Amnesty International USA asked Bernie Sanders 13 questions about some of the most pressing human rights issues of our time.
Here is his response exactly as provided:
Bernie believes we must stand up for our values as a country of immigrants and accept refugees, asylum-seekers, and families who come to the United States in search of the American Dream. This is how America was built and it has made our country strong.
What we need in the United States is humane comprehensive immigration reform, which ends the barbaric treatment of immigrant families. The United States can not be about tearing babies from the arms of their mothers.
Bernie believes that when we look at our border today, we must remember that most of the people coming into the country are seeking asylum from violence, strife and poverty– in the same way his own father was seeking asylum.
Bernie supports an immigration system grounded in civil and human rights. We must not let corporate America pick and choose who they want to come into our country. He believes we must stand up for our values and accept refugees, asylum-seekers, and families who come to the United States in search of the American Dream. That means not holding asylum seekers in detention while their applications are processed. And that means ending the for-profit detention center and prison industrial complex. No one should profit from the incarceration of another person.
Bernie believes we must provide aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and strength diplomatic ties. When he is in the White House, our trade policies will be written with the goal of lifting standards of living both in the United States and abroad, and must protect workers in all countries, not large multinational corporations. We must end the destabilizing foreign policy decisions and trade deals that helped contribute to the crises we see in Latin America today.
The United States under President Trump has not lived up to our values and ideals. Bernie believes we must strengthen and expand our support for refugees fleeing war and violence and do our part in the international community to provide relief. We must also pursue a foreign policy that does not contribute to the destabilization that often drives migration, and mount an aggressive response to climate change to ensure the root causes of global migration both now and in the future are addressed.
Bernie has long opposed U.S. involvement in misguided foreign interventions, which leave countries in disastrous conditions and their people in humanitarian crises. We must end the destabilizing foreign policy decisions and trade deals that contributed to many of the international crises we see today.
We will work diplomatically with the international community and with others in the region who share a vision of shared prosperity, security and dignity for all people, to de-escalate the situation. We will provide humanitarian aid and economic reconstruction for those affected by the disastrous wars, and help facilitate the delivery of aid from international partners.
America has a responsibility to lead the global transition away from fossil fuels to green energy-efficient systems. Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement was an abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace. At this moment, when climate change is already causing devastating harm around the world, we have a moral imperative to do our part to preserve this planet for future generations.
Bernie believes we can and will end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We must get money out of politics and take on the NRA to ensure that elected officials act on the desire of voters from both parties for common sense gun reform.
We need to enact universal instant background checks and end “straw purchases” and the gun show loophole. Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines have no place on our streets and must be banned. He supports legislation to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers and “red flag” laws, such as the one in place in Vermont, which allow for temporary removal of firearms from those deemed by a state court a danger to themselves or others. He has also co-sponsored legislation for grants given to states to improve handgun licensing programs and to ban the 3-D printing of firearms and bump stocks.
Bernie believes that violence and brutality of any kind, particularly at the hands of the police meant to protect and serve our communities, is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. We need a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter and racism will not be accepted in a civilized country. When we’re in the White House, we will:
Bernie believes that the United States, along with our peers in the international community, must firmly condemn and hold abusive governments accountable, which are persecuting, imprisoning, and in some cases killing their citizens for their religious beliefs or ethnicities. And we must ensure our trade agreements protect the human rights of those in our country as well as civilians abroad.
Bernie believes it should not be a radical idea to guarantee everyone – regardless of sexuality or gender identity – equal protection under the law and that we must end discrimination in all forms. As President, he will:
When we are in the White House, Bernie will fight back against the Republican assault on abortion rights across the country and defend a woman’s right to control her own body around the world.
Under his Medicare for All program, the Hyde Amendment is fully repealed, and reproductive health coverage is provided to all, free at the point of service. He will also oppose all efforts to undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade, and will appoint federal judges who will uphold women’s fundamental rights. Bernie also believes that we must oppose increasing attacks on women’s rights happening at the state and local level.
When Bernie is in the White House, he will:
Bernie believes the United States must condemn governments which suppress free speech and ensure their is accountability for human rights violations.
Like in the atrocious case of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in which the CIA confirmed was an obvious order of the Saudi crown prince. The United States must thoroughly reevaluate our relationship with the brutal Saudi dictatorship, and start by ending support for the catastrophic war in Yemen.
Over the years, we have seen that the struggle for democracy is bound up with the struggle against authorianism, kleptocracy, and corruption. That is true here in the United States as well as abroad.
Bernie has long fought for the protection of human rights and the right of people to mobilize.
When he is in the White House, rather than openly supporting the overthrow of a foreign government, the United States will:
Bernie has said for years that the prison at Guantanamo Bay must be shut down as soon as possible. We must ensure that torture is never again part of America’s interrogation practices and that all detainees are treated under the rules of the Geneva Conventions. When Bernie is President, he will move to restore our country’s reputation around the world by closing the prison swiftly and ensuring that all detainees are treated humanely and in accordance with international human rights standards.
The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is dangerous and irresponsible. We must strengthen these treaties, not end them.
When Bernie is in the White House, we will work diplomatically with the international community to promote peace and uphold human rights.
Bernie is proud to have been one of the leading sponsors of the resolution to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen. When we are in the White House, we will ensure the U.S. is not supporting foreign wars, which have done more to create a humanitarian crisis than to establish peace.
Bernie believes that in order to create a government and economy that works for the many, we will have to take on powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life. That means holding large corporations accountable for human rights violations and for contributing to the long history of systemic racism and exploitation of the poor. We will develop a movement that takes on the greed and ideology of the billionaire class and leads us to economic, social, and environmental justice. We will: