Bernie Sanders demonstrated noticeable empathy toward deported immigrants over the weekend as he visited the U.S.-Mexico border.
A steel wall with small openings stands between the border of the U.S. and Mexico in San Diego, California. On one side, Sanders peeped through; on the other, stood U.S. veteran Hector Barajas, who received a lifetime ban from the U.S. despite his service.
According to ThinkProgress, Barajas fired his weapon after serving due to PTSD and was given a 20-year ban, which turned into a lifetime ban after he attempted to come back into the U.S. and see his daughter.
Sanders spoke to Barajas for a short while, as he thanked him for his service and told him, “I would like you on this side of the border.”
Barajas, meanwhile, enthusiastically expressed, “Bernie for president!”
The steel wall stands in International Friendship Park, where Sanders gave a short interview regarding immigration after his talk with Barajas. Sanders noted that we have a “very broken immigration system” in need of “comprehensive reform,” which echoes the platform he has been espousing since beginning his campaign.
Sanders has championed immigration reform throughout his time in Congress, and he has taken the opportunity during this campaign season to bring increased awareness to this issue, particularly when we have individuals such as Donald Trump advocating mass deportations and building a massive wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
In response to Trump’s ideas, Sanders said, “It’s not only an immoral perspective from my point of view. It’s something that should not happen, cannot happen.”
Sanders is one of the few candidates to actually visit the border and talk to deported immigrants, which speaks to the level of commitment he feels concerning reform. We will continue to need equally committed leaders in Congress if we hope to push actual immigration reform through.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich