Politics

Do Dems Want Open Borders? CNN’s Berman, Santorum Clash

Do extreme policies like abolishing ICE, rejecting Trump's signature wall, and supporting sanctuary cities amount to the same thing?

Image Credit: Screenshots, CNN

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and CNN “New Day” anchor John Berman sparred Friday on defining “open borders” and ascertaining whether any Democratic lawmaker or congressional candidate is calling for that policy heading toward the November election.

“I have never heard a Democrat campaign on open borders,” Berman (pictured above left) claimed. “Open borders is not a real thing because no one is calling for open borders.”

Santorum (above right), a two-time presidential contender who is now a CNN senior political commentator, insisted that while many Democrats “don’t say the word ‘open borders,'” their policies reflect lax border security measures, citizenship for immigrants illegally in the country already, the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and a staunch opposition to building the border wall.

Extreme policies including abolishing ICE came to the forefront of national discourse after liberal darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), a congressional candidate in New York, openly called for it this year.

The CNN segment became tense after Berman asked Santorum to react to remarks President Donald Trump made during a rally Thursday in Montana.

“As you know, I’m willing to send the military to defend our southern border if necessary, all because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought by the Democrats that they refuse to acknowledge or to change the laws,” Trump said.

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“They like it. They also figure everybody coming in is going to vote Democrat, you know. Hey, they’re not so stupid when you think about it, right,” he said.

Trump also referred to the latest migrant caravan from Central America with an estimated 4,000 men, women and children heading north through Mexico in the hope of entering the U.S.

Berman asked Santorum if Trump’s criticism of Democrats and their policies was “fair.”

“I think what he is saying is, the Democrats are out there basically calling for open borders —” Santorum began before Berman interrupted him.

“They are not calling for open borders,” Berman insisted.

Santorum said he appeared on CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s show the night before alongside Christine Quinn, a Democratic former New York City Council speaker, who he said “was basically saying everybody that comes to the border should have an opportunity to come into America.”

“They won’t say ‘open borders’ because that’s a very controversial term,” Santorum argued. “They don’t say the word ‘open borders,’ but they say that we should be compassionate to everybody who wants to come to America —”

Berman fired back, “Does compassion mean open borders?” adding, “Do you not want to be compassionate?”

“I want to be compassionate, but we can’t be saying to people, ‘Well, come, and some way or another, we will let you enter the country, whether you come illegally or not.’ That’s not compassionate to the millions of Americans who are going to be impacted by that flow of illegals,” Santorum said.

“Christine Quinn was out there saying that we should let everybody who is in economic trouble around the world, should have the opportunity to come to America. If that’s not open borders, I don’t know what it is,” an exasperated Santorum said. “They don’t use the term, but they make the argument.”

Berman remained stubborn, saying, “There are no Democrats running for office campaigning [on] open borders.”

Related: U.S. Must ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ to Stop New Caravan, Gingrich Says

The CNN anchor seemed to forget that 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton got into trouble for comments she reportedly made to Brazilian bank investors in 2013 that WikiLeaks leaked in 2016.

“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that’s as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere,” Clinton reportedly said.

And Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a congressman running for Minnesota’s attorney general, was photographed in May wearing a shirt that read in Spanish, “I don’t believe in borders.”

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