It seems Biden was something of an immigration hardliner, certainly among Democrats. At a rotary club event in South Carolina back in 2006, Biden expressed his support for 700 miles of border fencing needed to stop drugs coming in through “corrupt Mexico.” From CNN:
“Folks, I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,” Biden told the group. “But, let me tell you, we can build a fence 40 stories high — unless you change the dynamic in Mexico and — and you will not like this, and — punish American employers who knowingly violate the law when, in fact, they hire illegals. Unless you do those two things, all the rest is window dressing.”
“Now, I know I’m not supposed to say it that bluntly, but they’re the facts, they’re the facts. And so everything else we do is in between here. Everything else we do is at the margins. And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs,” Biden continued. “And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico.”…Speaking at a September 2007 debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Biden said he would not allow so-called sanctuary cities to ignore federal law.“Yes or no, would you allow those cities to ignore the federal law?” Biden was asked. “No,” he responded.
As Kaczynski points out, Biden’s positions from a decade ago aren’t that different from where President Trump is now. A spokesman tried to re-focus on Biden’s comment about the 40-foot wall doing nothing to stop illegal immigrants but didn’t have anything to say about “tons” of drugs coming through “corrupt Mexico” or about Biden’s suggestion that American employers should be jailed for hiring illegal immigrants.
Polls show that Biden is leading his rivals by a significant percentage at this point. That’s leading to a bit of panic on the left where many of the other candidates have rushed to endorse (or say they are willing to consider) reparations, the Green New Deal, universal basic income, open borders, voting for imprisoned felons, late-term abortion, etc. Yet, it seems they may have miscalculated a bit. There is apparently still a chunk of the Democratic Party that isn’t put off by Biden, despite his more moderate take on some issues. We may soon see a return to the Clinton-Sanders schism between the establishment and the socialist left which did wonders for the party in 2016.
Here’s the clip of the rotary club speech: