Democrat presidential primary candidate Joe Biden once supported President Trump’s “America First” immigration agenda that builds a wall along the United States-Mexico border and bans employers from hiring illegal aliens over American citizens.
In a November 2006 appearance at a South Carolina rotary club, Biden touted the fact that he supported funding building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border by voting for the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The legislation, at the time, promised to fund 700 miles of new fencing at the southern border to end illegal immigration.
Aside from supporting barriers at the southern border to end illegal immigration to the country, Biden cited his support for mandatory nationwide E-Verify, which would ban employers from hiring illegal aliens over American citizens, in the unearthed clip.
Biden said a border fence and mandatory E-Verify were necessary to stop illegal immigration, both of which are a part of Trump’s immigration platform:
Folks, I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence. But, let me tell you, we can build a fence 40 stories high — unless you change the dynamic in Mexico and — and you will not like this, and punish American employers who knowingly violate the law when, in fact, they hire illegals. Unless you do those two things, all the rest is window dressing. [Emphasis added]
Biden continued by saying a fence was necessary at the southern border because of the enormous inflow of drugs coming from Mexico, a sentiment that has been a staple of Trump’s case for a border wall.
“Now, I know I’m not supposed to say it that bluntly, but they are the facts, they are the facts. And so everything else we do is in between here, everything else we do is at the margins,” Biden said. “The reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed, does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs.”
“And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico,” Biden said.
More than a decade later, now running for president, Biden has said he now supports “technological” capabilities at the U.S.-Mexico border, not a wall. Last month, Biden said:
I’m not being a wise guy about the wall and the President, all that, for real, my word. But instead of building more barriers, if it’s drugs you’re talking about, we can take one-tenth of the amount of money we’re talking about building the wall and significantly increase the technological capability at legal ports of entry because that’s where 95% of all the stuff is coming through. [Emphasis added]
The New York Times noted in 2011 how the so-called “virtual fence” with drones and increased technology that Biden now supports was such a failure under the Bush administration that the Obama administration ended the initiative.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.