WASHINGTON – Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday sat down with Dreamers and other Latino immigrant community representative to hear the stories of those most affected by our broken immigration system and to discuss his “Families First” immigration plan.
Santos Guevara, who migrated to United States as an unaccompanied child to escape violence and poverty from El Salvador, was among the young people Sanders heard from. “When I hear the word immigrant, I hear the story of my father. But I think you had a much more difficult journey and you came from a much more dangerous place. Thank you for your courage,” Sanders said.
Also participating in a round-table discussion with Sanders were hard-working parents who could have been protected under Obama’s executive actions, but instead live in fear of being separated from their children at any time.
As president, Sanders would keep in place programs to help young immigrants and their parents but also expand the programs – known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans – to cover those who would have qualified under the immigration reform Senate bill that passed in 2013.
Sanders is committed to passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill but he has pledge to take strong executive action as president if Congress remains gridlocked.
The senator also reaffirmed his support for Jahed Ahmed, who joined the round-table discussion, and the hunger strikers across the country who are fighting to be released. Aspiring Americans like Jahed should not be criminalized, subjected to dehumanizing solitary confinement or be detained indefinitely.
Sanders’ immigration platform promotes alternatives to detention, closes private prisons and would allow thousands of non-violent immigrant detainees to reunite with their families as they wait for their day in court.
To read Sanders’ immigration reform plan, click here.