What do the Democratic Candidates Believe About Immigration Laws?
Hillary Clinton: R
America needs comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.
Hillary is advocating for:
- A fair and just immigration system. Every family should feel like they belong in this country. Instead of breaking up law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America for years, Hillary will offer them a path to citizenship.
- Comprehensive immigration reform. The American people support comprehensive immigration reform—not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it strengthens families, our economy, and our country. Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.
- Defending executive actions. Hillary will defend President Obama’s executive actions on immigration from partisan attacks that would put DREAMers at risk of deportation. And if Congress continues to refuse to act, she will do everything possible under the law to go further. She will put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children.
- Conducting humane, common-sense enforcement. Immigration enforcement must be more humane, more targeted, and more effective. We will focus our limited resources on those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety. Hillary will also end private immigrant detention centers.
Hillary Clinton goes all in on immigration reform
Before Hillary Clinton’s remarks late yesterday in Nevada on immigration policy, reform proponents weren’t entirely sure what to expect. As Rachel noted on the show last night, Clinton adopted a decidedly moderate posture on immigration during her first campaign eight years ago, and there was uncertainty about how far she’d be willing to go this year.
But as Alex Seitz-Wald reported, the Democratic frontrunner answered those questions emphatically in the Silver State.
In perhaps the strongest remarks on immigration of her entire career, Hillary Clinton vowed Tuesday evening to “do everything I possibly can” to help immigrants – including going beyond President Obama’s executive actions to extend deportation relief to undocumented immigrants. […]
The Democratic presidential candidate hit almost every issue on the immigration reform activist’s wish-list. She called for more humane detention practices, making it easier for families to plead their case for leniency, and took on the private prison industry. And crucially, she said she supported President Obama’s actions to shield millions of immigrants from deportation – and promised to go do even more. “If Congress continues to refuse to act, as president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further,” she said.
Bernie Sanders: R
A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy
Despite the central role immigrants play in our economy and in our daily lives, undocumented workers are reviled by some for political gain and shunted into the shadows. It is time for this disgraceful situation to end. This country faces enormous problems and they will not be solved unless we are united. It is time to end the politics of division in this country.
As president, Senator Bernie Sanders will:
- Sign comprehensive immigration reform into law to bring over 11 million undocumented workers out of the shadows. We cannot continue to run an economy where millions are made so vulnerable because of their undocumented status.
- Oppose tying immigration reform to the building of a border fence. Undocumented workers come to the United States to escape economic hardship and political persecution. Tying reform to unrealistic and unwise border patrol proposals renders the promise illusory for millions seeking legal status.
- Sign the DREAM Act into law to offer the opportunity of permanent residency and eventual citizenship to young people who were brought to the United States as children. We must recognize the young men and women who comprise the DREAMers for who they are – American kids who deserve the right to legally be in the country they know as home.
- Expand President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include the parents of citizens, parents of legal permanent residents, and the parents of DREAMERs. We need to pursue policies that unites families and does not tear them apart.
- Authorize and substantially increase funding for the Legal Services Corporation to provide legal representation to guest workers who have been abused by their employers. Further, employers should be required to reimburse guest workers for housing, transportation expenses and workers’ compensation.
- Substantially increase prevailing wages that employers are required to pay temporary guest workers. If there is a true labor shortage, employers should be offering higher, not lower wages.
- Rewrite our trade policies to end the race to the bottom and lift the living standards of workers in this country and our trading partners. Not only have free trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA hurt U.S. workers, they have been a disaster for small farmers in Mexico and Central America.
We cannot and we should not be talking about sweeping up millions of men, women, and children – many of whom have been here for years – and throwing them out of the country. That’s wrong and that type of discussion has got to end.
We are a nation of immigrants. I am the son of an immigrant myself. Their story, my story, our story is a story of America: hard-working families coming to the United States to create a brighter future for their children. The story of immigrants is the story of America, a story rooted in family and fueled by hope. It continues today in families all across the United States.