A look back into the Democratic Party’s official 2008 platform on immigration shows just how far left its members have drifted in a decade.
Under the “Immigration” section of its platform document entitled “Renewing America’s Promise” the Democratic National Committee criticizes the nations “broken” immigration system,” pledging in August 2008 that “we cannot continue to allow people to enter the United States undetected, undocumented and unchecked.”
The harsh language in the document continues, castigating those who “enter our country’s borders illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law.”
In terms of enforcement, the policy suggestions mirror President Donald Trump’s call for a wall covering part of the U.S.-Mexico border and an increase in the amount of Customs and Border Protection agents. The platform reads:
“We need to secure our borders, and support additional personnel, infrastructure, and technology on the border and at our ports of entry. We need additional Customs and Border Protection agents equipped with better technology and real-time intelligence. We need to dismantle human smuggling organizations, combating the crime associated with this trade.”
The platform also seems to endorse E-Verify, a Department of Homeland Security program that allows employers to check if potential employees have legal status to work in the United States, saying that the country needs “to crack down on employers who hired undocumented immigrants,” and that “employers need a method to verify whether their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States.”
Some Republican policymakers, like Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, have called for E-Verify to be mandatory nationwide.
In the 2016 Democratic party platform, there is no mention of greater enforcement and the word “tough” is cut from the party’s position on immigration enforcement, and even pledges an end to “raids.” Further, the party no longer mentions any sort of structure on the border to deter unlawful entrants and even recommends giving illegal immigrants access to government healthcare coverage.
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