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Donald Trump

Trump's Immigration (section page):

FiveThirtyEight did a good job gathering a lot of immigration data mentioned by Trump and then explaining it. Read it here.

  • Deport nearly 12 million illegal immigrants. (DTS)
  • Illegal Immigrants lead to higher crime in the country. (DTI)
  • " You look at your gov -- you look at Baltimore, you look at Ferguson, you look at lot of these places, a lot of these gangs -- and the most vicious -- are illegals. They're out of here. First day, I will send them people -- we. Those guys are out of here." (DTS)
  • "Well, it's costing us $130 billion a year and that's peanuts compared to what the real cost is, George, for the way we have it now." (DTI)


  • "We need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly. And I don't mind having a big beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally." (RD1)
  • "Our leaders are stupid, our politicians are stupid and the Mexican government is much smarter." (RD1)
  • Mexico must pay for a wall along US-Mexico border(DTS). Until they do, United States will enact the following policy measures (DTW):
    • Impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages (DTW)
    • Increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them) (DTW)
    • Increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays) (DTW)
    • Increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays) (DTW)
    • Increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico (Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options) (DTW)
  • Wall estimated to cost ~$20 billion [1]
  • Triple the number of ICE officers (DTW)
  • Nationwide e-verify (DTW)
  • Mandatory return of all criminal aliens (DTW)
  • Defund sanctuary cities (cities not following federal law on immigration) (DTW)
  • End birthright citizenship (DTW)
  • Increase wage for H-1B Visas (DTW)
    • Trump argues low wages of immigrants for STEM-related careers displace domestic workers and minority workers in STEM fields. (DTW)
    • Require American companies to hire domestic workers first [yes, but how?] (DTW)
      • Trump proposes a waiting period of no new green cards being issued to foreign workers so that American corporations will hire domestic labor. (DTW)
  • Reduce funding to refugee programs. (DTW)
    • Spend that money on at-risk inner-city youth instead. (DTW)


  • Urges for a "complete and total shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States, in response to Paris bombings.(DTS)
  • “When you have people that are cutting Christians’ heads off, when you have a world, at the border and in so many places … that it’s medieval times … We don’t have time for tone. We have to go out and get the job done.” (RD1)

Bernie Sanders

Bernie's Immigration (section page)

Bernie Sanders Immigration Goals:

  • Dismantle deportation programs and detention centers
  • Create a way for a swift and fair legislative roadmap to citizenship for eleven million undocumented immigrants
  • Broad eligibility for citizenship to all non-criminals in the US
  • Establish a reasonable wait for citizenship of 5 years
  • Regulate the flow of immigrants by modernizing the visa system and rewriting trade agreements
  • End for profit prisons that lead to detention of immigrants
  • Demilitarize the border in order to reduce costs and border deaths
  • Expand support for refugees.



"The injustice in the lives of the workers was overwhelming. In fact, the situation was so bad that on the day I visited two men were indicted for human slavery. Slavery in the 21st century in the United States of America." (latintimes)

Chris Christie

Christie | Immigration | (section page)

Governor Christie supports securing the border and “common-sense fixes” to America’s immigration system.

“Our borders must be sealed. Our laws must be enforced."


Governor Christie has called for securing the border with Mexico through:

  • A border wall where appropriate, specifically in urbanized areas
  • An increase in manpower, specifically embedding FBI, DEA and ATF agents with our border patrol to interdict guns and drugs being smuggled into the country
  • Advanced technology such as the use of drones and electronic surveillance to increase efficiency


Christie, unlike many of his Republican rivals, plays down the need for stricter border security. “Walls can be gotten over,” he said. “The reason people come here is to work.” He says illegal immigration will drop “if we clamp down on folks who are hiring people in this manner.” He had New Jersey join a lawsuit against Mr. Obama’s executive order seeking to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, but he says Republicans should work with the president to push such legislation in Congress. In 2014, he signed into law a measure letting illegal immigrants pay in-state college tuition rates if they have lived in New Jersey for three years and have graduated from a high school in the state. (NYT)


  • Most who enter the country illegally come here to work. Employers should not be exploiting cheap illegal labor and should be held accountable when they do. Every employer in the country should be using e-verify to check the work status of employees.
  • Fines for hiring illegal workers should be double the profit a business has made from that worker. This will remove the incentive to hire illegal workers.



Around 40% of the illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. came into the country legally and simply overstayed their visas. We should be utilizing existing biometric technology to keep track of those who enter the country on a visa, so that that they can be returned home once their visas are expired. (CCWI)


As president, Governor Christie will enforce all the laws as president, not just some. He will block federal funding for sanctuary cities who are choosing to ignore the law. (CCWI)


Governor Christie joined the legal fight against President Obama’s Executive Amnesty, signing onto an amicus brief that successfully urged the Appeals Court to uphold the injunction.

  • Governor Christie condemned President Obama’s Executive Actions and failure to secure border that have “allowed people to believe that they could come here under any circumstances not under the law and be able to stay here.”


Rand Paul

Paul's Immigration (section page)

While serving in the Senate, Paul introduced legislation to make immigration reform conditional on Congress voting on whether the border is secure, requiring completion of a border fence in five years and a protection against the federal government establishing a national identification card system for citizens. His "Trust but Verify" amendment requires Congress to write and enforce a bipartisan border security blueprint rather than using bureaucracies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, to come up with a plan. The amendment also would provide new national security safeguards to track the holders of student visas and those provided asylum and refugee status. (RPW - I)

Paul does not support the concept of "amnesty," but instead "supports legal immigration process." If elected President, Paul would implement his "Trust but Verify" plan and apply pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to secure the border and produce an effective visa tracking system. (RPW - I)

  • Replace current path to citizenship with work visas for illegal immigrants: supports probation" followed by "assimilation, putting undocumented immigrants on an eventual track to either permanent legal status (a green card) or citizenship
  • Immigrants get a temporary work visa but are not put ahead of anyone waiting to enter the country
  • Opponent to the federal government creating a national ID card
  • Believes U.S. can accommodate current 11 million illegal immigrants already leaving in the country; however, we must completely secure the border before any other action can be taken

(OTI - I)

Ted Cruz

Cruz's Immigration (section page)

"Restoring Rule of Law"

Ted Cruz proposes a return to heavy enforcement of American law by

  • Repealing all of Obama's memorandums regarding illegal amnesty (TCWSB)
  • Increase deportations (TCWSB)
  • End catch-and-release (TCWSB)
  • End sanctuary policies and sign Kate's Law (TCWSB)
  • Suspend issuance of H-1B visas (TCWSB)
  • Halt legal immigration while the United States' unemployment rate is "unacceptably high" (TCWSB)
  • End birthright citizenship for children with illegal parents (TCWSB)
  • Ensure legal immigrants do not receive public assistance (TCWSB)

Securing the Border

  • Complete a secure wall across the entire border (TCWSB)
  • Triple the number of Border Control agents (TCWSB)
  • Install biometric tracking system at all of the nation's ports (TCWSB)
  • Increase aerial surveillance around the border (TCWSB)

Ben Carson

Carson's Immigration (section page)

"The overwhelming majority of Americans want the borders of our country secured and our immigration laws robustly president, I will work to end government overreach, reform our immigration policies, boost visa enforcement and secure our borders." (BCWI)

Birthright citizenship

  • Believes the Obama administration's immigration policy has encouraged illegal immigrants to give birth to their children here, thus granting them birthright citizenship
  • To address, he proposes securing our borders and enhancing visa enforcement. (BCWI)

Illegal immigration

  • Carson would seal the U.S.-Mexico border by cutting all benefits that he says attracts illegal immigration (though he doesn't name any specific benefits he proposes cutting)
  • Carson said of this proposal: “You can pretty much get it to 100 percent" (Washington Times)
  • Those in the U.S. without a problematic record would be given a six month period to register and pay a tax penalty. They would have to pay taxes going forward by taking jobs as guest workers, but it wouldn’t amount to citizenship or voting rights. (Washington Times)
  • Rejects the idea of accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S. on the grounds that it would threaten national security. Carson instead said he would support offering resources and diplomacy to help them stay settled or resettle in their own country. (Washington Times)
  • Allow undocumented residents access to a national guest worker program if they leave the country first (PBS)

Carly Fiorina

Fiorina's Immigration (section page)

Secure border

  • Says securing border "will take money, manpower, and technology—but most of all it will take political will." (CFWI)
  • Supports Heritage Foundation plan, which would "support the National Guard and Coast Guard, invest in infrastructure and the right technology, and encourage federal-state-local cooperation." (CFWI)

Fix legal immigration system

  • Wants to reform broken visa system (CFWI)
  • Wants an upgraded employer verification system (CFWI)

Will not grant amnesty to those who are in the United States illegally

  • "Those who cut the line and broke our laws as their first act entering this country have foregone that opportunity." (CFWI)

"I will not support citizenship for those here illegally."

Rick Santorum

Rick's Immigration (section page)

Illegal Immigration

  • Seal the Mexican border with an American-made wall (RSWTR)
  • Rescind Obama-Biden measure that allows for executive amnesty (RSWIR)
  • Veto legislation that creates amnesty (RSWTR)

Legal Immigration

  • Reduce legal immigration by 25% (RSWTR)
  • Implement biometric tracking system for every immigrant who enters the States (RSWIR)
  • End automatic citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants in the United States (RSWIR)
  • "We've brought in 35 million legal and illegal immigrants over the last 20 years, more than any period in American history, yet we have low wages, low participation. We aren't providing the training and the investment in our workers and we're bringing in people to compete against low wage workers. We have to make sure that we are not flooding this country with competition for low wage workers." (CNBCRS)

John Kasich

Kasich | Immigration | (section page)


In 1986 Ronald Reagan basically said the people who were here, if they were law-abiding, could stay. But, what didn't happen is we didn't build the walls effectively and we didn't control the border. We need to control our border. But if people think that we are going to ship 11 million people who are law-abiding, who are in this country, and somehow pick them up at their house and ship them out to Mexico, think about the families. Think about the children. So, you know what the answer really is? If they have been law-abiding, they pay a penalty. They get to stay. We protect the wall. Anybody else comes over, they go back. But for the 11 million people, come on, folks. We all know you can't pick them up and ship them across, back across the border. It's a silly argument. It is not an adult argument. It makes no sense. (Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015)

Q: in 1993 you co-sponsored a bill in Congress that would take away "birth right citizenship": that is the citizenship automatically given to babies born in the US, even if they are born to undocumented immigrants. In 2010 you reiterated that, is that still your position? A: First of all, we ought to finish the fence. The 11 million who are here, we ought to find out who they are. If they've been law abiding over a period of time they ought to be legalized and ought to be able to stay here. If you have violated the law, we're going to ship you out. Once that fence gets built, we should make it clear, anybody who sneaks in, you're going back home. And in addition we need a guest worker program so that people can come in and work and be able to go back to support their family. Q: Would ending birthright citizenship be part of this larger immigration approach? A: I don't think we need to go there. (Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 9, 2015)


“Radical doesn’t work. It’s inconceivable that we would start to round up 10 or 11 million people and start to ship them out of the country. "

Martin O'Malley

O'Malley's Immigration (section page)

Comprehensive Reform

  • Immediately extend executive action to protect at least 9 million immigrants from deportation (MOW-5)
  • Provide deferred action to the greatest possible number of immigrants (MOW-IR)
  • Grant broad waivers to the three- or ten-year bar and work with Congress to achieve a permanent repeal (MOW-IR)
  • Expand parole-in-place to benefit all spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (MOW-IR)
  • Undertake significant outreach and educational programs to promote naturalization (MOW-IR)
  • Rescind the regulations restricting health care for deferred action recipients (MOW-IR)
  • Limit detention to only those who pose a clear threat to public safety (MOW-IR)
  • Close inhumane detention facilities (MOW-IR)
  • Expand due process protections in the detention and immigration system (MOW-IR)
  • Prevent racial and religious profiling (MOW-IR)
  • Disentangle public safety and local law enforcement from immigration enforcement (MOW-IR)
  • Ensure a secure border through the strategic use of personnel and technology, extensive training and support for immigration officers, and policies that address the root causes of migration (MOW-IR)
  • Focus on priority cases that advance national security, address violent crime or financial fraud, and protect the most vulnerable members of society (MOW-IR)

Marco Rubio

Rubio's Immigration (section page)

  • Modernizing the Immigration System
    • Change from a family based immigration system to one on merit and skill
    • keep the test on American History in addition to the skill based system
    • Invest in an entry and exit tracking system for Visas
    • Reassigning visas from family based immigrants to skill based immigration populations
    • All immigrants must learn English (MRWI)

“Our legal immigration system from now on has to be merit-based… and on whether or not you're coming here to become an American, not just live in America, but be an American.” (Washingtonpost)

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee's Immigration (section page)

Border Security

"America has an immigration crisis on its hands, and it’s time for the federal government to do its job. Without a secure border, nothing matters.We have drug cartels running reckless on our southern border, and the Washington establishment wants to reward illegal immigrants with amnesty and citizenship.

As President, I will:

1) Reject President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders.

2) Oppose amnesty.

3) Secure the border now.

If you reward people who play outside the rules and punish people who live within the rules, pretty soon nobody is going to play by the rules. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws." (MHWBS)

Hillary Clinton

Clinton's Immigration (section page):

  • Hillary has shown longstanding, steadfast commitment to America’s immigrants throughout her career. As president, she will work to ensure a fair and just immigration system.(HC)
  • As president, Hillary will:
    • Fight for comprehensive immigration reform legislation with a path to full and equal citizenship. (HC)
    • Defend President Obama’s DACA and DAPA executive actions. (HC)
    • Do everything possible under the law to go further to protect families. If Congress continues its refusal to act on comprehensive immigration reform, Hillary will put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible system for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to be able to make their case and be eligible for deferred action as well. (HC)
    • Conduct humane, targeted immigration enforcement. Hillary will focus enforcement resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and work to ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories. (HC)
      • End family detention. Hillary believes we should end family detention for parents and children who arrive at our border in desperate situations. We have alternatives to detention for those who pose no flight or public safety risk, such as supervised release, that have proved effective and cost a fraction of what it takes to keep families in detention. (HC)
      • Close private immigrant detention centers. Hillary will end private immigrant detention centers. She believes we should move away from contracting out this critical government function to private corporations and private industry incentives that may contribute—or have the appearance of contributing—to over-incarceration. (HC)
    • Expand access to affordable healthcare to all families. Hillary sponsored the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act in the Senate, which later became law and allows immigrant children and pregnant women to obtain Medicaid and SCHIP. (HC)
    • Promote naturalization. (HC)

"I will stand up against any effort to deport dreamers. Immigrants are vital to our economy." (kens5)

Jeb Bush

Bush's Immigration (section page)

Jeb Bush plans to strengthen the enforcement of Immigration laws, both internally and at the border through six proposals. (RD4)

  1. A forward-leaning Border Patrol with the flexibility to deploy resources to meet threats. (RD4)
  2. implementing new surveillance technologies such as drones sensors and radars (RD4)
  3. improving the border infrastructure to allow easier access to border patrol agents (RD4)
  4. Reduce the incentive for illegal immigration by decreasing the likelihood that they will be employed through an improved E-Verify system (RD4)
  5. Identify and send home the people who are entering the United States and overstaying their visas or otherwise violating the terms of their admission. (RD4)
  6. Punish sanctuary cities which are impairing the federal government from enforcing immigration laws, by withholding federal law enforcement funds. (RD4)

For those already within the United States Jeb Bush intends too instate a rigorous path towards citizenship which would require a background check, paying fines, paying taxes, learning English, obtaining a provisional work permit and a job all while not receiving government assistance. (RD4)

"What we need to do is allow people to earn legal status where they pay a fine, where they work, where they don't commit crimes, where they learn English, and over an extended period of time, they earn legal status. That's the path" (RD4)

"Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families." (WashingtonPost)