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October 27, 2016
By Grace Adee, Jones
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past year, it may interest you to know that the 2016 presidential election is less than two weeks away. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump is the Republican nominee– perhaps you have heard of them! Whether or not you can vote, it’s your responsibility to be an informed citizen and to form an educated view based on past actions of candidates and their stated views on various issues.
The volume of information out in the world can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re just taking the first step into political literacy. But have no fear. This is the second in a series of articles from The Mash to help you evaluate the candidates based on just the facts. We’ll tell you what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have to say about the issues that you care about.
The Issue: Immigration
Immigration has become an especially hot-button issue in this election. Most discussion of immigration in this election cycle has been debate over Trump’s proposed “wall” and other harsher regulations of the Mexican-American border, along with discussion of what the American response should be to the Syrian refugee crisis.
While Hillary Clinton hasn’t yet laid out a comprehensive immigration plan, her main message on this issue is support for “comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship.”
In January 2016, she declared her support for President Obama’s actions on the issue: “If Congress won’t act, I’ll defend President Obama’s executive actions– and I’ll go even further to keep families together. I’ll end family detention centers, and help more eligible people become naturalized.” She wants to expand on Obama’s executive actions that deter deportation and grant temporary work visas for much of the undocumented population. She also has expressed a desire to make immigration enforcement and detention practices need to be “more humane.”
In October of 2015, Clinton said that as president she would accept as many as 65,000 refugees fleeing the civil war and resulting humanitarian issues in Syria.
As a senator in 2001, Clinton co-sponsored the DREAM Act, which was legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. This act did not pass. In 2007, she supported a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants.
She voted for the secure fence act of 2006, a bill providing for the construction of 700 miles of double fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2014, Clinton controversially supported the deportation of thousands of child migrants from Central America
Clinton says that she would want to address immigration reform within the first 100 days of her presidency. “I would create the first ever Office of Immigrant Affairs,” she said in April 2016.
Donald Trump has made immigration reform one of the keystone issues of his campaign, repeatedly calling for the deportation of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. “As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated,” Trump said just when he launched his presidential campaign in June 2015. “Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants.”
He recently has laid out a 10-point plan for immigration reform: he has pledged to build a wall across the entire southern U.S. border, triple the number of immigration and customs enforcement agents, require businesses nationwide to use E-Verify to determine the work eligibility of their employees, deport criminal non-citizens, cut federal support to so-called sanctuary cities (those that follow certain procedures that shelter illegal immigrants), and finally, restrict legal immigration. Trump also wants to end the U.S. policy of granting citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.
In opposition to Clinton’s plans to admit more refugees from the Syrian civil war, Trump has said he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the U.S., Europe, or our allies,” implying restrictions on immigration from the Middle East in particular. He has said that he wants to prevent Syrian refugees from immigrating and deport those already who are already here.
Donald Trump mainly believes that the current U.S. immigration system is not strict enough, saying it “does not permit us to know who we let into our country.”
Trump often argues that his views are not anti-immigrant: “We’re going to bring people in, but we’re going to bring people in legally.”
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