Editor note: The video can be found at the bottom of the article. The visuals are pretty raw, but the audio is crystal clear.
Video has surfaced of Former Vice President Joe Biden advocating for a southern border wall and punishing those who aren’t here legally.
He made the comments in 2006 while he was a Senator.
Biden bragged about it to a South Carolina rotary club, saying he voted for a border fence despite other Democrats opposing the measure.
“Folks, I voted for a fence, I voted, and unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,” he said.
This was in the video unearthed by CNN.
“But, let me tell you, we can build a fence 40 stories high — unless you change the dynamic in Mexico and — and you will not like this, and — punish American employers who knowingly violate the law when, in fact, they hire illegals. Unless you do those two things, all the rest is window dressing,” he added.
The timing of the video release may or may not be coincidental. It comes just as Biden officially enters the race to be his party’s challenger against President Donald Trump during the 2020 elections.
Democrats top criticisms of President Trump have surrounded his tough immigration stances, especially his demand for a barrier across the southern border.
In the video, Biden says he’s more concerned with drugs crossing the border than people.
“Now, I know I’m not supposed to say it that bluntly, but they’re the facts, they’re the facts. And so everything else we do is in between here. Everything else we do is at the margins. And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs,” he said.
Now that the wall has become a central part of the Trump administration’s agenda, it’s unclear what Biden’s thoughts on the wall are now.
Biden has long been perceived as more of a moderate Democrat, and over the years has pushed for tougher security through enhanced technological capabilities as an alternative to barriers.
According to his spokesman, his position hadn’t changed. But he also now says that a border wall wouldn’t “address the real issues.”
“As then-Senator Biden said at the time, ‘we can build a fence 40 stories high,’ but it will not address the real issues here. Vice President Biden believes we have to stop trying to scare people and instead have an immigration discussion based on facts,” spokesman Andrew Bates said.
Bates continued to try and control the narrative.
“He believes that we can secure our borders without abandoning our values, and that we should do that by addressing the root causes of immigration abroad and working toward comprehensive immigration reform at home, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and smart border security,” he said.
Bates made sure he didn’t pass on the opportunity to attack the President.
“He also believes that the Trump Administration’s approach to immigration, including its crackdown on sanctuary cities and especially its repugnant treatment of migrant children, is contrary to our values as a nation,” he said.
On Biden’s campaign website, the immigrations calls for a “humane” immigration system but doesn’t specifically declare support for or against a border barrier.
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Over the past couple of years, the wall has become a sticking point in negotiations over immigration reform between Congress and the White House.
Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have attacked it, going so far as to call the wall “immoral”.
Then there are other Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who have come under scrutiny for supporting the border wall before Trump’s presidency.
Biden enters a race against considerably more progressive opponents in the 2020 primaries. But in the most recent polling, he’s destroying the competition – holding against leading runner-up Senator Bernie Sanders with substantial margins.