Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said during the second Democrat presidential debate on Tuesday that he would support giving health care to illegal immigrants.
“I happen to believe that when I talk about health care as a human right, that applies to all people in this country,” Sanders said when asked about the issue by CNN’s debate moderators.
The self-described Democratic socialist added that “under a Medicare for All, single-payer” system, the U.S. could afford such an expense.
Sanders has long supported the position, though nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose giving health care to illegal immigrants, according to a CNN poll from last month.
Later in the debate, Sanders also signaled he was opening to giving free college tuition to illegal immigrants. When pushed by the moderators why that would not simply incentivize more foreign nationals to enter the country illegally, Sanders mumbled briefly about border security before shifting to an attack on President Donald Trump.
“What Trump is doing through his racism and xenophobia is demonizing a group of people,” Sanders said. “These people coming to our country are not criminals, they are human beings.”