Today, five states are holding primaries for the presidential election–including our own state of Missouri. This is a crucial day for voters, as the results could give the two main Democrat and Republican front-runners a chance to secure the nomination. Polls have opened in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri. Before you make your way to the voting booth, let’s review the front-runners’ stances on immigration law.
Hillary supports a path to legal status and citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. She also supports President Obama’s executive orders on deferred action. At the 6th Democratic presidential primary held on February 11, Hillary stated: “I strongly support the president’s executive actions. I hope the Supreme Court upholds them. I think there is constitutional and legal authority for the president to have done what he did. I am against the raids. I’m against the kind of inhumane treatment that is now being visited upon families, waking them up in the middle of the night, rounding them up. We should be deporting criminals, not hardworking immigrant families who do the very best they can and often are keeping economies going in many places in our country. I’m a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. Have been ever since I was in the Senate. I was one of the original sponsors of the DREAM Act. I voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007. Senator Sanders voted against it at that time. Because I think we have to get to comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. And as president I would expand enormous energy, literally call every member of Congress that I thought I could persuade. Hopefully after the 2016 election, some of the Republicans will come to their senses and realize we are not going to deport 11 or 12 million people in this country. And they will work with me to get comprehensive immigration reform.” See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/11/transcript-the-democratic-debate-in-milwaukee-annotated/#
Like Hillary, Bernie supports a path to legal status and citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, and he supports President Obama’s executive orders on deferred action. Bernie has said, “The president did exactly the right thing when he took action to protect Dreamers and the parents of children who are citizens or legal permanent residents. I am confident the president has the legal authority to take this bold action. Clearly the best form of action is for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to put undocumented people on a path toward citizenship. But if Congress fails to act, as president I would uphold and expand the president’s action.” See https://berniesanders.com/press-release/sanders-statement-on-high-court-immigration-case/
The Republican Candidates:
Unlike the top contenders for the Republican party, Ted Cruz does not support a path to legal status and citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, and he strongly disagrees with President Obama’s executive orders on deferred action. During the 7th Republican presidential primary debate on January 28, Cruz said, “Listen, we can solve immigration. … We can build the fence. We can triple the border patrol. We can end sanctuary cities by cutting off…funding to them. We can end welfare for those here illegally. And what is missing is the political will, because too many Democrats and, sadly, too many Republicans don’t want to solve this problem. If I am elected president… we will secure the border…and we will end the illegal immigration.” See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/28/7th-republican-debate-transcript-annotated-who-said-what-and-what-it-meant/
Trump believes there should be no path to legal status or citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, and he is against President Obama’s executive orders on deferred action. He says, “I have a very hardline position, we have a country or we don’t have a country. People that have come into our country illegally, they have to go. They have to come back into through a legal process. I want a strong border. I do want a wall. Walls do work, you just have to speak to the folks in Israel. Walls work if they’re properly constructed. I know how to build, believe me, I know how to build. I feel a very, very strong bind, and really I’m bound to this country, we either have a border or we don’t. People can come into the country, we welcome people to come but they have to come in legally.” See http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2015/12/16/rush-transcript-second-debate-cnn-facebook-republican-presidential-debate/