Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) this week vowed to undo President Donald Trump’s immigration policies if he were to be elected president this year.
The Vermont senator and leading Democratic presidential candidate announced that his first executive orders as president would reverse all of Trump’s immigration initiatives, which he described as “racist” and “disgusting.”
My first executive orders will be to reverse every single thing President Trump has done to demonize and harm immigrants, including his racist and disgusting Muslim ban.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 27, 2020
“My first executive orders will be to reverse every single thing President Trump has done to demonize and harm immigrants, including his racist and disgusting Muslim ban,” Sanders wrote on Twitter on Monday.
His statement came after the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead on Monday for one of Trump’s policies, which would allow his administration to implement a rule denying legal permanent residency to certain immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance in the future.
The justices, on a 5-4 vote, granted the administration’s request to lift a lower court’s injunction that had blocked the so-called public charge policy while litigation over its legality continues.
Under Trump’s policy, immigration officers would consider factors such as age, educational level, and English proficiency to decide whether an immigrant would likely become a “public charge” who would receive government benefits such as the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.
The administration has said the new rule is necessary to better ensure that immigrants will be self-sufficient. Critics have said the rule would disproportionately bar low-income people from developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia from permanent residency.
The new rule expands the “public charge” bar to anyone deemed likely to receive a much wider range of public benefits for more than an aggregate of 12 months over any 36-month period including healthcare, housing, and food assistance.
The court in 2018 upheld Trump’s “travel ban” targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries.
Trump, in contrast with Sanders, has made his tough immigration stance a hallmark of his presidency and 2020 reelection campaign.
Sanders, a self-described socialist, said at a debate in July that his Medicare for All plan would cover illegal immigrants.