Bernie Sanders Hosts Immigration Rally At San Diego Border
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders held a rally at the border Friday evening, a day after he joined six other presidential candidates at a presidential debate in Los Angeles.
A KQED/NPR poll this week found Sanders ahead of the Democratic pack in California, leading into its March 3 primary.
The rally took place in the quad of San Ysidro High School, and focused on immigration. During his speech, Sanders reiterated his support for a moratorium on deportations and ending the criminalization of entering the country without legal permission. Over a thousand people attended the forty-minute speech in brisk December weather.
Sanders pledged to unify the country, after criticizing what he called President Donald Trump's politics of "divisiveness." He related how his own father was an immigrant to the United States, fleeing eastern Europe because of poverty and rising antisemitism.
Kate Anchondo, an 18 year-old from Spring Valley, lined up for the rally around 11:00 a.m, six hours before its scheduled start. She last attended a Sanders rally in 2016, when she was still too young to vote.
"I just think that Bernie is the candidate for immigration, climate candidate, the health care candidate," said Anchondo. "As a Latina, and my parents are immigrants too. He's the only candidate that has brought forth policies that actually take into account all the issues and actually see immigrants as people why they are coming here," she said.
The Vermont senator's support among Latinos has propelled him into second place nationally, ahead of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but still several points behind current front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden.
80-year-old Vi Mooberry from Escondido, also attended the rally.
"I've been to many rallies. Every time he's come to San Diego, I've been here," Mooberry said, adding that she thinks Sanders is honest and speaks "for the people."
"Age doesn't necessarily denote wisdom. Bernie's wisdom is there. It was there when he was a young man and it's with him now."
Sanders last visited San Diego in August, where he appeared at the UnidosUS Conference. At the time, he told KPBS that his message to Latinos was that “we have got to stand together and stop [President] Trump's effort to divide us up, based on where we were born or the language that we speak or the color of our skin.”
Sanders had a heart attack while on campaign in October but has seen his polling rise since then.
South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a fundraiser at the House of Blues in downtown San Diego in November.
After California moved up its primary date to “Super Tuesday” in early March, it has seen a flurry of presidential campaigning, which in previous years had mostly neglected the Golden State.