Thursday, February 20, 2020
Immigration Not a Huge Issue at Nevada Democratic Debate, Protesters Jeer Joe Biden on Obama Immigration Record
Last night, the Democratic presidential candidates debated in Las Vegas, Nevada. The big news was the addition of Michael Bloomberg to the debate stage. Immigration was not much discussed during the debate; there. There was a question about DACA, the Trump administration's rescission of which is before the Supreme Court. “About 700,000 young people known as Dreamers, or Sonadores, who were brought to this country as children, are currently protected from deportation because of a program that is now under the review by the Supreme Court,” Noticias Telemundo senior correspondent Vanessa Hauc asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar. “If the court sides with the Trump administration, which is eager to end this protection, what exactly is your plan to protect the Dreamers permanently?”
“To win, to beat Donald Trump. The best way to protect the Dreamers is to have a new president. There are the votes there to protect the Dreamers. And I have been working on this since I got to the United States Senate. In my first campaign, I actually had a bunch of ads run against me because I was standing up for immigrants,” Klobuchar replied. She added that the next president should “pass comprehensive immigration reform, which creates a path to citizenship to so many hard-working people, will bring down the deficit by $158 billion, and will bring peace for these Dreamers.”
Pete Buttigieg then challenged Klobuchar over voting to confirm Kevin McAleenan, Trump’s nominee for head of Customs and Border Protection, and for having once voted to make English the national language.
Lindsay Ellefson on The Wrap reports on a dust up at the end of the debate. Protesters interrupted Joe Biden as the former vice president was about to deliver his closing remarks at the debate. The protesters began shouting from the back of the room just after Biden was invited to speak. It was difficult to make out precisely what they were chanting while watching the debate on television, but early on, one protester could be heard saying “You deported 3 million people!,” a frequent criticism of the Obama administration’s immigration policies. Activist Jess Davidson, who attended the debate, said they were shouting, “We are DACA recipients. Our lives are at risk.”
Biden began his closing remarks after the protesters were escorted out of the auditorium.
T]the activist wing of Immigrants-rights organization RAICES claimed credit for the demonstration. “We are interrupting @JoeBiden at the #DemDebate chanting #DontLookAway and #NoKidsInCages. We need a Democratic candidate to adopt the #MigrantJusticePlatform and commit themselves to improve the lives of migrants and refugees!,” the organization said on Twitter.
For his part, Biden looked around silently as he waited for the demonstration to stop. It was actually the fourth time protesters have interrupted a Democratic primary event, and the second time it’s happened to Biden.