Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders fundamentally agree about the twin issues of immigration and illegal immigration. However, at their recent debate in Milwaukee, Clinton maintained
I am against the raids. I'm against the kind of inhumane treatment that is now being visited upon families, waking them up in the middle of the night, rounding them up. We should be deporting criminals, not hardworking immigrant families who do the very best they can and often are keeping economies going in many places in our country.
No doubt the do. Generally willing to accept lower wages, they are more attractive for employers trying to maximize income; for those individuals looking for work, not so good.
I'm a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. Have been ever since I was in the Senate. I was one of the original sponsors of the DREAM Act. I voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007.
Senator Sanders voted against it at that time. Because I think we have to get to comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. And as president I would expand enormous energy, literally call every member of Congress that I thought I could persuade.
In terms of 2007 immigration reform, yeah, I did vote against it. I voted against it because the Southern Poverty Law Center, among other groups, said that the guest-worker programs that were embedded in this agreement were akin to slavery. Akin to slavery, where people came into this country to do guest work were abused, were exploited, and if they stood up for their rights, they'd be thrown out of this country.
So it wasn't just me who opposed it. It was LULAC, one of the large Latino organizations in this country. It was the AFL-CIO. It was some of the most progressive members of the United States Congress who opposed it for that reason.
Comparing guest-worker programs to slavery is a little- a little- extreme, but only because there are very, very few things which should be compared to slavery. In her reply, Mrs. Clinton demonstrated she believes Barack Obama is not the only man who can do wrong when she added "and with respect to the 2007 bill, this was Ted Kennedy's bill. And I think Ted Kennedy had a very clear idea about what needed to be done. And I was proud to stand with him and support it."
Not that she knew, or knows, what needed to be done. Ted Kennedy was for it, and that was good enough for her. But Kennedy erred in strongly supporting No Child Left Behind and he was wrong to support temporary worker programs.
"I loved Ted Kennedy," Sanders then stated, but
.... on this issue, when you have one of the large Latino organizations in America saying vote no, and you have the AFL-CIO saying vote no, and you have leading progressive Democrats, in fact, voting no, I don't apologize for that vote.
There is no reason to apologize for the vote, Senator. Tied to an employer, guest workers lack the freedom of other workers, leaving them vulnerable to abuse by an employer. The primary problem in the nation is not insufficient immigration, nor insufficient labor or lazy American-born workers. . Stagnant wages, deteriorating benefits, and job insecurity contribute to the income inequality Hillary Clinton claims to deplore. Guest worker programs are but one part- but are a part- of the decline of the American workforce.