Sanders Says Those Who Break Asylum Laws Shouldn’t Be Deported, Calls Trump’s Plan ‘Politically Motivated’

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) condemned the Trump administration’s plan to begin deporting those who broke U.S. asylum laws because he believes the action is “politically motivated.”

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that he would begin deporting illegal immigrants as part of his efforts to deter more migrants from traveling from the United States and abusing the asylum process to stay in the country beyond their court date.

On Sunday, however, the president tweeted that he has agreed to delay the deportations for two weeks to give Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) some motivation to change the asylum laws in the U.S.

During an interview on “Face the Nation,” Sanders told host Margaret Brennan that he doesn’t agree with deporting illegal immigrants, even though they have clearly broken U.S. laws.

“It’s absolutely not appropriate,” Sanders said.

Watch Sanders’ interview:

Brennan: Specifically on this point, the 2,000 who are supposed to be targeted haven’t should be up for court dates. Essentially they’re not following the asylum process, the legal standard when they’re here. So, should they be prosecuted? Should they be deported?

Sanders: I don’t like this deportation thing, at all. I think Trump uses this as a beginning to do worse things to come. Trump thinks that he can win reelection, and this is his political game, it’s not an accident that he announced this at the same time he went through his announcement that he was seeking reelection.

Sanders admitted that he believes that Trump’s action on immigration is “purely politically motivated” and an attempt to “divide the American people up.”

“I do. And I think — Look, it’s not to say we don’t have a serious problem, but there are ways for serious people to deal with serious immigration problems. It is a problem. But what he is doing, and this is his entire political strategy, is to divide the American people up.”

While Sanders may think the deportations are politically motivated, Trump deportation decision is part of an extended series of executive branch actions to curb the flow of migrants into the United States.

As IJR previously reported, Border Patrol has witnessed record numbers of migrants arriving at the border. Despite the overwhelmed immigration system, Congress has failed to pass any significant legislation — including funding — to address the crisis at the border.

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