Miami — Most 2020 Democrats have now embraced decriminalizing illegal border crossings, a policy that the liberal website Vox calls “the most radical immigration idea in the 2020 primary.” Foreign nationals who illegally cross the U.S. border would be released into the United States pending a civil trial (assuming they don’t present a threat).
Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has released an actual plan to decriminalize illegal border-crossings, but he insists that policy does not amount to open borders because those who cross the border illegally would still be subject to civil penalties.
“This is not something that’s radical,” Castro told reporters following Wednesday night’s debate. “People still have to show up to a court hearing. They are still subject to deportation.”
But on Thursday night, moderator Mario Diaz-Balart asked the candidates: “If someone is here without documents, and that is their only offense, is that person to be deported?” Most of the candidates who commented said that person should not be deported. “No, absolutely not, they should not be deported,” Kamala Harris said. (Joe Biden walked up to the line, but didn’t quite cross it. “That person should not be the focus of deportation.”)
If you combine the policy of decriminalizing illegal entry with opposition to deporting anyone who hasn’t committed a serious crime, how does that amount to anything other than “open borders”?