Debate Shows Health of Democratic Party’s Open Borders Wing



There was one moment during the Democrats’ two-night debate-a-thon which demonstrated the degree to which the party has veered to the left.

It was no surprise that President Trump’s signature issue of immigration would be a hot topic given both the media and the presidential candidates believe it is his Achilles’ heel and one which he is out of step with American opinion.

But then NBC News reporter Savannah Guthrie stepped forward to ask one question that could change the direction of the race.

“Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants,” Guthrie asked the candidates Thursday night.

All excitedly raised their hands, except for former Vice President Joe Biden whose position was briefly in doubt. Guthrie clarified that he would give illegal immigrants health care coverage if elected and then explained his position.

Biden said his plan would cover illegal aliens because “you cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered,” and then added that insuring millions of illegal immigrants would help reduce the “overall cost of health care by them being able to be treated.”

Given the heated and hyperbolic rhetoric on immigration that has come from the Democrats since the 2016 election, the response from the top-tier presidential candidates was unsurprising.

But, it is worth revisiting where the Democratic Party was just three years ago to get a real sense of how far out of the mainstream they are.

During the 2016 Democratic presidential primary debates, Hillary Clinton and then-Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont both confirmed their support for allowing illegal aliens to purchase health insurance through Obamacare, but refused to go any further than that.

In terms of proposals to permit low-income legal or illegal immigrants receive tax credits to help pay their insurance premiums, the Wall Street Journal noted, “would be a much more far-reaching step – one that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders have now made clear that they can’t support.”

Sanders, who was on the stage Thursday night, has officially become a Democrat and officially switched his stance of giving illegal aliens health care.

Of course, it was just a decade when President Obama rolled out his health care reform plan during a Joint Session of Congress and insisted that “those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants” were not telling the truth.  

“The reforms — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” continued Obama.

The statement drew the infamous and heavily-criticized response – “You Lie” -from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who would apologize for the outburst, which turned out to be right.  

It was not the first time Obama had publicly countered claims that his health care proposal would allow illegal aliens to get health care coverage. In fact, the administration had been on a media campaign disputing Republican claims.

In an August 2009 radio interview, Obama characterized as “misinformation” the notion of illegal immigrants getting health care. Yes, Obama used the now-prohibited phrase “illegal immigrants” in a prime time speech delivered from the well of the House of Representatives.

“This has been an example of just pure misinformation out there. None of the bills that have been voted on in Congress, and none of the proposals coming out of the White House propose giving coverage to illegal immigrants — none of them. That has never been on the table; nobody has discussed it. So everybody who is listening out there, when you start hearing that somehow this is all designed to provide health insurance to illegal immigrants, that is simply not true and has never been the case,” asserted the president.

After a follow up, Obama again noted that “nobody has talked about providing health insurance to illegal immigrants. I want to make that absolutely clear.”

In fact, an opinion piece in the New Yorker came to the defense of Obama from those on the left who were arguing the United States should embrace universal coverage like Europe.

“Given that we’re in the middle of a huge struggle just to get the U.S. close to where European countries already are in terms of the universality of insurance, it seems a bit much to ask that we should go far beyond what those countries are doing, and extend insurance to literally anyone who makes it across the border,” argued author James Surowiecki.

He went on to make the case that “offering insurance to anyone who comes to the U.S. would obviously create all kinds of complicated incentives for people to migrate here when they were sick, particularly since no other major industrial democracy offers insurance for illegal immigrants.”

His point was echoed in a 2009 article in the Atlantic.

“Since no other industrialized democracy offers health care for illegal residents, we could be flooded with requests from workers migrating to the States whenever they got sick,” wrote Derek Thompson.

But today’s Democrats and liberal media elite are different than way back a decade ago. They see health care as a right and the United States as inhumane and backward for not forcing American taxpayers to finance the health care of illegal immigrants. Then there are lots of cruel nations because Thailand is the only nation which gives full coverage to migrants.

So, while Democrats argue that they are not in favor of “open borders” and “socialism,” a picture of candidates with their hands raised says more than a thousand words.

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Debate Shows Health of Democratic Party’s Open Borders Wing – ukraineng

  2. avatar

    The Democrats do not want to protect the people of this Nation at all and they took an Oath that said that they must do that. The WALL is being Built as we speak and the Democratic Party is making this sound like Trump doesn’t care about people. Who brought the children up in the first place? Trump cares about the Protecting the people in this Nation which He took an Oath for and is going to do that. Trump is going to WIN in 2020 because the Democrats do not care what happens to the People of this Nation. 2 Chronicles 14:7. They Built the WALL and Prospered. AMEN Illegal Immigrants should not EVER be allowed in this Nation unless they go through the process to become an American Citizen. PERIOD. I don’t even see any Controversy at all. This shouldn’t even be a Question? The WALL needs to be built and 80% of what is happening will go away.

  3. avatar

    Many of us get accused of “changing completely from what you used to believe in”. No, a lot of us were centrist Democrats that have seen the party march quickly to the extreme left. We did not change, they did. It’s like you have to be constantly “evolving” in your beliefs now, or somehow you are some dinosaur. And as shown here, the media are major hypocrites, along with the candidates. When Obama and the Clintons were saying things years ago that were virtually a carbon copy of what Trump says now, and the examples are numerous, the media was not all over them.

    . So if we don’t detain anyone, and don’t deport them, we will have people coming here solely to get medical attention. Someone with cancer crosses the border, requests asylum, and is admitted with a court date years in the future. So we need these candidates to explain how and why this person would not get medical care under their plans. They deny deny deny, but they can’t show one iota of practical difference between their positions and open borders.