Bernie Sanders’ Immigration Plan is Terrible, but there are some silver linings

The right needs to come to terms with the possibility of Sanders winning the primaries and possibly even becoming president.

Upon cursory glance, his immigration policies are terrible, promising free stuff for illegals and pushing Congress for a law that would shield illegals from deportation, in addition to a pathway for citizenship, and also undo everything Trump has done:


Bernie Sanders wants to revamp trade deals, labor protections as part of sweeping immigration plan

Bernie Sanders’ immigration plan is even more extreme than you could imagine

However, there are some silver linings to this.

Just as Trump failed to live up to his immigration promises, it’s likely neither will Sanders.

Sanders aims to set up what his campaign calls a “whistleblower visa” to encourage immigrant workers to speak out against exploitative behavior by employers without fear of blowback or deportation. He would also seek to end workplace raids targeting undocumented workers. In addition, the senator would push to boost protections and bargaining power for farm and domestic workers, including by requiring a $15 per hour minimum wage, regardless of immigration status.

Higher wages and bargaining power for immigrants reduces the value proposition of hiring them, which may reduce immigration similar to what happened in 2008 during the recession.

Sanders plans to reverse Trump’s executive orders:

He would use executive authority to push through several policies immediately after taking office. It would include a moratorium on deportations, ending construction of Trump’s border wall and the restriction on travel from several majority Muslim countries to the U.S., reuniting separated children and parents, and stopping the use of for-profit detention facilities.

Even I will admit the travel ban is pretty much useless. Despite all the media hype, I think maybe a dozen people have been inconvenienced by it. As we all know, it targets Shia countries, but Islamic terrorism against the US is overwhelmingly perpetrated by Sunnis. Thus ending the ban will not make America any less safe. Also, no new wall has been built, but rather a tiny amount of money has been appropriated for refurbishing some old segments. So Sanders ending a program that is useless and a second program that hasn’t gone into effect and likely never will, would not change anything.

A GOP-controlled House and Senate would provide resistance to Sanders’ other proposals. He is not going to be able to just unilaterally stop deportations, abolish ICE, or give benefits to illegals. Many House democrats could also defect.

Having a democratic president does not preclude the possibility of immigration reform. Clinton, for example, signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, “…cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, in the workplace, and in the criminal justice system — without punishing those living in the United States legally,” but obviously Sanders is more left-wing than Clinton was. And Obama was called the deporter-in-chief, whereas Trump has fallen short of meeting Obama’s deportation numbers.

Clinton, interestingly, also has the record for the most deportations, by targeting new arrivals:

According to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, more than 12 million people were “deported” — either removed or returned — from the US during the Clinton administration. More than 10 million were removed or returned during the Bush administration. Far fewer — more than 5 million — were removed or returned during the Obama administration.

Moreover, Republicans have reputedly been hoodwinked into signing bills that contain amnesty clauses. The reason why this happens is, in order to pass legislation in a democratically-controlled House, requires some compromise, so the dems use this to their advantage to force the GOP to choose between a backdoor or no legislation. Having the tables reversed: a democratic president and a GOP-controlled Congress, means this backdoor does not work. The president can push for amnesty but the House will not allow it, and also having Supreme Court that is conservative further limits the likelihood of the dems succeeding. Optimistically, Sanders may also realize that open borders is unpopular and instead focus more of his energies on healthcare and education.

There are some other possible positives to a Sanders, Warren, or Biden presidency: it may embolden the dissident-right and may mean fewer bannings on social media. Tech companies, with Warren or Sanders in change, may return to a more hands-off policy like under Obama and Bush. There is also the divide between cultural elites and moneyed elites. Cultural elites, such as Hollywood, have a some money and influence but less power than moneyed and political elites, such as tech elites. Cultural elites overwhelmingly want Trump to lose and are weakened under a Trump presidency, but moneyed elites are more indifferent and the evidence suggests they have thrived under Trump. So Trump losing would weaken, to some degree, moneyed elites. Outwardly, some will be happy if he loses, but their bank accounts will take a hit due to the possibility of higher taxes and more regulation. Whether this is good or bad depends which elites one deems a bigger threat.