Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Saturday he does not believe in open borders and that America needs people to protect its border.
Sanders participated in a live interview Saturday with MPR News host Tom Crann at the Minnesota State Fair in front of hundreds of fairgoers, HuffPost reported.
Sanders said he is in favor of abolishing “the current disastrous immigration system.”
He was asked if he would support abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after a crowd member reportedly shouted “abolish ICE” toward the stage.
“ICE is one small part of that system,” Sanders said.
“We have to develop a system. But I will say this: We will abolish the ICE raids, which are terrorizing communities all over this country,” the Vermont senator continued. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Tells Union Worker: I’d ‘Absolutely’ Take Away Your Health Care Plan)
Crann followed up and asked if Sanders saw “a valid purpose for an agency in the federal government like ICE.”
“The first question you asked, do I believe in open borders? No, I do not,” Sanders replied.
“So you need to have protection of our borders and you need people to do that,” he continued.
On whether he supports abolishing ICE: Sanders calls for “abolishing the current disastrous system and ICE raids.”
Pressed to answer directly, he notes that he’s not for open borders. “We would need to have protection of our borders and you need people to do that.” pic.twitter.com/z8dHJyWzXw
— Hayley Miller (@hayleymiller01) August 24, 2019
Sanders voted against the establishment of ICE in 2002. “That was the right vote,” he said in a July 2018 tweet.
In 2002 I voted against the creation of DHS and the establishment of ICE. That was the right vote. Now, it is time to do what Americans overwhelmingly want: abolish the cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today and pass comprehensive immigration reform.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 3, 2018
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