The countdown is on to the U.S. Presidential Election. In exactly 54 days from today, Friday, September 16, 2016, U.S. nationals will know who their newt leader for the next four year will be. A scary thought indeed! For immigrants concerned about the issue of immigration in a campaign that has been marked by anti-immigrant rhetoric from the Republican Presidential candidate, I thought I’d present a summary of exactly how both candidates feel on the issue as outlined on their websites so voters can be the judge and make their own informed decision as they get ready to vote on November 8, 2016. Here goes:
Democratic Presidential Hopeful Hillary Clinton On Immigration:
•Promises to introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office.
•Promises to protect the US borders and national security, and bring millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.
•Promises to defend President Obama’s executive actions — known as DACA and DAPA—against partisan attacks. The estimated 5 million people eligible for DAPA, including DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents, should be protected under the executive actions, she says.
• Promises to enforce immigration laws humanely. Enforcement must be humane, targeted, and effective, she says, adding that the focus of resources will be 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.
•Promises to end family detention for parents and children who arrive at the US border in desperate situations and close private immigrant detention centers.
• Promises to allow families, regardless of immigration status, buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
•Promises to promote naturalization and 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.
• Promises to create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs and significantly increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education.
Republican Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump On Immigration:
Trump’s three core principles regarding his immigration agenda are:
1. There must be a wall across the southern border.
2. Laws passed must be in accordance with the US’ Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
3. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.
In detail he:
• Promises to triple the number of ICE officers. This he says will be funded by accepting the recommendation of the Inspector General for Tax Administration and eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants.
• Promises nationwide e-verify, a measure which he says will protect jobs for unemployed Americans.
• Promises mandatory return of all “criminal aliens.” Trump says the process can be aided by canceling any visas to foreign countries that will not accept their own criminals, and making it a separate and additional crime to commit an offense while here illegally.
• Promises detention — not catch-and-release. He says “illegal aliens” apprehended crossing the border must be detained until they are sent home.
• Promises to defund sanctuary cities by cutting off federal grants to any city that refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement.
• Promises to enhance penalties for overstaying a visa. He says this is a threat to national security and individuals who refuse to leave at the time their visa expires should be subject to criminal penalties.
• Promises to cooperate with local gang task forces. Trump says ICE officers should accompany local police departments conducting raids of violent street gangs like MS-13 and the 18th street gang, which have terrorized the country. “All illegal aliens in gangs should be apprehended and deported,” he says.
• Promises to end birthright citizenship which he says remain the biggest magnet for illegal immigration.
• Promises to increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs to force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas.
• Promises to hire American workers first. “Too many visas have no such requirement. We need companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed. Petitions for workers should be mailed to the unemployment office, not to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,” Trump says.
• Promises to require that applicants for entry to the United States certify that they can pay for their own housing, health care and other needs before coming to the U.S.
• Promises to increase standards for the admission of refugees and asylum-seekers to crack down on abuses.
• Promises that before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers.