Exclusive – Dem 2020 Candidate Joe Sestak on ‘Undocumented’ Immigrants: ‘We Need Them’

U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) concedes the Pennsylvania Senate race to Republican Pat Toomey November 3, 2010 at the Radnor Hotel in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. With 91 percent of the vote counted, Toomey led Sestak 51 percent to 49 percent. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Legalization of the status of “undocumented” immigrants will “help” America’s economy, said Democrat presidential candidate Joe Sestak — former representative of Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district and retired 31-year Navy veteran who reached the rank of three-star admiral — in a Monday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

Immigration in necessary for demographic and economic purposes, assessed Sestak.

“I believe we must protect our borders, but I also believe we must protect our economy,” said Sestak. “Since 1970, American women citizens’ birth rate has been inadequate to replace those who we unfortunately lose every year. If it were not for immigration of all types, we would have been in a population death spiral, not unlike Japan’s, which, as you know, its economy stagnated in the last two decades largely because of that, and now with the baby boomer generation retiring, our workforce would plummet without this.”


Sestak added, “I believe we need a bipartisan approach to this. One that says, ‘Yes, we can protect our borders,’ and I think Americans would like to have that. Why not? Not just for immigration. I’m talking for other things. I headed that Navy’s anti-terrorism unit, strategically, and back then at least I knew there were some cells of Al-Qaeda — they may be gone, now — but there are other types of dangers that can approach. That said, I honestly believe like John McCain, Ted Kennedy, and George Bush — they all came together and said, ‘Let’s get the undocumented into line. We need them. I want them fingerprinted. We need to make sure they pay a fine, [and] they get to the back of the line as we secure our borders.”

Sestak described migrants crossing the southern border as “refugees.”

“These refugees, the vast majority — the majority, majority, majority of them — are truly good people who are fleeing damage,” stated Sestak. “So why are we separating children from that? That’s the real issue here. … Those children that are separated we should immediately with all resources and manpower get them back to their parents or to some family member. … In our government we have a wonderful program, that if there are still children remaining separate, it’s called the Mass Strategy program that’s run by FEMA in conjunction with the Red Cross, where they are trained for refugees in America … they are trained, unlike ICE — who are just trying to their jobs, on the whole — they are trained to take care of these types of things, and we should deploy that … with those who are trained to deal with children in refugee situations.”

America should promote economic development and political improvements in failed and weak states via international institutions to reduce migrant flows, advised Sestak. He described the Iraq War as the genesis of modern refugee flows into Europe and America from the Middle East and North Africa regions.

“Where’s the source of the refugees?” asked Sestak. “Let’s say, primarily that really set this afire as an issue in Europe, it came became of that tragedy, where both Democrat and Republicans alike — voted for that tragic misadventure in Iraq that unleashed Sunni against Shia, Shia against Sunni and then it metastasizes … [and] created ISIS, and it moved into Syria and beyond, and millions of people were displaced and million then started going into Europe.”

“They are fleeing drug cartels and violence and poor economies and other things,” said Sestak of migrant flows across the southern border. “The way we did it, for example, with the Marshall Plan in 1948, our military stopped Germany, but we fixed fascism by making sure there are some economic development there. We should be working with OAS to be down there and help development, because that is the primary cause of it and where it is all coming from.”

A wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would be wasteful, determined Sestak.

“I don’t think we’re securing our borders smartly,” Sestak remarked. “I have yet to find a wall someone couldn’t get around. When I went to Congress, they had four unmanned air vehicles that were all that were allowed to fly by Homeland Defense . I put in an amendment to say it should be unlimited, because if you want to fly across a border, get a global predator, look down, and you can see where it is 24 hours … What good is a wall across the desert? It’s a waste of money. So there are smart ways to secure our border.”

Legalization of illegal aliens’ status would be a boon for America’s economy, declared Sestak.

“We just need to get them in line, the back of the line, fingerprinted, paying a fine, because every study from the Congressional Budget Office and the Congressional Research Office has showed they are really — when they can pay the taxes up-front — they are really going to help our economy a lot more. I know we don’t agree, but how else are you going to solve it [for] the 11 million?”

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