First, he set the record straight on how the detention centers at the border were set up, and more importantly when.
Over the weekend, in an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post, Johnson had harsh things to say to the field of presidential candidates about their ideas regarding illegal aliens and immigration if any of them ever manage to make it to the White House.
“We cannot, as some Democratic candidates for president now propose, publicly embrace a policy not to deport those who enter or remain in this country illegally unless they commit a crime. This is tantamount to a public declaration (repeated and amplified by smugglers in Central America) that our borders are effectively open to all; this will increase the recent levels of monthly apprehensions at our southern border — about or more than 100,000 — by multiples,” Johnson wrote in a Washington Post column.
“For the same reason, we cannot formally decriminalize unauthorized entry into this country, though first-time illegal border crossers are, in fact, rarely prosecuted for that misdemeanor (except for last year’s disastrous “zero-tolerance” policy).”
Stunning words coming from one of the Democrats own, and a man who himself was not exactly all about deportation during his time in office. Then Johnson went a step farther, and really put his money where his mouth is.
“To win support from a vocal and committed segment of a major party’s base — and simply for the sake of a good applause line — candidates for office now espouse extreme policy proposals that are unworkable and have no hope of winning the broad support of Congress and the people they represent,” he argued, adding those who put forth policies that have no chance of becoming law are “doing a disservice to our democracy.”
“Here is a radical proposal: a presidential candidate who is willing to educate, enlighten and tell voters the hard truths. This trait has all but evaporated in U.S. politics, but it is the single best job qualification for those who aspire to lead. I’m a Democrat, and whoever among the current Democratic field of candidates demonstrates this profile in courage will earn my vote,” he concluded.
Johnson might be a Democrat, but he, at least on the surface, is being realistic. Democrat candidates for president are not.
Stay tuned to find out if any of the field takes his advice.