Debate Live Blog Thing #2

July 30, 2019 9:03 p.m.

9:38 PM: The Green New Deal spends about half or likely more than half its money on things unrelated to the environment.

9:22 PM: A memorable moment …

9:10 PM: This debate was going pretty well and then it all went wrong.

8:50 PM: A simple point. The entire immigration debate – at least in this debate – has been reduced to this issue of whether unauthorized border crossing should be a civil offense or a criminal offense. It’s not a non-issue. But quite apart from the rights and wrongs this is an incredibly narrow issue in the broader immigration debate. As the advocates of decriminalization make fairly clear the reason they want to do this is that President Trump has used this law as the hook for family separations. By and large previous administrations chose to deal with crossings as civil infractions. In other words, before President Trump, in practice it wasn’t criminalized in the first place (there were exceptions). So in practice there’s very little difference. This amounts to an argument that if we get a Democratic president, it will be a priority to formally change border crossings to only a civil offense so that a future Trump-like President wouldn’t be able to use the law for family separations in the future. Of course, presumably a future Trump-like President could simply change the law again. Again, not that it’s a non-issue. But this is a narrow and technical issue that would largely be moot under a Democratic President in the first place.

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