What positions do the candidates take on illegal immigration? The
main contenders for president all have position “papers” posted on
their websites. You don’t need me to tell you who to vote for, based on
the illegal immigration issue, but I’m simply going to present their
stated beliefs and positions on this issue.
As you read the statements of the candidates from both parties, I
think it is pretty clear who is serious about immigration and who isn’t
and it is almost crystal clear who wants a border fence and who wants
to keep the masses across the border—across the border.
Considering that Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter both have left the
presidential race, it is incumbent upon those of us against illegal
immigration to make sure we don’t elect someone sympathetic to amnesty
and who will conduct business as usual at the border.
With that being said, here are the positions of the various
candidates on illegal immigration, as posted on their campaign
websites. (And as an aside, I noticed that all of the candidates used
very similar, if not identical templates and designs on their sites. I
think that this simple observation speaks volumes about our choices
this fall. Like their websites, none of the candidates stand out, there
are no originals….)
Immigration is one of those challenging issues that touch on many aspects of American life.
I have always believed that our border must be secure and that the
federal government has utterly failed in its responsibility to ensure
that it is secure. If we have learned anything from the recent
immigration debate, it is that Americans have little trust that their
government will honor a pledge to do the things necessary to make the
As president, I will secure the border. I will restore the trust
Americans should have in the basic competency of their government. A
secure border is an essential element of our national security. Tight
border security includes not just the entry and exit of people, but
also the effective screening of cargo at our ports and other points of
But a secure border will contribute to addressing our immigration problem most effectively if we also:
- Recognize the importance of building strong allies in Mexico and
Latin America who reject the siren call of authoritarians like Hugo
Chavez, support freedom and democracy, and seek strong domestic
economies with abundant economic opportunities for their citizens.
- Recognize the importance of pro-growth policies — keeping
government spending in check, holding down taxes, and cutting
unnecessary regulatory burdens — so American businesses can hire and
pay the best.
- Recognize the importance of a flexible labor market to keep
employers in business and our economy on top. It should provide skilled
Americans and immigrants with opportunity. Our education system should
ensure skills for our younger workers, and our retraining and
assistance programs for displaced workers must be modernized so they
can pursue those opportunities
- Recognize the importance of assimilation of our immigrant
population, which includes learning English, American history and
civics, and respecting the values of a democratic society.
- Recognize that America will always be that “shining city upon a
hill,” a beacon of hope and opportunity for those seeking a better life
built on hard work and optimism.
Border security and our failed immigration system are more examples
of an ailing Washington culture in need of reform to regain the trust
of Americans. In too many areas — from immigration and pork barrel
spending to Social Security, health care, energy security and tax
relief — business-as-usual politics prevents addressing the important
challenges facing our nation.
Stop Illegal Immigration
Secure The Border. Follow through on Congressional commitment to
build a physical and technological fence along the southern border, and
secure other points of entry.
Implement An Enforceable Employer Verification System. Issue a
biometrically-enabled and tamperproof card to non-citizens and create a
national database for non-citizens so employers can easily verify their
legal status in this country.
Reject Amnesty. Do not give amnesty or any special pathway to those who have come to this country illegally.
Punish Sanctuary Cities. Cut back federal funding to cities that are
“sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants and refuse to comply with federal
law or aid federal law enforcement.
Improve Interior Enforcement. Provide resources to enforce
immigration laws throughout the nation, and crackdown on employers who
continue to hire illegals with stiffer fines and penalties.
Encourage Legal Immigration. Streamline the system to recruit and
retain skilled workers and welcome the best and the brightest from
around the world to our universities.
On January 16, 2008 Governor Huckabee signed the Numbers USA: No Amnesty Pledge. To learn more click here.
Governor Huckabee believes:
- Securing our borders must be our top priority and has reached the level of a national emergency.
- I support the $3 billion the Senate has voted for border security.
This money will train and deploy 23,000 more agents, add four drone
planes, build 700 miles of fence and 300 miles of vehicle barriers, and
put up 105 radar and camera towers. This money will turn “catch and
release” into “catch and detain” of those entering illegally, and crack
down on those who overstay their visas.
- In this age of terror, immigration is not only an economic issue,
but also a national security issue. Those caught trying to enter
illegally must be detained, processed, and deported. As Governor, I
ordered my state troopers to work with the Department of Homeland
Security to arrest illegals and enforce federal immigration law.
- I oppose and will never allow amnesty. I opposed the amnesty
President Bush and Senator McCain tried to ram through Congress this
summer, and opposed the misnamed DREAM Act, which would have put us on
the slippery slope to amnesty for all.
- I oppose and will not tolerate sanctuaries for illegals. The
federal government must crack down on rogue cities that willfully
undermine our economy and national security.
- I oppose giving driver’s licenses to illegals and supports
legislation to prevent states from doing so. In 2005, I signed
legislation that prevents illegals in Arkansas from getting driver’s
- I will stop punishing cities which try to enforce our laws and
protect the economic well-being, physical safety, and quality of life
of their citizens.
- I oppose and will not tolerate employers who hire illegals. They
must be punished with fines and penalties so large that they will see
it is not worth the risk.
- I oppose the economic integration of North America that would
create open borders among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. I will
never yield one iota or one inch of our sovereignty.
- I will take our country back for those who belong here. No open
borders, no amnesty, no sanctuary, no false Social Security numbers, no
driver’s licenses for illegals.
I know that securing our borders must be our top priority and has
reached the level of a national emergency. I am as sick and tired as
you are that it is harder for us to get on an airplane in our home town
than it is for all these illegals to cross our international border
We cannot stem the tide of illegals until we turn the tide. Before
you fix the damage to your house caused by a leaking roof, you have to
stop the leak, which I am determined to do.
I supported the $3 billion Congress passed this summer for border
security. This desperately-needed money will train and deploy 23,000
more agents, add four drone planes, build 700 miles of fence and 300
miles of vehicle barriers, and put up 105 radar and camera towers. This
money will turn “catch and release” into “catch and detain” of those
entering illegally and crack down on those who overstay their visas.
But where is this $3 billion? The President threatened to veto the
bill it was part of! Now the Senate has again voted for this money as
part of the Defense Bill. I will continue to fight until we get these
In this age of terror, immigration is not only an economic issue,
but also a national security issue. We must know who is coming into our
country, where they are going, and why they are here. All those who are
caught trying to enter illegally must be detained, processed, and
deported. As Governor, I ordered my state troopers to work with the
Department of Homeland Security to arrest illegals and enforce federal
I oppose and will never allow amnesty. I passionately rejected the
amnesty bill that President Bush and Sen. McCain tried to ram through
Congress this summer after secret meetings of an under-the-radar cabal
of amnesty-loving senators.
I opposed the misnamed DREAM Act, which was a nightmare because it
would have put us on the slippery slope to amnesty for all. Because
once we open that door even a crack, we’ll never get it closed again.
I oppose and will not tolerate sanctuaries for illegals. The federal
government must enforce our existing laws by cracking down on rogue
cities and towns that willfully undermine our economy and our homeland
security by giving benefits and protection to illegals. The
consequences for illegal entry must be swift, certain, and uniform
throughout our country.
I oppose giving driver’s licenses to illegals, such as Governor
Spitzer tried to do in New York. I support legislation that would
prevent the states from granting this privilege to illegals. In 2005, I
signed legislation that prevents illegals in Arkansas from getting
I will stop punishing cities which are trying to enforce our laws. I
will appoint judges who will uphold the law, not side with the ACLU
against cities like Hazelton, Pennsylvania, which are trying to protect
the economic well-being, physical safety, and quality of life of their
I will not tolerate employers who hire illegals - they must be
punished by fines and penalties so large that they will understand it
is not worth the risk. Once again, as with Hazelton, liberal judges are
gumming up the works. Right now, a court in San Francisco — Pelosiland
- has delayed enforcement of the “no match” letters for Social Security
numbers that the Department of Homeland Security will use to crack down
on those who hire illegals. If illegals cannot find work, they will go
back where they belong. I will do everything I can to hasten their trip
home by denying them employment.
I strongly oppose the economic integration of North America that
would have open borders among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. I
know we must have closed and secure borders. I will never yield either
one inch or one iota of our sovereignty. I will recognize no authority
but our Constitution.
I will take our country back for those who belong here and those who
are willing to play by the rules for the privilege to come here. No
open borders, no amnesty, no sanctuary, no false Social Security
numbers, no driver’s licenses for illegals.
I will Implement a broad-based strategy that commits the resources
of the federal government to the enforcement of our immigration laws
and results in the attrition of the illegal immigrant population.
CONTROL OUR NATION’S BORDERS
Bring Order To The Border: Congress authorized the construction of
700 miles of border fence in 2006 and then appropriated over $1.1
billion for border security. However, Washington has only built a few
dozen miles of fence. Rudy will commit to building the fence – both
physical and high-tech – now, while deploying and maintaining 20,000
Border Patrol agents and measuring their progress toward ending illegal
immigration. It is important to accomplish this goal in order to
preserve and expand legal immigration.
Implement BorderStat: Rudy will propose BorderStat to bring
accountability to measuring the progress in securing our borders.
BorderStat is modeled after the Mayor’s successful New York City
program CompStat which helped reduce the city’s crime by imposing
accountability. It will use key indicators to identify both effective
enforcement strategies that demonstrate tangible results and areas of
the border where we are failing so the failures can be immediately
IDENTIFY ALL NON-CITIZENS ENTERING AND EXITING AMERICA
Issue A Single, Tamper-Proof Biometric ID Card: Rudy will propose
the Secure Authorized Foreign Entry Card (SAFE Card) to be uniform for
all non-citizen workers and students, utilizing tamper-proof and
biometric features for secure identification.
Create A Single National Database Of Foreigners: It is critical to
America’s security to have one national database of non-citizens in our
country. Rudy will propose consolidating all existing databases into
one so a foreigner’s legal status can be quickly checked.
Identify Those Who Have Left The Country With Biometric Check-out
System: Forty-five percent of illegal immigrants in America came into
our country legally but overstayed their visas. Rudy believes we need a
biometric check-out system so we know who has left America and can
focus enforcement on those who remain.
DEPORT CRIMINAL ALIENS
Deport All Illegal Aliens Who Commit A Felony: America currently
only deports 14% of the roughly 300,000 foreigners who commit crimes in
our country. Rudy will commit to deporting all foreign individuals who
have abused their privilege of staying in the United States.
Require All Immigrants to Truly Read, Write & Speak English:
Rudy believes immigration and Americanization go hand-in-hand. As
President, he will propose that all immigrants who want to become
citizens must truly read, write, and speak English and learn American
civics. For the American experiment to succeed, we need a common
Our immigration system is in crisis. The laws we currently have on
the books are inadequate and no longer serve our best interests. As a
nation, we place a premium on compassion, respect, and policies that
help families, but our immigration laws don’t reflect that.
Hillary has consistently called for comprehensive immigration reform
that respects our immigrant heritage and honors the rule of law. She
believes comprehensive reform must have as essential ingredients a
strengthening of our borders, greater cross-cooperation with our
neighbors, strict but fair enforcement of our laws, federal assistance
to our state and local governments, strict penalties for those who
exploit undocumented workers, and a path to earned legal status for
those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and
willing to meet a high bar.
Hillary strongly believes we need to do more to know who is in our
country by securing our borders and ensuring that employers comply with
the law against hiring and exploiting undocumented workers. She
supports deploying new technology that can help stop the flow of
undocumented immigrants into the country and an employer verification
system that is universal, accurate, timely, and does not lead to
discrimination and abuse by employers.
Along with these changes, Hillary believes we need to repair those
broken portions of our immigration system that irrevocably damage
families and force citizens and lawful immigrants to choose between
their newly adopted country and living with their spouse or children.
We have a national interest in fostering strong families. This is why
she introduced an amendment during consideration of the immigration
reform bill that would have taken steps to protect the sanctity of
families. Our American values demand no less.
And Hillary understands that our immigration policies have a direct
impact on American workers. She opposes a guest worker program that
exploits workers and creates a supply of cheap labor that undermines
the wages of U.S. workers. Hillary believes all workers deserve safe
conditions and decent wages. She supports an Ag Jobs program, which
will keep our agricultural industry vibrant while enabling agricultural
workers to receive the fair wages and labor protections they ought to
When Hillary is president, comprehensive immigration reform will be a top priority.
Hillary has advocated for policies to help smooth the transition of
legal immigrants once they arrive in the U.S. so that they can add to
our economy and culture.
- She championed the Legal Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement
Act, which would give states the option to provide federally funded
Medicaid and SCHIP benefits to low-income legal immigrant children and
- She wrote the Access to Employment and English Acquisition Act to
meet the growing demand for English language courses and other job
- She strongly supports the DREAM Act, which provides a path to
citizenship through military service or higher education for children
who were brought to the U.S. by their parents.
- She offered an amendment to make family reunification the guiding principle of our immigration system.
Undocumented population is exploding: The number of undocumented
immigrants in the country has increased more than 40 percent since
2000. Every year, more than a half-million people come illegally or
illegally overstay their visas.
Immigration bureaucracy is broken: The immigration bureaucracy is
broken and overwhelmed, forcing legal immigrants to wait years for
Immigration raids are ineffective: Despite a sevenfold increase in
recent years, immigration raids only netted 3,600 arrests in 2006 and
have placed all the burdens of a broken system onto immigrant families.
Barack Obama’s Plan
Create Secure Borders
Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. He supports
additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and
at our ports of entry.
Improve Our Immigration System
Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy
and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together
and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.
Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally
Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.
Bring People Out of the Shadows
Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are
in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of
the line for the opportunity to become citizens.
Work with Mexico
Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.
Barack Obama’s Record
- Crack Down on Employers: Obama championed a proposal to create a
system so employers can verify that their employees are legally
eligible to work in the U.S.
- Fix the Bureaucracy: Obama joined Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) to
introduce the Citizenship Promotion Act to ensure that immigration
application fees are both reasonable and fair. Obama also introduced
legislation that passed the Senate to improve the speed and accuracy of
FBI background checks.
- Respect Families: Obama introduced amendments to put greater emphasis on keeping immigrant families together.
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration
(CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link
to learn more. Afterwards, email brianbonner90-at-gmail-dot-com and let
us know at what level you would like to participate.
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