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Help us visualize the top presidential candidates’ positions on immigration!
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Story to tell in the infographic
We’d like to inform the audience what the top presidential candidates’ stances on immigration are. We’ll look into the top 4 Republicans, and the top 4 Democrats, and communicate clearly what each candidate’s stance is on immigration, including a legal path to immigration and path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Possible title: “Curious about how the top 10 U.S. Presidential candidates approach immigration?”
Data to include in the infographic
Each U.S. Presidential hopeful has different and shifting views on the topical issue of immigration. At SimpleCitizen, we know that the next President can heavily influence future immigration law, so we’ve pulled together the following to break down each candidate’s view in a simple, straightforward format: Qualitative (quotes are for context, and can some can be incorporated into the infographic). Democrats: Hillary Clinton While Hillary Clinton was once adamantly against undocumented immigrants, her views have evolved since 2005 and become much more mainstream. Now, she believes in a path to citizenship that keeps families together and for undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship provided that they have not committed crimes and are willing to pay a fine to the government, pay back taxes, and learn English. Plans to extend President Obama’s executive measures to protect illegal immigrants from deportation (The Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton Backs Path to Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants”). Claims “Republican candidates who are proposing anything short of a “full and equal” path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants are talking about “second-class status”” (The Washington Post, “Hillary Clinton’s views on immigration are entirely mainstream”). Strongly opposes the administration’s detention policies and reliance on private-prison facilities to lock up families (MSNBC, “Why Hillary Clinton’s immigration policy is a big deal”). States that she will do everything in her power under the law to fight to keep families together and empower illegal immigrants to secure legal status in the United States (MSNBC, “Why Hillary Clinton’s immigration policy is a big deal”). Bernie Sanders Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator of Vermont, is another Democratic candidate with mixed views on immigration. Staying quiet on the issue until recently, Sanders now supports immigration reform and has vowed to “go even further than President Barack Obama in expanding deportation relief.” He supports the Dream Act and rights for undocumented workers. While immigration isn’t a central issue for Sanders up to this point, he has expressed measures for reform. “Sanders said that as president, if Congress did not pass immigration reform, he would use executive action to give deportation relief to the parents of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and so-called Dreamers, the would-be beneficiaries of the Dream Act” (Huffington Post, “Bernie Sanders: It’s Time for Immigration Reform”). At the NALEO conference, Sanders expressed his support for the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 and the Dream Act which was never passed (Huffington Post, “Bernie Sanders: It’s Time for Immigration Reform”). Sanders remains a critic of guest worker programs that could cost Americans jobs and lead to lower wages for citizens or legal permanent residents with the ability to work (Huffington Post, “Bernie Sanders: It’s Time for Immigration Reform”). Sanders also plans on working to ensure that “workers are not exploited by employers who think their undocumented status will prevent them from speaking out” (Huffington Post, “Bernie Sanders: It’s Time for Immigration Reform”). In 2007, Sanders helped kill a 2007 immigration push, making his history on the immigration issue somewhat mixed. Jim Webb Jim Webb’s immigration views aren’t very clear and he has said little on the topic since announcing his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race. As the former Virginia Senator, Webb voted conservatively on many immigration-related issues and still remains more conservative than most other Democratic candidates on the issue. While he is certain that some reform is necessary, he has yet to outline a clear plan on how he plans to reform the system. In 2006, “Webb stated on his campaign website that it was “necessary” to fix our outdated immigration system but focused on an enforcement-first strategy calling for securing the border before working on any other aspects of the outdated system” (http://immigrationimpact.com/2015/07/07/jim-webbs-immigration/). Webb voted in favor S.Amdt.1399 to S.Amdt.1373, which proposed requiring “the completion of at least 700 miles of reinforced fencing along the southwest border by December 31, 2010” (http://ballotpedia.org/Jim_Webb_presidential_campaign,_2016/Immigration). Webb also voted for “H.R.5281 – the Removal Clarification Act of 2010, which included the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010 or DREAM Act of 2010. The “DREAM Act” proposed granting conditional nonimmigrant status to young individuals who entered the United States illegally”(http://ballotpedia.org/Jim_Webb_presidential_campaign,_2016/Immigration). “Mr. Webb has advocated a piecemeal approach to an overhaul of the immigration system, sometimes putting him at odds with the Democratic mainsteam,” though there are some who believe he may be moving toward a more comprehensive approach (The New York Times, “Jim Webb on the Isuses”). Lincoln Chafee Former Governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee is another Democratic presidential hopeful with a history in favor of immigration reform. Since 2005, Chafee has repeatedly supported reforms supporting everything from child resident alien coverage under Medicaid (2005) to the legalization for path and guest worker programs (2010). Chafee supports a bipartisan immigration solution as part of his presidential platform. Joined 13 governors in the 2013 letter striving for immigration reform to open a pathway to citizenship (through tax and penalty monetary payments), a replacement for the “guest worker” visa program, and the provision of visas to foreign graduate students in science and math (http://ballotpedia.org/Lincoln_Chafee_presidential_campaign,_2016/Immigration). Voted against H.R.6061 in 2006, which called for the installation of 700 miles of fencing to protect the border between the United States and Mexico (http://ballotpedia.org/Lincoln_Chafee_presidential_campaign,_2016/Immigration). Chafee worked illegally in Canada when he was 23 years old, making him a staunch supporter of immigration reform. Believes federal officials should enforce immigration laws (PBS, “What does Lincoln Chafee believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues”). Wants to give immigrants access to in-state tuition (PBS, “What does Lincoln Chafee believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues”). Republicans: Donald Trump Since 1999, Donald Trump has expressed strong views against immigration claiming that new immigration should be limited and the focus should be placed on those already living in the United States. More recently, Trump states his goal is to “deport the bad dudes” not only from Mexico, but from all over the world. While he has no concrete strategy of how to best accomplish his goals, he stated his team would “look very, very strongly about what to do” (NY Daily News, “Donald Trump says his immigration strategy will be to deport ‘the bad dudes’”). Trump most recently proposed a “merit system” to deal with illegal immigrants who have “been outstanding” or have “done a good job” (The Christian Science Monitor, “Merit-based migrants: Is Donald Trump softening on illegal immigration?”). Before taking any other measures, Trump plans on securing the border by building a wall and making Mexico pay for it (The Christian Science Monitor, “Merit-based migrants: Is Donald Trump softening on illegal immigration?”). According to Bloomberg News, “Trump did not say whether he would support a path to citizenship,” a measure supported by most Democratic candidates and opposed by Republicans as they consider it amnesty (The Christian Science Monitor, “Merit-based migrants: Is Donald Trump softening on illegal immigration?”). Trump has been in the news a lot for suggesting that “illegal Mexican immigrants brought drugs, crime and rapists to the US” (The Christian Science Monitor, “Merit-based migrants: Is Donald Trump softening on illegal immigration?”). Ben Carson Dr. Ben Carson, a Tea Party candidate, believes that bipartisan Congressional action is the only true solution for immigration reform. He believes that there are incentives encouraging illegal immigration such as weak borders, easy public school enrollment, simple employment for undesirable jobs, easy access to healthcare, and public welfare support. Carson’s primary views center around his suggestion to adopt the Canadian guest-worker set-up and to set up a system that disincentivizes illegal immigration. “Any discussion of immigration reform should include bipartisan solutions that both address the undocumented population here today and discourage illegal immigration going forward. If these issues are not addressed, solutions will fall short” (National Review, “My Prescription for Immigration Reform”). Carson, like many other Republic candidates, believes that we must contain illegal immigration by sealing the border with drones and other technology (The Daily Signal, “Ben Carson: Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Are ‘Ridiculous’”). “All of this is irrelevant unless we have secure borders. There is much that can be learned from security personnel in prisons and other secured facilities, and there is a great deal of smart technology that can be employed to achieve secure borders. It is a matter of will rather than ability” (National Review, “My Prescription for Immigration Reform”). “As long as we reward people who break laws, they will continue to break laws. We do need a continual flow of immigrants, but choosers need not be beggars. We make decisions based on our needs. People who refuse to comply with the rules must forfeit chances of legalization in the future. Anyone caught involved in voter fraud should be immediately deported and have his citizenship revoked. The point is this: We must create a system that disincentivizes illegal immigration and upholds the rule of law while providing us with a steady stream of immigrants from other nations who will strengthen our society. Let’s solve the problem and stop playing political football” (National Review, “My Prescription for Immigration Reform”). Carly Fiorina Carly Fiorina is the former Hewlett Packard CEO and another Republican candidate who supports border security as the first priority in immigration reform. While she believes that legal status is a possibility for illegal immigrants, she doesn’t believe that a pathway to citizenship should exist if immigrants entered and stayed in the United States illegally. Her strict views contrast with all Democratic candidates as well as many Republican candidates who have come out in support for a pathway to citizenship. “In my view, we also have to fix the illegal immigration system, which has been broken for about 25 years now. No one's -- everyone talks about comprehensive solutions but nobody starts with the basics. My own view is, if you have come here illegally and stayed here illegally, that you don't get a path to citizenship” (Real Clear Politics, “Carly Fiorina: If You Came Here Illegally, You Don’t Get a Path to Citizenship”). "I think it isn't fair to say to people who've worked hard to earn the privilege of citizenship that 'Never mind. Never mind that you played by the rules. People who didn't get to have the same privileges that you do'” (CNN, “Carly Fiorina: Clinton ‘pandering’ on immigration”). “I think the privilege of citizenship should be left to those who worked hard and did it the right way” (Breitbart, “Carly Fiorina: The ‘Privilege of Citizenship’ Belongs to People Who ‘Did it the Right Way’”). “I think legal status is a possibility, for sure. I think their children maybe can become citizens. But my own view is it isn't fair to say to people who have played by the rules -- and it takes a long time to play about it rules -- that, you know, it just doesn't matter” (Real Clear Politics, “Carly Fiorina: If You Came Here Illegally, You Don’t Get a Path to Citizenship”). Marco Rubio Florida Senator Marco Rubio has spoken little of immigration and when he has, his views have been difficult to understand. In fact, “his rhetoric has shifted from talking about a broad bipartisan deal to fix the nation’s immigration system to emphasizing the problems posed by undocumented immigrants” (Politico, “Marco Rubio flies under the radar”). Rubio is most notable for helping pass the “Gang of Eight” bill that introduced comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship, only to oppose the bill later after it had passed the Senate. Rubio now believes “the most realistic way to make progress on immigration would be through a series of individual bills” (National Review, “Has Marco Rubio Really Learned His Lesson on Immigration?”). Since his departure from the Gang of Eight bill, he has given descriptions of his position that sound different depending on the audience, making it difficult to determine his actual stance on immigration. Rubio has recently argued for “more border-security personnel, more fencing, a national E-verify system for employment, and an entry and exit visa-tracking system” (National Review, “Has Marco Rubio Really Learned His Lesson on Immigration?”). In contrast, he has also proposed granting work permits and temporary nonimmigrant visas to illegal immigrants who learn English and pass a background check, not to mention allowing these individuals to apply for permanent residency status after a decade (National Review, “Has Marco Rubio Really Learned His Lesson on Immigration?”). Rubio’s moderate views and unclear platform on immigration makes it difficult to determine where he stands on the issue or what he would do if elected.
Elements to include in the infographic
Break down varying stances - visually show the overlaps and the differences in opinions and policies (could be w/check boxes similar to this: https://www.aclu.org/infographic/infographic-whats-stake-sb-1070-supreme-court).
We want to be sure we are not taking sides in this. We want to come across as purely informative, objective in every way.
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