Democrat Phil Bredesen believes the migrant caravan heading North gives the United States the opportunity to show “we’re grown-ups in this."
In an op-ed on the subject, Bredesen said the U.S. "has the right" and "the duty" to control the Southern border and done correctly, it can be an "orderly and effective process conducted under the rule of law."
Here's what he envisions:
- We will know where the caravan is headed well in advance of their arrival — this is not a few people sneaking across in the middle of the night. Position Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel where they can intercept caravan members at the border. Demand that Mexico help manage the process on their side of the border. The National Guard can support ICE; this is something our troops, with their command and control sophistication, can handle smoothly.
- With control of the situation, process those seeking to enter the US right at the border. This can be done in an orderly way, in accordance with our laws.
- For those seeking asylum, we have formal procedures, written into law, laying out how we determine their eligibility. It is not an easy process. No one is granted asylum unless they convince an immigration judge that they qualify under our laws. We can bring a set of these judges to the border to make this determination without allowing those seeking asylum access to the country before a determination is made.
Over the weekend the Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate dismissed the threat from the caravan, saying it isn’t “some huge national emergency” like the threat of nuclear war with Russia.
This was in addition to similar comments he made last week about the caravan, arguing that a few thousand very poor people coming to our border is not a threat.”
Republican challenger Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who’s been supportive of President Trump and the border wall, used the comments in a digital ad, highlighting the potential dangers the caravan poses.
“Phil Bredesen, dangerously wrong for Tennessee. Marsha Blackburn will stand with Trump to build the wall and stop the caravan,” the ad ends.
Phil Bredesen saying that the illegal alien mob nearing our border is "not a threat to our security" is proof that he cares more about advancing the Democrats radical open border agenda than protecting Tennessee families. pic.twitter.com/5RUexhbUCw— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) October 26, 2018
“If Phil Bredesen had his way he would be at the border to greet these illegal aliens with driving certificates, encourage them to work on his campaign, and go vote,” Blackburn’s campaign manager, Kevin Golden, said in a press release.
“Tennesseans want their next Senator to stand firm against illegal immigration, work with President Trump to build the wall, support [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and law enforcement agents, and stop sanctuary cities,” Golden added.
Blackburn is leading Bredesen by 6.5 percentage points, according RealClearPolitics's average of polls.