Ellie Bufkin, Washington Examiner, September 14, 2019
Former Attorney General Eric Holder expressed concern over recent criticisms many Democrats have made of President Barack Obama’s immigration policies and warned 2020 candidates about embracing calls to decriminalize border crossings.
Several progressive Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates have condemned the Obama administration recently for deporting scores of illegal immigrants. Holder, who served in Obama’s Cabinet during most of his time in office, defended the policy of deportation saying, “The emphasis … was on people who had criminal records, people who posed … a public safety risk.”
Holder rejected the idea that there should be no deportations. “Democrats have to understand that … borders do mean something,” he said in an interview that aired on Saturday.
He was also asked about whether or not he supported the notion floated by some Democrats to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings. “No, I don’t think that’s right … It might send the wrong signal,” he said. Reiterating his point, Holder said that decriminalization would “certainly take a tool away from the Justice Department.”
Holder concluded by saying he hoped the field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates would be “realistic” in their proposed policies.