Where Do the Democratic Candidates Stand on Immigration?

With two out of twelve rounds of Democratic debates done, it’s worth taking a step back and seeing what is being said off the stage about the immigration issue. 

Over the next three weeks, we’ll take a brief look at where all the candidates stand, regardless of whether or not they were already approved for the September 12th and 13th debates. 

Let’s dive in:

Amy Klobuchar

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Klobuchar’s stance on immigration supports legal status and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, as well as an increase in legal immigration for those with temporary work visas.

Klobuchar supports reformation of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but not abolition of it.

In her own words: “I will continue to work in every way I can to pass immigration reform and am committed to finding a bipartisan solution for our DREAMers. DREAMers were brought here as children through no choice of their own and only know one home – the United States of America. These are young people – with families, jobs, and lives – who serve in our military, pay taxes, and contribute to communities across the country.”

Klobuchar will be moving to the next round of the debates.

Notable Immigration Voting Records

Date: February 15, 2018

Bill Title: Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act

Vote: Nay

 

Date: February 15, 2018

Bill Title: Immigration Security and Opportunity Act

Vote:Yea

 

Date: July 6, 2016

Bill Title: Stop Illegal Reentry Act

Vote: Nay

 

Date: June 27, 2013

Bill Title: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Vote: Yea

 

Date: October 24, 2007

Bill Title: DREAM Act

Vote: Yea

Andrew Yang

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Andrew Yang supports the idea of the American immigrant as an imperative piece of the “most dynamic, most creative, and most successful nation in the history of the world.” He believes that the current system, when it works, is a positive step in the right direction, as it brings in skilled, invested immigrants who are seeking to integrate themselves into the American culture.

Yang believes that undocumented immigrants, despite the fact that many of them are hardworking, have still broken the law. After securing the southern border, he also feels that a path of citizenship should be provided, but that this path must reflect that the individual broke the law.

He wrote: “We have to face facts that there are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. Millions of them pay taxes and have American children. Deporting them is impossible and inhumane. Having them continue to live in the shadows brings with it many problems and drawbacks. The best path forward is to provide a pathway to citizenship for those who are here illegally. We need to bring them into the formal economy out of the shadows.” 

Yang has until August 28 to qualify for the third round of debates.

Noteable Immigration Voting Records

Because Yang has not held any political office, no voting records are available. 

Bernie Sanders

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 Bernie Sanders is in favor of an American immigration system that invites in “greater innovation, diversity, and economic opportunity for both American-born citizens and the people who want to make this land their home.” Sanders is in favor of the DREAM Act , and would like to provide “DREAMers” with the chance to seek permanent residency.

He is not in support of the use of visas for “cheap, foreign” labor. Instead, he hopes to establish a visa program that invites qualified individuals to work among American citizens through permanent residency. Though he does support increased border security, he believes this can be done without building a wall.

From his response to the 2019 State of the Union address, “In terms of immigration in this country, what we need to do is not to waste billions of dollars on a wall, but to finally address the need for comprehensive immigration reform–including a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented people.”

Noteable Immigration Voting Record

Date: February 15, 2018

Bill Title: Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act

Vote: Nay

 

Date: February 15, 2018

Bill Title: Immigration Security and Opportunity Act

Vote: Yea

 

Date: July 6, 2016

Bill Title: Stop Illegal Reentry Act

Vote: Nay

 

Date: June 27, 2013

Bill Title: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Vote: Yea

 

Date: October 24, 2007

Bill Title: DREAM Act

Vote: Yea

 

Beto O’Rourke

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Beto O’Rourke wants to end the “cruel and cynical policies [that] are sowing needless chaos and confusion at our borders and in our communities.” O’Rourke wants to end the practice of taking children from their parents at the border, while still enforcing policies that focus on tightening up security without a multi-billion dollar border wall.  

O’Rourke does not support the process of sending illegal immigrants back to their home country before applying for citizenship, as it may place those seeking asylum from dangerous, violent situations in more danger. Instead, he believes that America should focus on bolstering community programs, court staff, and family case managers at one-tenth the cost of detention.

From O’Rourke’s website: “The current asylum system is ineffective, inefficient, illegal, and immoral.  Those traveling vast distances to escape extreme violence and crushing poverty are being met by a militarized cruelty and manufactured chaos that separates families, detains children, and deliberately extends the backlog of those who require processing.  We must change both the culture and processes for handling asylum claims.”

O’Rourke will be moving on to the next round of debates.

Noteable Immigration Voting Records

Date: June 27, 2018

Bill Title: Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018

Vote: Nay

 

Date: September 14, 2017

Bill Title: Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act

Vote: Nay

 

Date: June 7, 2017

Bill Title: Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017

Vote: Yea

 

Date: January 14, 2015

Bill Title: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015

Vote: Nay

Date: December 4, 2014

Bill Title: Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014

Vote: Nay

Want to know more? You can view all of the candidate’s profiles and catch up on immigration news at the #1 source for immigration news. Keep an eye out for next week’s post, where we’ll look at the stances of Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and John Hickenlooper.