bedevil the committee charged with writing the party platform with demands for the most extreme positions on issues.
So even if the less loony left prevails and someone like Biden or Senator Klobuchar ends up the nominee, they may be forced to accept a suicide vest of a platform, guaranteed to bring about a stinging defeat for the nominee and the party.