Former Attorney General Eric Holder has a stark warning for Democrats, especially those who are running for president: embracing lax immigration laws isn't necessarily a good thing. During an interview with CNN's David Axelrod, Holder reminded his fellow Democrats of one important tidbit: the Obama administration had high deportations, even higher than the Trump administration. And he doesn't see anything wrong with that. Despite the fact that the Obama Administration artificially inflated their deportation numbers by counting turn-aways at the southern border.
"There's some angst among the Left about the fact that there were hundreds of thousands of deportations a year, the [Obama] administration was pretty robust in that area," Axelrod said.
"Yeah, you know but the emphasis there was on people who had criminal records, people who posed a danger, a public safety risk. Those were the people who we emphasize deporting," Holder responded. "You know, Democrats have to understand that we do have to have borders. They do mean something."
"Well, what do you think about the proposal that many of the [Democratic] candidates embrace to decriminalize border crossings, essentially turn it into a civil offense?" Axelrod asked.
"I don't think that's right," Holder replied. "The law that's on the books has been there for about a hundred years now or so."
"Would it send the wrong signal to decriminalize?" Axelrod asked.
"It might send the wrong signal but it'd certainly take a tool away from the Justice Department that it might want to use in an individual case. And for some reason, trafficking, human trafficking component there, or some other reason we want to prosecute someone," Holder explained. "But it's up to, I think, the Justice Department, to use its discretion in an appropriate way and I don't think this Justice Department [under Trump] is doing that."
"Are you worried that issues, like this, will blow up for the Democratic nominee?" Axelrod asked.
"I think we need to look for solutions to the problems we confront that are consistent with who we are as a party, consistent with who we are with the Democratic tradition, but also the kinds of things that we're going to be able to deliver to people," Holder explained. "People don't believe in government because they're promised so much and we frequently don't deliver for them."
Having a secure border, wanting to vet who comes to our nation and protecting the American people shouldn't be a left versus right issue. We're a nation of laws. People need to respect those laws, especially if they want to become American citizens. Our government has an obligation to protect the American people. And part of that protection means securing our borders, just as every other nation in the world does.
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Updated: Mon, Sep 30th 2019 @ 2:30pm EDT