A blogger at the liberal Mother Jones wrote Friday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) immigration proposal is "de facto open borders."
In a piece headlined "Are Democrats Now the Party of Open Borders?" Kevin Drum analyzed Warren's plan, which includes decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings, a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, expanded legal immigration, and a restructuring of the roles for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
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Comparing it to Julián Castro's plan, Drum noted it "recommends no actions to improve border law enforcement in any way."
"There's nothing about either a wall or a ‘virtual wall.' There's nothing about E-Verify," he wrote. "There's nothing about ‘smarter' or ‘more efficient' enforcement. No one will ever be deported—except, presumably, for serious felons, though Warren doesn't even say that explicitly."
Drum has been critical of President Donald Trump's immigration rhetoric and GOP accusations that Democrats support open borders, but admitted he didn't see "much daylight" between Warren's proposal and "de facto open borders."
"As near as I can tell, CBP will be retasked away from patrolling the border looking for illegal crossings; if border officers happen to apprehend someone, they'll be released almost immediately; if they bother to show up for their court date, they’ll have a lawyer appointed for them; and employers will have no particular reason to fear giving them a job," he wrote.
Warren and Castro aren't alone among the crowded 2020 Democratic field in supporting decriminalization of unauthorized border crossings. Eight candidates on the second night of June's debate raised their hands in support of such a measure. Former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke said his administration would rewrite the code and illegal immigrants wouldn't be prosecuted for "being a human being."
There isn't full unity on the issue. Former vice president Joe Biden said "people should have to get in line," and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) told ABC News on Sunday said she didn't support "open borders" or getting rid of the statute criminalizing unauthorized border crossings.