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We Asked Democrats What The Punishment Should Be For Those Who Cross The Border Illegally — Here’s What They Said

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Henry Rodgers Capitol Hill Reporter
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  • A majority of Democrats refused to answer questions about punishment for those illegally crossing the border.
  • The Daily Caller spoke to 10 Senators to see what they think should be done.
  • Only a few Senators responded with confident answers, while many had no idea as to what should happen to those who enter the U.S. illegally. 

Democrats in the Senate had mixed responses when asked what the punishment should be for those who are trying to cross the border illegally, as the crisis on the border continues.

The Daily Caller spoke to several Democratic members of the Senate about the border crisis, who gave a variety of responses, saying they have not thought about it, or that we should continue to enforce current laws, while others would not respond to the question as to what the punishment should be for those who enter the U.S. illegally despite the increased apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the border every month since January.

There have also been more than 100,000 encounters with illegal immigrants at the southern border in both March and April, setting the border crisis on track to be the worst it has been in a decade. (RELATED: House Republicans Blast Democrats For Refusing To Work With Them To Fix Border Crisis)

When asked what the proper punishment should be for migrants who cross the border illegally Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons continued to ask what the question was, while trying to make his way to the elevators in the capitol reserved for Senators, which reporters are not allowed on.

“What do you think the punishment should be for people who enter this country illegally, what should the punishment be?,” the Caller asked Coons.

“What’s the question?” Coons responded.

“So, if people enter this country illegally what should the punishment be?” the Caller continued to ask Coons.

“What?” Coons asked again.

“If someone were to enter this country illegally, what would the punishment be, what should they receive?” the Caller continued to ask Coons.

“I am not sure I understand your question. They have broken the law, they have committed a misdemeanor, they got to face legal consequences,” Coons said as the elevator doors shut.

Meanwhile, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she has no idea what the punishment should be for those who enter the U.S. illegally, saying “well, candidly, I do not know. I have not thought about it. Before I give you an answer I would like to be able to think about it.”

Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine responded to the same question by saying, “you know what, talk to my staff and we will chat about that.”

The Caller followed up by asking, “You have no idea?,” to which Kaine responded, “I don’t think that we need to change in that.”

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee October 10, 2018 at Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on pending judiciary nominations. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner responded to the question by saying, “I know there are folks who are raising the debate recently, reviewing some of the existing law, but I have not had the chance to go back and reexamine that section,” as the elevator doors closed.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden would not answer the question, saying “that is a longer answer than you can give,” before asking “what publication are you at?” After telling Wyden this reporter was with The Daily Caller, he responded by saying “yeah, just give our office a call and I am going to leave it at that.”

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar and 2020 presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar and Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono completely refused to answer the question after both were asked numerous times. Hirono’s staff was also trying to block the Caller off from her, using their bodies as shields to guide her to the elevator.

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy responded to the question by saying “well, it depends who you are talking about. People who are applying for asylum or people who came here on a visa and stay?” He added, “I mean, we have an existing system, right. If you come here and you stay here illegally you are subject to deportation. I support the prioritization decisions that President Obama made so that we are not using resources on individuals who pose no threat to American citizens.”

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Jack Reed said “there is a law that prescribes that right now,” hinting that the U.S. should make no adjustments to the immigration system, despite the crisis at the border. (RELATED: Democratic Candidates Won’t Say If Illegal Immigrants Should Receive Free College)

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal was the only Democratic Senator who said there “needs to be clear criteria and enforcement through the immigration courts, and then deportation if they fail to meet the criteria.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal speaks during the event in front of the Capitol to urge the passage of the H.R. 8 universal (gun ownership) background checks legislation. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Republicans say Democrats continue to push open border agendas which would greatly hurt the U.S., saying Democrats object to laws which would help crack down on illegal border-crossings.

“People who come into our country illegally, and violate the rule of law, should be criminally punished. With the flood of illegal drugs and unlawful immigrants that are coming across the border, we must do everything in our power to secure our southern border and protect Americans,” Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines told the Daily Caller.
Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, told the Daily Caller that Democrats are being controlled by far-left and are pushing for open borders.

“The modern Democrats are now dominated by socialists who believe America must be deconstructed and an open southern border will help recast America as the welfare state to the downtrodden around the world. They now fully endorse illegal immigration as they don’t want a border or deportations and they support sanctuary cities and now health insurance for all,” Schlapp said.

Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the Center For Immigration Studies told the Daily Caller that law enforcement should have options as to how to enforce the law depending on the circumstance, adding that Democrats policies would reduce security and control of the border.

“It should be illegal to come into this country illegally, it’s that simple. Authorities should have options for how to enforce it, depending on the circumstances. Some are allowed to return on their own quickly with little consequence, others need to be forcibly removed, and those who can’t take the hint need more consequences, such as criminal prosecution, fines, even detention,” Vaughan said.

“In addition, because many of those crossing are smuggling drugs and people, they should face criminal prosecution, and under the section of the law that the Democrats object to, they can be immediately arrested and held before fleeing. We know from experience that this system works if used. Democrats claim to want border security, but the policies they propose would only reduce security and control of the border. If we want to have an organized legal immigration system we need to enforce the rules; anything else is unfair to legal immigrants and their sponsors,” Vaughan continued.

Congressman Chip Roy speaks at the press conference on June 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

House Republicans have continued to ask Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to pass legislation in order to fix the crisis at the border so that the Senate can pass legislation to send to President Donald Trump for a signature.