Sanders: I Hope ‘Path Towards Citizenship’ Will Be ‘Tucked’ into $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he hoped a path to citizenship would be included in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

Partial transcript as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: On immigration, I also want to get your reaction to what the Biden administration just said they’re doing this weekend, which is to step up deportations, particularly of some of these Haitian migrants who have gathered in southern Texas, thousands of them. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has called it inhumane. Do you agree with her and looking at what you’re working on right now on Capitol Hill, do you expect immigration will be tucked into this $3.5 trillion spending plan?

SANDERS: I hope it will in the sense that right now we have many, many millions of undocumented people in this country, people who are working hard. In fact, people who have maintained this economy, people doing the essential work, something like 11 million people. And I would hope very much, and I think the American people agree, that now is the time. And if we can do it through reconciliation, I’m there. I want to do it to move toward a path towards citizenship and comprehensive immigration reform through the reconciliation bill. That’s my hope.

BRENNAN: Whether or not that can be done is still going to be decided. I know you say you want it done. But isn’t this exactly the same kind of social policy that moderates are bulking- balking at here because you’re–

SANDERS: Well actually.

BRENNAN: –tucking it into a mechanism that even you have said in the past to just be used for budget and spending?

SANDERS: Well, the truth is that when you because we have no Republican support in trying to pass a significant piece of legislation representing working families, we have to do it through the so-called reconciliation process, which means that you have to obey the Byrd rules. I won’t go into- bore you with all the details. So, it’s something that we are arguing right now. But I do hope as we move toward what I believe is the most consequential piece of legislation for the working class of this country, as we demand that the wealthiest people and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes as we lower the cost of prescription drugs as we expand Medicare to include dental care for seniors and hearing aids and eyeglasses as we lower the childhood poverty as we have already done, maintain that by 50% as a result of the American Rescue Plan. I hope that immigration reform is part of that general package.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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