Trump: 'How About Taking Care of American Citizens First?'

Susan Jones | June 28, 2019 | 6:07am EDT
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Every one of the ten candidates raised their hands when asked if their health care plans would including coverage for illegal aliens. (Photo: Screen capture/NBC)

( - President Trump, tweeting from the G-20 summit in Japan Thursday night, summed up the Democrat debate this way:

All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!

At Thursday night's debate, in a "show of hands" question, NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked the ten Democrats on the stage: "Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants?"

All the presidential hopefuls raised their hands.


South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was one of two candidates given the opportunity to elaborate:

"Because our country is healthier when everybody is healthier," Buttigieg said. "And remember, we are talking about something people are given a chance to buy into. In the same way that there are undocumented immigrants in my community who pay -- they pay sales taxes, they pay property taxes directly or indirectly.

“This is not about a handout," Buttigieg continued. "This is an insurance program. And we do ourselves no favors by having 11 million undocumented people in our country be unable to access health care. But of course the real problem is we shouldn't have 11 million undocumented people with no pathway to citizenship. It makes no sense..."

Next up, former Vice President Joe Biden:

"You cannot let, as the mayor said, you cannot let people who are sick no matter where they come from and no matter what their status, go uncovered. It's the humane thing to do.

The deal is that he's right about three things. Number one, they in fact contribute to the well-being of the country and also for example increased the lifespan of Social Security. That's what they're doing. It increased the lifespan and do the same in terms of reducing the overall cost of health care by them being able to be treated and not wait until they’re in extremis..."

Later, some of the candidates were asked to raise their hands “if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation."

All but two of the candidates (John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet) raised their hands to say they would decriminalize illegal border crossings.

Biden, pressed on that question, said, "That person should not be the focus of deportation. We should fundamentally change the way we deal with things."

Buttigieg said criminalizing undocumented border crossers "is the basis for family separation. You do away with that, it's no longer possible. Of course, it wouldn't be possible anyway in my presidency because it is dead wrong."

Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would rescind every executive order Trump has issued on illegal immigration. Sanders also advocated looking at the root causes of what he called a "hemispheric problem."

Rep. Eric Swalwell said he would not deport people whose only offense is to come here without documents: "That person can be a part of this great American experience. That person can contribute," he said.

Sen. Kamala Harris said no -- "I will say no, absolutely not, they should not be deported."

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