On the Issues: Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump on Immigration
Though the way the 2016 U.S. presidential election has devolved into tabloid level in-fighting may make it seem more reality show than politics, there will still be long-lasting ramifications for whichever choice, Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hilary Clinton, Americans makes in November.
Of the many major issues in the election, few have stuck in the public consciousness more than immigration, both legal and illegal. It was the defining topic of Trump’s initial campaign announcement, and has remained in the news cycle since. As is to be expected, the two candidates differ greatly on the subject.
Clinton’s website lays out an immigration reform plan that’s heavily based on protecting families, expanding healthcare options, promoting naturalization and integration, and “humanely” enforcing current laws. The site also explicitly throws support behind the DACA and DAPA acts pushed through by President Barack Obama. Clinton’s plan reads in full:
“Introduce comprehensive immigration reform. Hillary will introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office. It will treat every person with dignity, fix the family visa backlog, uphold the rule of law, protect our borders and national security, and bring millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.
End the three- and 10-year bars. The three- and 10-year bars force families—especially those whose members have different citizenship or immigration statuses—into a heartbreaking dilemma: remain in the shadows, or pursue a green card by leaving the country and loved ones behind.
Defend President Obama’s executive actions—known as DACA and DAPA—against partisan attacks. The Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision on DAPA was a heartbreaking reminder of how high the stakes are in this election. Hillary believes DAPA is squarely within the president’s authority and won’t stop fighting until we see it through. The estimated 5 million people eligible for DAPA—including DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents—should be protected under the executive actions.
Do everything possible under the law to protect families. If Congress keeps failing to act on comprehensive immigration reform, Hillary will enact a simple system for those with sympathetic cases—such as parents of DREAMers, those with a history of service and contribution to their communities, or those who experience extreme labor violations—to make their case and be eligible for deferred action.
Enforce immigration laws humanely. Immigration enforcement must be humane, targeted, and effective. Hillary will focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.
End family detention and close private immigration detention centers. Hillary will end family detention for parents and children who arrive at our border in desperate situations and close private immigrant detention centers.
Expand access to affordable health care to all families. We should let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so.
Promote naturalization. Hillary will work to expand fee waivers to alleviate naturalization costs, increase access to language programs to encourage English proficiency, and increase outreach and education to help more people navigate the process.
Support immigrant integration. Hillary will create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs, support affordable integration services through $15 million in new grant funding for community navigators and similar organizations, and significantly increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education.”
According to the site, the main goals of Clinton’s platforms would be to “fix our broken immigration system and stay true to our fundamental American values: that we are a nation of immigrants, and we treat those who come to our country with dignity and respect—and that we embrace immigrants, not denigrate them.”
Donald Trump’s immigration plan, as laid out on the Republican’s site as a “10 Point Plan to Put America First,” should come as no surprise to those who’ve been following his statements since the beginning. There’s heavy emphasis on deporting illegal immigrants, overhauling the immigration process, and the “border wall” that Trump has repeatedly claimed Mexico will pay for. The list also vows to abolish many Obama administration policies.
The “10 Points” are described in full as:
“1. Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.
2. End catch-and-release. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.
3. Move criminal aliens out day one, in joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement. We will terminate the Obama administration’s deadly, non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets.
4. End sanctuary cities.
5. Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties. All immigration laws will be enforced – we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.
6. Suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur, until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place.
7. Ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported.
8. Ensure that a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system is fully implemented at all land, air, and sea ports.
9. Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. Many immigrants come to the U.S. illegally in search of jobs, even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants.
10. Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms.”
According to the site, by enacting these 10 policies, Trump will help the economy by establishing “new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first,” and protecting “the economic well-being of the lawful immigrants already living here by curbing uncontrolled foreign worker admissions.”
The issue of immigration has been a hot-button one throughout the presidential campaign, and considering the fact that it will reportedly be a major part of the third and final presidential debate, it looks like it will be one right down to the wire.
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