Democrat 2020 candidate and former vice president Joe Biden told reporters in Los Angeles on Wednesday that U.S. citizens are “obligated” to pay for healthcare for illegal immigrants – a position that’s evolved just a bit from the policies he proposed on the campaign trail just over a decade ago.
“Look, I think that anyone who is in the situation that they’re in need of healthcare, regardless of whether they’re documented or undocumented, we have an obligation to see that they’re cared for,” Biden said Wednesday.
Blaze TV noted that “during his 2008 campaign, he presented a MUCH different plan,” and posted a video to Twitter of the then presidential candidate laying out his conditions for accepting illegal immigrants and extending the government’s help.
.@JoeBiden now says it’s our obligation to give illegal immigrants health care.
During his 2008 campaign, he presented a MUCH different plan.
“They learn to speak English & learn to deal like everyone else did in order to gain citizenship. But if they don’t you send them back.” pic.twitter.com/4v51HlhLqf
— BlazeTV (@BlazeTV) May 9, 2019
“What you do is you work on this idea of earned citizenship. You make them all return to the border to get a tamper-proof card. You force them, every one, to have a criminal background check,” Biden told the large outdoor gathering.
“You require you have to have proof they have a job. You have to require that they proof that they are paying social security and paying their taxes. And then if they do that, and they’re prepared to pay a fine over the next six years they can earn their way to citizenship if they learn to speak English and learn to deal like everyone else did in order to gain citizenship,” he said.
“But if they don’t, then you send them back.”
The reality is it’s difficult to understand what Biden thinks about healthcare, or immigration, or a lot of other issues.
Biden contends everyone should have healthcare, but doesn’t support a single-payer system, making him one of the healthcare industry’s top picks in its effort to thwart a disastrous Medicare for All government run system, Vox reports.
Biden’s remarks about illegal immigrants in 2008 would undoubtedly earn unending media scorn if uttered by Trump today, but they’re certainly not the only example of how the 76 year old has shifted on the issue over the years.
In 1997, Biden voted against an amendment to restore food stamp benefits for children of illegal immigrants, and opposed expanding the visa program for skilled workers the following year. Biden supported legislation to allow illegal immigrants to participate in social security, and to create a “guest worker” program in 2006, the same year he also voted in favor of building a 700-mile long fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In 2007, Biden claimed he would crack down on sanctuary cities that flout federal law, and said he supported a Bush immigration plan involving “amnesty” and border barriers. He also said on the campaign trail in 2007 that illegal immigrants drive down wages, and he doesn’t believe they deserve driver’s licenses, OnTheIssues reports.
Fast forward to 2019 and he’s now posturing as a champion and advocate for illegal immigrants in his self-described “battle for the soul of America.”
“The biggest thing we got to do … is just tone down the rhetoric. We know why it’s happening, to create fear and concern,” Biden told reporters in L.A. “Why is your job in tough shape? Because of that … and then he describes in very graphic unflattering terms that other, that immigrant.
“This is ridiculous.”