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'
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Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve Bullock2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Biden, Buttigieg condemn rocket attacks on Israel MORE (D) on Tuesday accused Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Mass.) of playing into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate 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.

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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.