BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders promised not only to pass a comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, but he said he would implement new executive actions to protect a wide range of undocumented immigrants including members of the LGBT community.
“I would also extend asylum program for member of the LGBT community escaping mistreatment and abuse,” he said Tuesday in a video chat with pro-immigrant activists at the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) in Brooklyn New York.
The Vermont senator even went further by promising to reunite unjustly deported immigrants with their families.
“I will expand use of humanitarian parole to ensure the return of unjustly deported immigrants,” he said. “Bottom line is the United States must do the right thing and guarantee the swift possible reunification of these broken families.”
Sanders also took a swing at Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump, calling Trump’s recent remarks against immigrants racist and playing on people’s fears.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s Marita Etcubanez said, “We need people to step back from that language and we need the rest of our elected officials, candidates, and others to speak out against people who are doing that.”
While the president alone does not have the legislative authority to push forward a comprehensive immigration reform, advocates here say, with the current “do-nothing” Congress, voters should also consider putting into office Congress members who are immigrant friendly in 2016.
“Very important that you not only vote for the president, but also for members of Congress,” Dory Raterta of the Migrant Center at St. Francis of Assisi, NYC said. “People like us could make happen yan, tuloy tuloy, kung hindi puro executive actions or administrative reliefs lang ang magiging solusyon.”
If elected president, Sanders also promised to do everything he can, in every way to combat the xenophobia and racist rhetoric coming from Trump and other candidates.
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