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Crazy Bernie wants to bring back deported immigrants

Crazy Bernie wants to bring back deported immigrants

Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is proposing a plan that would bring back undocumented immigrants who have been deported from the U.S. if they have close relatives living in the country.

The idea was part of the Vermont independent's wide-ranging immigration plan released on Tuesday that includes many ideas shared by his Democratic rivals, including more protections for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. But Sanders' plan is the first to extend protections to immigrants who have already been sent back to their home countries.

The proposal takes advantage of an existing tool called "parole in place." In the vast majority of cases, undocumented immigrants who want to apply to become legal residents in the U.S. must return to their home country to start the process. But the Department of Homeland Security has the power to grant "parole in place" status to some immigrants "for urgent humanitarian reasons," which would allow them to stay in the U.S. while their application is being considered.

Sanders' plan would ask Homeland Security officials to bring back people who have been "wrongfully deported." In an email Wednesday, his campaign said that would include undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, or have spouses, children or parents who are U.S. citizens.

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