(CNSNews.com) - Former Vice President Joe Biden told a CNN town hall Thursday night that as president, he would immediately put 11 million illegal aliens on a path to citizenship by sending a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress first thing; he would protect the Dreamers; and he would "increase the number of people that are able to come to the United States for family reunification, to bring brothers, sisters, moms, dads, back to the United States or to the United States for the first time around."
Biden also said he'd send ICE agents "back to school," where they will learn they "should not be standing outside" waiting to arrest illegal aliens at churches and schools.
A woman asked Biden, "How will you handle the ICE raids that are affecting our immigrant communities? Will this department cease to exist or will it be replaced with something else?"
"First of all, the people who are going to go back to school are ICE/ Family separation, I promise you, will end on my watch, just flat end," Biden said.
The 2020 presidential hopeful continued with a lengthy answer:
Number two, we'll also increase the number of people that are able to come to the United States for family reunification, to bring brothers, sister, moms, dads, back to the United States or to the United States for the first time around.
Number three, I'm going to make sure that we surge to the border, surge to the border those people seeking asylum, asylum judges and interpreters as well as federal judges who are going to make judgments about immigration, because it's outrageous what's happening now...This is the first time in American history we've required people seeking asylum to do it from another country. It all stops. I'm not joking about this. It all flat stops.
And the first thing I'm going to do, literally, I have already had one written, on day one, I'm sending to the United States Congress an immigration bill providing a pathway for 11 million undocumented. And I'm going to make sure every Dreamer is protected now.
For real. And by the way, you know, we have a right to protect our border, but protecting our border by building a multibillion-dollar wall from sea to shining sea makes no sense at all. All the bad guys, all those so-called terrorists, all those folks -- and some are -- all those folks who are coming across the border with the drug cartels, they're coming through legal ports of entry.
We have the technology to spend the money on -- for example, we essentially -- the best way to explain it, we can put on top of a tractor-trailer essentially a big X-ray machine, can tell you everything that's in there, the density of it, whether there's people in there, whether -- what's in that -- what's inside that facility, what's inside that container.
We don't need to have this -- what this president is talking about. It's unnecessary. We have a right to protect the border. But the idea -- and by the way, nobody -- and some of you are going to get mad at me with this -- but nobody is going to be deported in my first 100 days until we get through the point that we find out the only rationale for deportation will be whether or not -- whether or not you've committed a felony while in the country.
Lastly, the people who are going to go back to school are ICE, and they should not be standing outside. You know people and families that are afraid to take their child to the doctor because an ICE agent will be waiting outside to arrest them. You know people who don't want to go to mass on Sunday because they're afraid they're going the walk out. And all the anxiety, the anxiety of these children -- you know, 24 out of every 100 children in America in school are Latinos, 24 out of 100. And we treat this like somehow we can do away with it.
It's overwhelmingly in our interest we embrace these people. It's overwhelmingly in our interests. No, I really mean it.
Biden said immigrants, all of them, make the country "economically stronger."
It benefits everybody. And one of the things presidents should be doing is not just legislating, not just trying to change the law, but persuading, persuading. And I find when I talk to people who think they're anti-immigrant, and I say, wait a minute, let's get the facts here.
Number one, the reason Social Security is still working and it's being funded is because of immigrants. The reason why our workforce is increasing is because of immigrants. The reason why it makes sense for everyone to make sure those 24 out of 100 kids get in and out of school does well, everybody does better when everybody does well. And so there is so much we can do.
And by the way, you know, everybody thinks that the way we work is that somebody right now in Guadalajara or somebody in Indonesia or someone in Africa is saying, "I got a great idea. Let's sell everything we have, give it to some smuggler to take it," in the case of Mexico or Latin America, a coyote, "take us across the border, drop us in the desert, and a country that says they don't want us, where we don't speak the language, won't that be fun?" No, I really mean it.
When my great-great-grandfather got on a coffin ship in the Irish Sea in 1849, not having any idea if he was going to make it, guess why we're the best country in the world? Because we've been able to cherry-pick from every single culture the people who are the most optimistic, the people who are the most resilient, the people who are the toughest, the people who, in fact, believe they can do anything given a chance. That's why America is who we are.
The audience applauded Biden numerous times for his remarks.