Jason Hopkins on February 10, 2020
- Mike Bloomberg’s campaign released his immigration platform Monday, calling for the end of President Donald Trump’s most notable border enforcement programs.
- The billionaire New Yorker called for the termination of the “Remain in Mexico” program, metering, third country transit agreements and a travel ban, and he pledged to end border wall construction.
- The plan also called for the Justice Department to investigate “abuse” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and a reprioritization of immigration enforcement.
Mike Bloomberg unveiled his wide-ranging immigration plan Monday, pledging to investigate Immigration and Customs Enforcement and undo a number of Trump border initiatives, among many other things.
Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and a Democratic presidential candidate, introduced his comprehensive immigration plan Monday. The detailed plan included many pivots from the current administration, such as ending the “Remain in Mexico” program, metering at the border and a slate of Central American asylum agreements. However, his plan stopped short of some of the most progressive proposals pushed by other Democratic candidates.
“[R]ight now, our immigration system isn’t working for any of us,” read an expert from Bloomberg’s immigration proposal. “Congressional inaction — coupled with President [Donald] Trump’s incompetent and cruel policies — has created chaos at the border, separated families, trapped millions of immigrants in legal limbo and paralyzed an already inefficient system.”
“This is not who we are, and it has not made us any safer,” it continued.
If elected to office, Bloomberg pledged to order the Department of Justice to investigate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for alleged “abuse” by members. The billionaire added that he would reform the two agencies, reprioritizing their work and reducing the number of aliens in immigration detention.
In order to control the immigration crisis at the southern border, the Trump administration launched the “Remain in Mexico” program, also known as Migrant Protection Protocols; implemented metering, which restricts the number of asylum seekers who can cross the border every day; and reached asylum agreements with the three Northern Triangle countries that are home to the majority of Central American migrants currently reaching the border.
Bloomberg pledged to end all of these initiatives.
“Mike will reverse the Trump administration’s policies — like Remain in Mexico, asylum metering, and the asylum transit ban –that block asylum seekers from having their claims heard, and will affirm protections for individuals fleeing systemic, identity-based violence — including victims of gang and domestic violence and LGBTQ+ asylum seekers,” the plan read.
The president’s most notable border goal — a massive wall between the U.S. and Mexico — would also be on the chopping block in a Bloomberg administration. The billionaire New Yorker said he would place a moratorium on all wall construction.
Bloomberg also supports a litany of initiatives that are pushed by other Democratic contenders: a pathway to citizenship for the country’s estimated 11 million illegal aliens; protect “Dreamers” by restoring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive action Trump rescinded; and provide a pathway to citizenship for those on Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
The former NYC mayor also hopes to upend the legal immigration system by removing per-country caps on family-based visas and setting the refugee resettlement number at 12,5000. Bloomberg also would nix the Trump administration’s travel ban and called it “un-American” and “discriminatory.”
Bloomberg’s proposals are a sharp rebuke to the current administration’s agenda; however, they still fall short from other, more progressive candidates. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren on Massachusetts, for example, have both called for a moratorium on deportations and a decriminalization of illegal immigration. Sanders — a current front-runner for the Democratic nomination — also looks to totally dismantle ICE and rework the Department of Homeland Security altogether.
Bloomberg is a fierce critic of ICE, but he has not called for a compete ban on deportations, instead opting to focus on more heinous criminal illegal aliens.
“As the grandson of immigrants, Mike understands that immigration has been and always will be one of America’s greatest strengths,” his proposal reads. “His plan focuses on reclaiming America’s role as the beacon of opportunity for people around the world and tapping into the dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants to grow our economy and enrich our communities.”
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