Democrat Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii took a rare stance this week when speaking to Breitbart news. Gabbard is one of the large field of Democratic Presidential hopefuls who have qualified for the next debate, scheduled for November 20. In a pre-debate interview, Gabbard answered a number of questions about immigration and stepped away from the party line when discussing the need for borders:
“The reality is that we do not have a nation if we don’t have borders,” she said. “It’s a false choice for people to say you’re anti-immigrant if you support secure borders. That’s just not the case.”
Demonizing conservatives, President Trump and anyone who dares mention that illegal immigration is illegal, or that it is harming the nation is par for the course for most presidential hopefuls – the more hate they pile on to the President and his supporters, the more approval they get.
So, it was odd to hear Gabbard speak out with a different opinion from the mass group of liberal candidates. She is already one of the few Democratic candidates who has spoken out against decriminalizing illegal immigration. Gabbard has also opposed free college and healthcare for illegal aliensD and supported deportation of those who commit crimes against American citizens.
The latest statement makes Gabbard the most reasonable candidate in a field of pro-immigration, open border candidates. While she has criticized the President for his approach to immigration, primarily over the separation of children from parents, her opponents will be likely to use her statements against her in the coming debate and nomination season.
According to Gabbard, in the second debate:
“We will have to stop separating children from their parents, make it so that it’s easier for people to seek asylum in this country, make sure that we are securing our borders and making it so that people are able to use our legal immigration system by reforming those laws.”
The candidate spoke to Breitbard about balance and creating a secure system that offers humane options for immigrants. She also is in support of those who come to the country in the right way, and supports a strong border policy:
“I think that we can and we must have a secure border policy that’s effective and works, and also reform our immigration system so that it works for our country. It can be a safe and secure border along with humane immigration policy and achieve both objectives.”
Gabbard’s comments may make her a target when it comes to the far left, but more moderate Democrats may find her more reasonable stance an ideal alternative to the “all free, all the time” policies endorsed by some of her competitors.
The next debate is just weeks away, and should showcase the way that this more mainstream narrative plays with the press and potential voters.