Steyer: Trump ‘Against Immigration by Non-White People’

(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

( – Billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer said Thursday that President Donald Trump is not against immigration. “He’s against immigration by non-white people.”

During the PBS NewsHour POLITICO Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles, Calif., Steyer accused Trump of trying to divide the American people on the issue of race by “vilifying non-white people.”

“Listen, I think it’s important to note that this president is not against immigration. He’s against immigration by nonwhite people. This is his attempt to divide us on race. That’s what he’s been since the very first day he started running for president. He’s been vilifying non-white people,” the candidate said.

“He’s been trying to inflame his base and scare them that if, in fact, white people lose control of this country that they’re going to lose control of their lives,” Steyer said. 

“And as somebody who lives in a majority/minority state, which is California, what he’s doing is so wrong on so many different levels. I agree with senator Sanders. We have to reframe this argument completely. We have to go back to the idea that every American is worth being a full human being on every right,” he said.

“This is a racial argument by a racist president who is trying to divide us and who’s vilifying people. It is absolutely wrong, and it’s led him to break the laws of humanity in our name,” Steyer added.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said that immigrants are being “scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with.”

During the debate, Yang was asked, “You pledged to move on a permanent legislative fix in your first 100 days. Dreamers say that they are frustrated by Democrats’ failure to prioritize their status in deal after deal. So why should Dreamers trust Democrats now?”

“I believe everyone on this stage would do the right thing by Dreamers in the first 100 days. I would make it a top priority. I’m the son of immigrants myself. The fact is almost half of Fortune 500 companies were started by an immigrant or children of immigrants. Immigrants make our country stronger and more dynamic, and immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have absolutely nothing to do with,” Yang said.

“If you go to the factory in Michigan, it’s not wall to wall immigrants. It’s wall to wall robot arms and machines. We have to send the opposite message of this administration. And as your president, I think I could send a very clear message where if you are considering immigrating to this country, and I am the president, you would realize my son or daughter could become president of the United States. That’s the opposite of the current administration, and that’s the message I would love to send to the world,” Yang said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he would issue an executive order on day to restore the legal status of more than a million illegal immigrants in the DACA program. He said he would also on day one change the border policy so that babies would not be snatched from the arms of their mothers, and he would introduce comprehensive bipartisan legislation that would lead to a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

Sanders was asked: “There are estimated to be as many as 12 million undocumented in the U.S., more than 2 million right here in California. If you have a chance to forge a bipartisan immigration reform plan, would you insist on a path to citizenship for all 12 million or just a segment of that population?” 

“This is what I would do. Day one, executive order, restore the legal status of 1.8 million young people in the DACA program.  Day one we change border policy so that federal agents will never snatch babies from the arms of their mothers,” Sanders said.

“Day one, we introduce bipartisan legislation, which will, in fact, be comprehensive, which will result in a path toward citizenship for all of the 11 million who are undocumented. That is what the people of our country want. Trump thinks mistakenly that he is going to win re-election by dividing us up. We are going to win this election by bringing our people together, black and white and Latino, native American, Asian. That’s what this campaign is about. That’s what America must be about,” he added.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) accused Trump of using immigrants “as political pawns.”

“I started my day-to-day with a group of immigrants who were there talking to me about housing, and I thought about this president and what he’s done. He has used our immigrants as political pawns. Every single day he tries to draw a wedge. I will be a different president. My view on this comes from experience,” she said.

“When I got to the Senate, Senator Kennedy asked me to be one of the two new senators that was in the group to work on the immigration reform package. We got so close to passing that. I voted for it. Not everyone did, but most of the Democrats did. Then I was on the Judiciary Committee when President Obama was president, and we worked very hard on that immigration reform,” Klobuchar said.

“We actually passed that with Republican votes. Then I was in the small group that worked on the compromise on the Dreamers that would have solved that problem. We didn’t get that done because this president gut punched us,” she said. “I will take my views. I will take this experience. I will get this done because immigrants don’t diminish America. They are America.”


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