FLASHBACK: Five Years Ago, Bernie Sanders Opposed Open Borders, Called It ‘A Koch Brothers Proposal’


As Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) surges in the Democratic primary polls due to his populist socialist rhetoric that is geared at reaching the working class, video has resurfaced of of Sanders holding a more pro-worker stance on immigration almost five years ago.

In a 2015 interview with corporate mouthpiece Vox, Sanders dismissed the idea of open borders as “a Koch brothers proposal.”

“I think that if you take global poverty that seriously it leads you to conclusions that in the U.S. are considered out of political bounds,” Vox’s Ezra Klein said. “Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders.”

Bernie waved his hand dismissively. “Open borders? No, that’s a Koch Brothers Proposal.”

“Really?” said Klein, surprised.

“Of course,” Sanders said. “That’s a right-wing proposal which says essentially there is no United States.”

“But it would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?” Klein interjected.

“Excuse me, and it would make everybody in America poorer,” Sanders said.

Almost five years later, Bernie is running for the Presidency on a platform of suspending deportations, disbanding ICE, and letting in all refugees that were not allowed in under the current administration.

Via berniesanders.com:

As president, Bernie will:

  • Immediately reinstate DACA for 1.8 million young people currently eligible for the program, and provide administrative relief to their parents, those with Temporary Protected Status, and parents of legal permanent residents.
    • Expand DACA to all those who came to the United States under the age of 18 and remove arbitrary cut off dates.
  • Use executive authority to allow undocumented immigrants who have resided in the United States for five or more years to remain free from threat of deportation.
  • Use advance parole to reunite families that have been ripped apart by deportation policies and provide for and return unjustly deported servicemembers.
  • Expand parole in place to the families and caregivers of citizens and legal permanent residents and employed workers, and use hardship waivers and lower burdensome fees to remove barriers to green cards and citizenship for as many eligible cases as possible.
    • Use the newly created independent clemency board in the White House to remove barriers to status adjustment such as old or low-level contacts with the criminal justice system, and unlawful presence.

Sanders appeared to have resolved his dispute with the Koch brothers in 2020, promising a “swift, fair pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants.