Bullock to Warren on immigration: 'You are playing into Donald Trump's hands'

Bullock to Warren on immigration: 'You are playing into Donald Trump's hands'
© Getty

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockPartisan divisions sharpen as independent voters fade Jeff Bridges calls for donations to get his 'good buddy' Bullock 'up on that debate stage' The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate MORE (D) on Tuesday accused Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (D-Mass.) of playing into President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE’s hands on immigration by calling to decriminalize illegal border crossings. 

In a heated exchange during Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, Warren argued that the law criminalizing border crossings allowed Trump to separate families and jail children.

“We need to fix the crisis at the border, and a big part of how we do that is we do not play into Donald Trump’s hands, but he wants to stir up the crisis at the border, because that’s his overall message,” Warren said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bullock shot back: “But you are playing into Donald Trump’s hands. The challenge isn’t that it’s a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president and using this to rip families apart.

“A sane immigration system needs a sane leader,” he said.

Warren responded that the law, not just the leader, was the problem.

“What you’re saying is ignore the law, and laws matter,” she said.

The exchange mirrored a similar face-off in the first Democratic debate last month between former Housing Secretary Julián Castro and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), in which Castro slammed O’Rourke for not supporting decriminalization.