With the election just around the corner, it is important to understand where presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand on immigration issues. Be sure to check out our blog “Part 1 of 2: Spotlight on Donald Trump’s Potential Immigration Policies.”
Path to Citizenship
The former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, says she wants to make it easier for immigrants to become U.S. citizens. Clinton is aiming for “a pathway to full and equal citizenship” within her first 100 days in office. She wants Congress to end regulations that force undocumented immigrants to leave the U.S. before starting the process of becoming U.S. citizens.
Her campaign has also proposed the expansion of outreach efforts for people seeking U.S. citizenship. According to Clinton, these outreach efforts would mitigate language and economic barriers that make it difficult for undocumented immigrants to navigate the citizenship process. She also proposes a national Office of Immigrant Affairs to work on integration and naturalization services. In addition, Clinton is a supporter of sanctuary cities.
Hillary Clinton is an advocate for “protecting our borders and national security.” She supports the 2013 Senate immigration bill that would have funded an enhanced border-security plan, including border fencing. She has stated that the U.S. Mexican border is “the most secure border we have ever had.”
Visas and Work Permits
Clinton states that “immigration has been and continues to be good for our economy.” She supports the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Actions for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs that enable qualified undocumented immigrants to obtain U.S. work permits. However, she has not discussed the H-1B visa reform. Clinton has only brought up the H-1B visa reform when saying it was “heartbreaking” that some American workers end up training their replacements from foreign countries.
In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton implied that she will not push the H-1B visa reform, but will address it only as part of a comprehensive immigration reform. She said, “I don’t want to mix that with other kinds of changes in visas and other concerns that particularly high-value technical companies have. In fact, I think keeping the pressure on them helps us resolve the bigger problem …”
Clinton’s campaign focuses on detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants “who pose a violent threat to public safety.” She defends President Obama’s stalled executive orders on the DACA and DAPA programs, which are intended to protect undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria from deportation.
Hillary Clinton pledges to welcome Syrian refugees and allow refugees and asylum seekers “a fair chance to tell their stories.” She proposes to accept 65,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S., which she believes would help alleviate the crisis created by the Syrian war. “We have always welcomed immigrants and refugees,” Clinton said. “We have made people feel that if they did their part, they sent their kids to school, they worked hard, there would be a place for them in America.”
Clinton’s campaign calls for supervised release instead of detention for families who do not pose a threat to public safety. She also recommends terminating family detention for parents and children who arrive at our border in desperate situations. Clinton has proposed the closing of private immigration-detention centers, which now hold about two-thirds of the 31,000 detainees in custody on a typical day. She has suggested that she would then reach out to Congress to fund more public immigration detention centers.
Berardi Immigration Law will continue to closely monitor the presidential election and any effect it may have on immigration policies. Be sure to check back frequently for updates!