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Policy Summary

Due to the Trump Administration’s repeated crackdowns on immigration matters, immigration has been a very prominent and important topic in regards to the 2020 46th presidential election. Several of the leading Democratic candidates have rather similar views, but vary to some degree on the minute details. A brief summary of the immigration positions of Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren are outlined below.

Joe Biden

Biden believes immigrants should have health coverage and that the US should build more clinics around the country so illegal immigrants can be cared for should a medical emergency arise. He also supports DACA and believes that  Dreamers should have clear paths to citizenship.

Mike Bloomberg

Bloomberg takes an economic approach to immigration and preaches the value that  immigration provides  for the US economy. He claims the American Dream cannot survive if the US tells dreamers to go elsewhere and bring their talents with them; that failing to fix the broken immigration system is to inflict self-harm on the US economy. Bloomberg believes that  immigrants who are graduates with advanced degrees in essential fields should receive or be put on a path to receive green cards (rather than providing “first-rate” STEM educations to foreign students only to send them back to their nation with now competitive knowledge and expertise). He also believes that immigrant entrepreneurs who have interested American investors should receive temporary visas that can become permanent should their ideas take off. Bloomberg puts a heavy emphasis on the critical role immigrants have played in the revitalization of economies throughout America in both small towns and big cities.

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, DACA, and is against sending troops to the US Southern Border.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders believes there is an urgent need for immigration reform, visa reform, restructuring of  ICE, and expansion of DACA. He agrees that securing the border is important, but that it can be done without building a wall. Sanders seeks to protect guest and undocumented workers from labor exploitations and to hire more judges to process asylum claims. Sanders stresses the importance of immigrants and undocumented workers because they are “doing the extremely difficult work of harvesting our crops, building our homes, cooking our meals, and caring for our children. They are part of the fabric of America”

Elizabeth Warren

Warren arguably has the most robust immigration position, thus far. She seeks to “create a rule-based system that is fair, humane, and reflects our values.”  Warren’s main goals are, in no particular order:

  • Increase and restore US foreign aid to Central America to target crime, disrupt trafficking, address poverty, reduce sexual violence and enhance programs for at-risk youth and rally the international community to match this
  • Raise the refugee-cap to 125,000 in her first year and 175,000 in the following years. She also proposes establishing an Office of New Americans designed to support new immigrants in learning English, and civics and provide employment focused training courses.
  • Reverse the Muslim Travel Ban and Remain in Mexico policy; eliminate expedited removal and provide due process for all immigrants coming to the US
  • End unnecessary detention, eliminate private detention facilities, decriminalize migrations and refocus enforcement on serious criminal threats
  • Separate law enforcement and immigration enforcement, remake CBP and ICE (no warrantless arrests, increase Homeland Security efforts like screening cargo, identifying counterfeit goods, preventing smuggling and trafficking), create a Justice Department Task Force to investigate accusations of serious violations like medical neglect, and physical and sexual assaults of detained immigrants

Engagement Resources

  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • us: an organization that aims to promote the tech community to support policies that keep the American Dream alive. They specifically and currently focus on immigration reform.

Image by unsplash-logomicah boswell

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