Democrats as the “Open Borders” Party is More than A Talking Point



“Open borders is a right-wing talking point,” exclaimed former Obama Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro during the second night of the Democratic presidential debates in Detroit.

The talking point to which Castro was referring to was a Washington Post op-ed by Jeh Johnson, President Obama’s former homeland security secretary, in which he wrote that decriminalizing illegal immigration was “tantamount to a public declaration” that “our borders are effectively open to all.”

Castro then added that he was “disappointed that some folks, including some folks on this stage, have taken the bait.”

The main problem with Castro’s argument is that it is simply wrong. The policies which were championed on the stage over two nights this week are – or will lead to – an immigration policy that can only be described as open borders.

Decriminalization, which Castro placed at the center of his campaign platform, is just the start. Several candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, and Cory Booker of New Jersey, want to open the door to closing private detention centers, a restructuring of the Homeland Security department and sanctuary policies.

Those who oppose decriminalization include Johnson, former Vice President Joe Biden, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan.

Oh, and 66 percent of Americans and 47 percent of Democratic voters, according to a July NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. That survey also showed that even among self-identified progressive Democrats, a slight majority (54 percent) favor decriminalization.

The view of the Democratic Party as one of open borders is shared by more than just the right-wing.

“Apart from the most anodyne of statements, it is almost impossible to separate their policies from what in effect is open borders, since they have offered no specific policies, other than the near-utopian notion of making Central American nations free of endemic poverty and rampaging gang violence,” observed author and former ABC News reporter Jeff Greenfield.

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum conceded in a piece accurately titled, “Are Democrats Now the Party of Open Borders?” that while he had in the past criticized “Republicans who accused liberals of wanting ‘open borders,’” he acknowledges it is  “hard to see much daylight between [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren’s plan and de facto open borders.”

After listing a litany of anti-enforcement proposals, Drum asks the reader, “Am I missing something here? Does Warren’s plan explicitly make it vanishingly unlikely that anyone crossing our border will ever be caught and sent back?”

Sen. Booker joined Castro in trying to assert that objecting to open borders policies was somehow playing into Republican hands. When Biden said he favored an immigration approach that was merit-based, the former Newark mayor contended that the former vice president was “playing into what the Republicans want, to pit some immigrants against other immigrants.”

“No, it’s not. Favoring immigrants based on merit criteria, such as job skills and advanced degrees, has been a Democratic idea since the 1960s,” wrote William Saletan of the liberal online magazine Slate.

Castro and Booker were trying mightily to use language to neutralize the few moderate voices that were heard on the stage in Detroit, but the chorus of candidates were singing a definitively open borders tune.

About Author

avatar

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.

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Democrats as the “Open Borders” Party is More than A Talking Point – ukraineng

  2. avatar

    We really do not need any substantial immigration of any type. Possibly some people with master’s degrees but we do not need more than a handful of H1B visas. Boeing apparently thought they were being clever with their subcontracted $10 an hour programmers from India, but it was a software problem that caused the two crashes that have brought the company to a standstill. Orders cancelled and doubts about their planes growing.

    Many illegals have no more than a 9th grade education, which means they are generally low income. It’s hard to square the flood of immigrants the Democrats want, along with more than a few Republicans, with the proposed programs that are promising everything but the kitchen sink to illegal immigrants. Both parties share blame for the debt we find ourselves in, but the Democrat’s planned spending on immigrants and various other programs is astronomical.

    And of course, the media never asks the hard questions, which is why the debates are “moderated” by Democratic lackeys. As always August brings the usual round of media spin about how a terrible Truman dropped the bomb on Japan when “they had been trying to surrender for months”. No, they wanted a cease fire keeping everything they had at the time. The reason was in the emperor’s surrender speech in which he blamed the bomb. Otherwise, they were prepared to resist any invasion.

    • avatar

      It Was $9/Hr “Village Idiot” Engineer Wages from India Schooled Engineers

      The techs from India are good at random number “witchcraft engineering guessing” [hacking IOWS], but TOTALLY lack scientific American unique innovation found generally in American techs/professionals only. Even high school level American citizens.

  3. Pingback: Democrats as the “Open Borders” Party is More than A Talking Point – The Importance of Business

  4. avatar

    Open borders are not protecting the people of this Nation that they took an Oath to do when they were put in office. They are breaking the Law of this Nation and according to what the law states they are committing treason. 2 Chronicles 14:7 in GODS Word states that they built the WALL and Prospered. This is a Black and White situation and Trump is doing what he is suppose to be doing. The opposing party is doing nothing to Honor the oath that they took. I pray that their eyes would be opened and that they would see the Truth in the Mighty Name of JESUS AMEN