A common refrain from many of President Donald Trump’s staunchest critics is that he is an authoritarian who refuses to even attempt to work with Congress.
Ironically, while chastising President Trump as a supposed tyrant, a number of top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have openly revealed their own authoritarian plans they’ll implement via executive action if they are elected to succeed Trump in the White House.
One of those would-be tyrants just itching to take up the executive pen is New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who just laid out his vision to dramatically overhaul the U.S. immigration system without the advice or assistance of Congress.
Booker announced via Twitter on Tuesday, “NEW: I’m introducing a plan to fix our broken immigration system — without Congress.”
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 2, 2019
That post included a link to Booker’s campaign website, specifically a page devoted to “Cory’s plan” to “end the crisis” — the one Democrats have been steadfastly denying up until only recently — on “Day One through executive action.”
The detailed plan begins with the standard platitudes about just how bad the Orange Man’s immigration policy is and includes the typical call for Congress to enact lasting legislative change to overhaul and reform the system. But the very next paragraph makes it clear that Booker has no intentions of cooperating with Congress to fix immigration legislatively.
“But we can’t wait for Congress to act, which is why, as president, Cory will start on Day One to end the abuses of the Trump Administration and use his executive authority to reform our immigration system,” the policy page states.
Booker’s plan on immigration boils down to decriminalizing unauthorized entry into the United States, ending the detention of those who entered illegally, ending interior enforcement of immigration laws against illegal aliens, and pouring taxpayer money into failing nations around the globe in the hope that they will improve their own situations so that fewer migrants will head toward the U.S.
In other words, Booker is calling for open borders, though he would of course deny such a characterization.
Under a section about treating all “immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers with dignity,” Booker details how “inhumane” detention facilities would be required to meet high standards or be shut down, how “for-profit prisons” — cost-saving detention centers run by private contractors — would be summarily closed, how detention and delays for children and families would be ended, how all who enter the country would be granted a “presumption of liberty,” and how taxpayers would fund legal representation for all who were charged with violating immigration laws.
Writing about “modernizing immigration,” Booker makes clear that he would decriminalize unauthorized entry, prohibit raids by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agencies in most locations, provide more pathways for entry to asylum and refuge seekers, allow for sanctuary city policies, clear the backlogs of immigration courts by allowing waivers of prosecution, and restore a specific program to bring in more children from Central America.
As for addressing the “root causes” of the current immigration problems and border crisis, Booker would use the State Department and other “diplomatic tools” to somehow fix corruption, crime and violence, poverty and economic development, and climate change — all of which he identified as the root causes of migration to the U.S.
Finally, Booker vows to restore such programs as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Temporary Protected Status, and Deferred Enforced Departure, all of which exempt certain aliens from being deported. Booker would also end the so-called “Muslim ban” and would end all border wall construction, even tearing down portions of the new high wall that have been recently built.
All of the things listed here would be done by Booker and Booker alone, without the aid of Congress and legislation — the same sort of unilateral executive action that, when used by President Trump, the left vociferously decried as the actions of a tyrant antithetical to the American way.
The plain truth is, neither Booker nor a single other top Democratic contender for president have any qualms whatsoever about the use of executive powers; the only problem is that they want their hand — or the hand of a like-minded leftist — to be the one gripping that executive pen.
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