By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Bernard Sanders said Monday he would grant a blanket deportation amnesty to most illegal immigrants and welcome a new surge of illegal immigrants from Central America as he accused Republicans of “racism” for demanding stiffer immigration enforcement.

Speaking to immigration activists in Nevada, Mr. Sanders, the son of immigrants, said illegal immigrants should get quick citizenship and it shouldn’t be dependent on whether the border is secured first, and he demanded Congress pass a more generous bill than the 2013 immigration measure that cleared the Senate.

But Mr. Sanders also said if he wins the White House he’ll follow President Obama’s lead and act unilaterally to expand the current deportation amnesty to include nearly all illegal immigrants.

“The bottom line is that we cannot and we should not sweep up millions of men, women, and children — many of whom have been here for years — and throw them out of the country,” he said in remarks prepared for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement summit. “We need a path to citizenship to bring 11 million people out of the shadows.

Mr. Sanders lashed out at existing immigration policy, saying it discriminates against women who accompany their husbands to the U.S. by denying them a chance to work as well.

And the Vermont senator said he would allow even illegal immigrants who have been deported but sneak back into the U.S. to get on track for citizenship under his plans.

His remarks come as Democrats are competing to see who can be the most generous toward illegal immigrants, with an eye on winning Hispanic voters in the 2016 election.

Over the weekend former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley made a similar plea to the same gathering.