How Liberal Is Bernie Sanders?


Sen. Bernie Sanders


By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 8, 2015: It’s official. Hillary Clinton now has her first official challenger for the 2016 Presidential elections meaning we now have the beginnings of a Democratic Primary.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, 73, from Vermont, late last week threw his hat into the ring. His campaign quickly rolled out a ‘Bet On Bernie’ tagline and his supporters are quick to tout him as a “liberal” and a “political independent.” He even describes himself “socialist.”

But just how liberal is Bernie especially when it comes to immigration reform?, which tracks the voting patterns of congressional elected representatives,’ tells a contradictory, not so liberal story of Sanders’ voting patterns when it comes to the hot button issue of immigration.

Sanders has voted “NO” on comprehensive immigration reform. Like Republicans, he wanted operational control of the border with Mexico, border patrol increases, border barriers, including vehicle barriers, fencing, radar, and aerial vehicles; detention capacity for unauthorized immigrants apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border and workplace enforcement, including an electronic employment verification system before any focus talk about comprehensive immigration reform.

Yet insisted in interviews that he supports immigration reform and thinks “we need comprehensive immigration reform” while insisting he supports President Obama’s executive action to delay deportation of young undocumented immigrants and their parents.

So which is it senator? Are you for immigration reform or not? No flip-flopping please!

And it does not end there. Sanders has voted “YES” on eliminating the “Y” non-immigrant guest worker program, which allows foreign workers to temporarily reside and work in a host country until a next round of workers is readily available to switch; saying the program provides many businesses with low-wage immigrant labor and fuels youth unemployment.

He has also voted “NO” on more immigrant visas for skilled workers including the L-1 visa program and voted on the House floor for amendment to end the visa lottery. In 2005, Rep. Sanders voted in favor of the Goodlatte Amendment, H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005.

The Goodlatte Amendment tried to eliminate the visa lottery.

Now it’s time for Sanders to really tell the immigrant voting bloc where he stands again on comprehensive immigration reform since he did not support it before and how he will move this forward to becoming a reality.

In other words, no more pretending to be liberal on this issue but voting conservative; and no more promises like President Obama sold us. Time for an honest conversation on the way forward so immigrant voters are not hood winked again and taken for a ride!

In other words, what will you deliver differently from Hillary Clinton that proves you will no longer say no to comprehensive immigration reform? That to me Senator is the real litmus test of whether you are liberal or not!

Can immigrant voters really Bet on Bernie, Senator? Your voting history says not really.

The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.