Immigration Policy | 2016 Campaign Issues
Donald Trump Immigration Policy
Build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border
Trump proposes a border wall and says Mexico should pay for the wall with a one-time $5 billion to $10 billion payment. Mexico will pay for the wall or the United States will take steps to interfere with remittances, the money that Mexican immigrants send back to family and friends. The administration could require wire transfer businesses to have customers prove their legal status in order to wire money outside the United States. By Trump’s estimates, people in the United States send about $24 billion a year to Mexico. If Mexico executes Trump’s proposed one-time payment for the wall, a Trump administration would not put into effect new rules for wire transfer agencies. Money for the wall would also come from trade tariffs and increased visa and border crossing card fees.
Increase enforcement of immigration laws
Trump proposes eliminating federal grants to sanctuary cities, which are jurisdictions that have laws or practices in place that limit their assistance to federal immigration officials.
Trump wants nationwide implementation of E-Verify, an internet-based platform used to match information on an employee’s Form I-9 (used to verify identity and employment authorization) to data collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. E-Verify is already used by more than 600,000 employers nationwide, according to immigration officials.
Trump would like to see an end to birthright citizenship. He says that children born to undocumented parents should not be granted U.S. citizenship, even though the 14th Amendment says that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Focus on American workers
Trump says foreign workers weigh down salaries, keep unemployment high and make it difficult for Americans and immigrants to earn a middle-class wage. Employers seeking to hire should first turn to the nation’s unemployed population before recruiting foreign workers. He would create a hiatus during which foreign workers abroad would not get green cards until employers hire native-born and immigrants already in the country.
Trump wants to raise criteria for refugee admissions and asylum seekers to reduce the amount of money used for programs that assist them.
Hillary Clinton Immigration Policy
Clinton says she supports new immigration legislation that would create a path to citizenship. Clinton also wants Congress to get rid of the three and ten-year bars, the time limits on undocumented immigrants who leave the country as part of a process to legalize their status are expected to stay away from the United States before returning legally.
Clinton said she will defend President Barack Obama’s stalled executive actions designed to protect from deportation up to 5 million undocumented immigrants — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The plans are at a halt after the Supreme Court deadlocked on a 4 to 4 vote on the legality of the actions.
Encourage immigrants to become naturalized citizens
Clinton wants to make it easier for people to become U.S. citizens. Clinton says she would expand fee waivers so that money isn’t an obstacle for the estimated 9 million people eligible for citizenship. Her plan also increases outreach and education so that potential citizens have a better understanding of the naturalization process.
Clinton aims to help an estimated 42 million immigrants integrate into the United States by reducing language, education and economic barriers. She wants to increase access to language programs to help immigrants improve their English skills. Clinton says she would create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs to coordinate programs and policies among federal and local agencies working on integration and naturalization services.
Change detention policies
Clinton says families who don’t pose flight or public safety threats should be offered cost-effective alternatives such as supervised release instead of detention. Private immigration detention centers would close. She says these private centers may contribute, or have the appearance of contributing, to over-incarceration.