By Kyle Balluck
March 20, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday slammed Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Ariz.) during comments at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“As I have traveled around this country and talked to immigrant families, and particularly Latino immigrant families, I am struck by the fear and sadness that grips so many of them,” Sanders said.
“I have seen the sadness of families torn apart,” the Vermont senator added.
“We don’t need a wall or barbed wire; we need to fix our broken criminal justice system.”
Sanders said he wants to articulate “a different vision” on immigration.
“I would hope that all of us are rightly appalled by the divisive, bigoted and xenophobic comments of people like Donald Trump,” Sanders said.
“People can disagree in the country about anything, including immigration reform, but bigotry and racism and xenophobia and attacks against people in a very personal way is not what this country is supposed to be about,” he added.
Sanders said that “Trump’s labeling of Mexicans as rapists and criminals repulses all Americans of good will.”
He also criticized Arpaio, who’s known for “tent cities” housing inmates and has endorsed Trump, saying the sheriff “has made a political career of demonizing immigrants and preying on vulnerable people and communities.“
Sanders said the sheriff’s jail’s “should not exist in this country.”
“In this country, we do not treat people in that dehumanizing way.”
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and other local officials accompanied Sanders during the visit to the border, as did two young undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children.
Sanders later drew approximately 3,300 people to a rally in Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported, citing estimates provided by the campaign.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a 30-point lead over Sanders in Arizona just days before voters cast ballots in Tuesday's primary, according to a RealClearPolitics average of recent surveys. Trump, meanwhile, holds a 13-point lead over his closest rival.
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