Sen. Cory A. Booker on Tuesday unveiled an executive action plan on immigration that would create new protections for illegal immigrants by taking a series of steps his campaign said won’t require cooperation from Congress.
Among other priorities, Mr. Booker would direct U.S. attorneys to deprioritize prosecuting people for improperly entering the United States unless they posed a public safety risk and move away from the Trump administration’s asylum policies, increasing the cap on refugees to at least 110,000.
He would also seek to shut down “inhumane” facilities, phase out contracts with private prison facilities and expand access to legal counsel for “all immigrants, starting with immigrant children,” according to his campaign.
“When kids are being stripped away from their parents and held in cages, I will not wait for Congress to solve this crisis,” Mr. Booker said. “On day one of my presidency, I will take immediate steps to end this administration’s moral vandalism.”
Mr. Booker released his plan on the same day that immigration activists are planning to hold demonstrations around the country to protest what they say are inhumane conditions in facilities that are holding migrants who have crossed the border.
A number of 2020 contenders and members of Congress have also visited facilities in recent days.
Mr. Booker’s campaign said the Democratic presidential hopeful would also restore and expand protections for “as many” young illegal immigrant “Dreamers” as possible, as well as their families.
Mr. Booker also wants to create a “presumption of liberty” for immigrants by reforming the bond process in immigration court.
“Although there are limits on what we can do to reverse the damage that has already been done to the lives of thousands and to communities across our country, we can put an end to the horror, and turn the page to a new chapter of our history,” he said.
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