Bernie Sanders Against Open Borders: “That Would Substantially Lower Wages In This Country”

At an event hosted by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Democratic candidate for president Sen. Bernie Sanders made it clear he is against open borders because it drives down the wages of American workers.

Responding to the criticism he received from Hispanic groups after an interview with Ezra Klein of Vox earlier this week where he made similar comments Sanders dismissed them as organizations who support “completely opening up the border.”

“What they are talking about is completely opening up the border,” Sanders responded. “That was the question. Should we have a completely open border so that anyone can come in the United States of America? If that were to happen, which I strongly disagree with, there is no question in my mind that that would substantially lower wages in this country.”

Sanders also addressed the already high unemployment rate of Hispanic and African-American youth and how illegal immigration would affect their job opportunities.

“When you have 36-percent of Hispanic kids in this country who can’t find jobs and you bring a lot of unskilled workers in the country what do you think happens to that 36-percent of kids of today who are unemployed? 51% of African-American kids [are unemployed],” Sanders said.

“I frankly do not believe we should be bringing in significant numbers of unskilled workers to compete with those kids,” Sanders made clear.

Sanders laughed off the idea of completely opening the border nothing that there is no presidential candidate, Democratic or Republican, who supports that measure.

“But to simply open the borders of America. Do you think there is any candidate for president who thinks that that makes sense? I don’t think so,” he said.

Sanders also said the U.S. needs to address the issue of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. and “move as fast as we can” for a path toward citizenship.

ALEX SEITZ-WALD, MSNBC: A pro-immigration reform group backed by tech companies and tech entrepreneurs responding to your Vox interview yesterday. Very tough statement. They say in the headline that you are wrong on immigrants. They say that you’re statements are troubling, that you falsely pit immigrants as obstacles to tackling unemployment and they are just plain wrong. So how do you respond to that and do you think immigrants can take jobs from Americans?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): You have to be careful about defining the word immigrants. What they are talking about is completely opening up the border. That was the question. Should we have a completely open border so that anyone can come in the United States of America? If that were to happen, which I strongly disagree with, there is no question in my mind that that would substantially lower wages in this country. When you have 36-percent of Hispanic kids in this country who can’t find jobs and you bring a lot of unskilled workers in the country what do you think happens to that 36-percent of kids of today who are unemployed? 51% of African-American kids.

I don’t think there is any candidate for president — none — who thinks that we should open up the borders and not see that is having a negative impact. So, to my mind is what do we do and how do we address the problem of 11 million undocumented people in this country today moving? We move aggressively toward a path toward citizenship. We move as fast as we can to legal status. We provide protection for those people. But to simply open the borders of America. Do you think there is any candidate for president who thinks that that makes sense? I don’t think so.

Resource: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/07/31/bernie_sanders_against_open_borders_that_would_substantially_lower_wages_in_this_country.html

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