Prominent leaders of the Democratic Party once fiercely endorsed border security, and had even voted to secure a border fence along the nation’s southern border.
These stringent calls for tougher border policy appear to have ceased since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States.
In 2006, Senate Democrats — including then-senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Joe Biden — voted to secure a fence along the United States southern border. Check out the instances in which prominent leaders of the Democratic Party championed the border fence and stronger border security overall.
1. Barack Obama
“The bill before us will certainly do some good,” said then-Senator Obama in 2006, adding that the Secure Fence Act would provide “better fences and better security” and that it would make headway against “the tide of illegal immigration in this country.”
“Real reform means stronger border security,” said Obama several years later as president, during his 2013 State Of The Union.
“Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost one trillion dollars in the next two decades,” said Obama during his 2014 State Of The Union, bringing up his alleged concern about stopping illegal immigration once again.
2. Hillary Clinton
“Look, I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in, and I do think you have to control your borders,” said Clinton, referring to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, “We need to secure our borders, I’m for it, I voted for it, I believe in it.”
3. Bill Clinton
A decade earlier, Hillary Clinton’s husband and then-president Bill Clinton affirmed his own beliefs that illegal immigration should be stopped in his 1995 State Of The Union, stating that “all Americans” were right to be “disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering [the United States],” adding that illegal aliens “impose burdens on [U.S.] taxpayers.”
4. Chuck Schumer
Schumer, who also voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act, elaborated on his pro-border security stance a few years later in a speech at the Georgetown University Law Center, in which the senator told his audience that referring to illegal aliens as “undocumented” is unacceptable.
“Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple,” said Schumer, “When we use phrases like ‘undocumented workers,’ we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combatting illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose.”
“If you don’t think it’s illegal, you’re not going to say it. I think it is illegal, and wrong, and we have to change it,” added the senator.
5. Dianne Feinstein
“Democrats are solidly behind controlling the border, and we support the border fence,” said Feinstein of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
6. Nancy Pelosi
In 2013, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to border security as a “basic principle,” and urged congress to support legislation that she claimed would secure the U.S. border.
7. Vice President Joe Biden
“We [President Obama and I] felt so strongly, from the day we took office, for the need for immigration reform,” said Vice President Biden in 2014, who had also voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act when he was a senator.
Biden continued, by criticizing those who choose to enter a foreign country illegally:
“Imagine — you say, ‘I got a good idea, let’s gather up everything we have, sell it, give it to some coyotes to take us to a country that doesn’t want us, drop us off in God knows where, we don’t [know] anybody, we leave everything that’s familiar to us. Let’s go, isn’t that going to be a great idea?’ These are horrible decisions these people are making.”
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.
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