FAIR’s Analysis of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan

Screen shot 2016-02-23 at 2.39.03 PMBusinessman Donald J. Trump, who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for president, released an immigration plan based on three core principles: that the U.S. must build a wall across the southern border, that current immigration laws must be fully enforced, and that the interests of American citizens must be put first. (Trump Immigration Plan) In crafting his plan, Trump sought advice from true immigration reformer Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. FAIR offers the following analysis of the plan on five key immigration issues: amnesty; legal immigration; border security; interior enforcement; and taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens.

Amnesty: While his plan does not explicitly mention it, Trump and his surrogates have repeatedly called for a form of “touchback amnesty,” in which illegal aliens are deported and those without criminal records are allowed to quickly return to the U.S. legally. In an interview with CNN, Trump stated that he would “get people out and then have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.” The candidate’s son, Eric Trump, also said that “the point isn’t just deporting them, it’s deporting them and letting them back in legally.” It is unclear, however, whether Trump would grant legal status or citizenship to the illegal aliens who would be allowed to return ahead of those who have complied with our immigration laws…

Read more of this analysis on Donald Trump’s stand on immigration on FAIRus.org: Where Do the Presidential Hopefuls Stand on Immigration?

FAIR’s Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Immigration Plan

Screen shot 2016-02-24 at 11.52.53 AMFormer Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, released her immigration plan entitled “America needs comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.” (Hillary Clinton Immigration Plan) FAIR offers the following analysis of the plan on five key immigration issues: amnesty; legal immigration; border security; interior enforcement; and taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens.

Amnesty: The core of Clinton’s immigration plan is mass amnesty for the 12 million illegal aliens in the country. According to the plan, Clinton supports “comprehensive” immigration reform that provides a “full and equal path to citizenship” and “brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.” Clinton’s plan contains no mention of the criteria for amnesty or the factors—if any—that would disqualify an illegal alien. In the absence of legislation, Clinton vows to take extensive executive action to protect illegal aliens from removal. First, she promises to “defend” President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty programs. Additionally, Clinton would grant deferred action to other illegal aliens with a “history of service and contribution to their communities.”…

Read more of this analysis on Hillary Clinton’s stand on immigration on FAIRus.org: Where Do the Presidential Hopefuls Stand on Immigration?

Clinton and Sanders Trade Accusation as Both Try to Disavow Previous Positions on Immigration

Screen shot 2016-02-18 at 5.33.52 PMClinton surrogate bashes Sanders for ‘newfound advocacy’ on immigration reform.” – Headline in The Hill, February 17.

Sanders Campaign Calls Clinton Immigration Criticism ‘Totally Hypocritical.’” — Headline in the Huffington Post, February 17.

Congratulations, you’re both right. Both of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were concerned about the impact of illegal immigration and mass immigration on American workers, before they decided that pandering on immigration would help them with Democratic Party activists (not to be confused with rank and file voters).

In 2007, Sen. Bernie Sanders gave one of the most impassioned floor speeches opposing a sweeping amnesty and guest worker bill that was supported by leading congressional Democrats and President Bush. “What this legislation is not about is addressing the real needs of American workers … What it is about is bringing into this country over a period of years millions of low-wage temporary workers, with the result that wages and benefits in this country, which are already going down, will go down even further,” Sanders said on May 22, 2007. (Sanders subsequently supported the very similar Gang of Eight bill in 2013.)

Back in 2003, when she was a senator from New York, Clinton was not just opposed to illegal immigrants; she was “adamantly opposed to illegal immigrants.” In an appearance on a New York radio program, Clinton went on to say that “people have to stop employing illegal immigrants,” pointing out the negative impact such practices have on other workers.

When she was campaigning for the Democratic nomination in 2008, Clinton opposed granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, going so far as to pressure then-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer to block such an effort in her home state.

Fast forward to 2016: The self-declared Vermont socialist now supports amnesty and work authorization for virtually all illegal aliens in the U.S. and vast increases in new workers who can compete for jobs in America.

Clinton supports much the same. Now, instead of being adamantly opposed to illegal immigrants, she is blatantly exploiting them and their children in a desperate search for votes in her campaign ads.

Click on the graphic to see Where do the Presidential Hopefuls Stand on Immigration.

SC and NV: Do You Know The Presidential Candidates’ Immigration Positions?

iStock_000064188385_LargeThe race to the White House continues as South Carolinians and Nevadans have their say in the primaries and caucuses. South Carolina: If you want to cast your vote in the Republican primary, go to the polls on Saturday, February 20. If you want to cast your vote in the Democratic primary, go to the polls on Saturday, February 27. Nevada: The Democratic caucus will be held on Saturday, February 20 while the Republican caucus will be held on Tuesday, February 23. Although FAIR does not endorse candidates, we believe that the issue of immigration is of the upmost importance as Republicans and Democrats choose their nominees for the 2016 presidential election. To help you be informed before you vote, FAIR provides the following summary of each of the candidates’ immigration positions. For more information, please visit FAIR’s 2016 resource page.

Republican Presidential Candidates

  • Jeb Bush: Bush’s immigration plan calls for a path to “earned legal status” for illegal aliens and an expedited path to citizenship for so-called DREAMers, illegal aliens who claim to have been brought to the country unlawfully as minors. Bush considers fencing a “component of border security” but only “where appropriate” and supports a “strong E-Verify system.”
  • Ben Carson: Carson’s immigration plan grants illegal aliens with a “pristine record” the “opportunity to become guest workers” and possibly citizens “later on down the road.” Additionally, Carson claims his administration can seal the border within the first year but he opposes deporting the entire illegal alien population currently residing unlawfully in the country.
  • Ted Cruz: Cruz opposes amnesty and wants to “stop illegal immigration.” His immigration plan calls for securing the border and strengthening and enforcing existing immigration laws. Although Cruz has previously supported increasing legal immigration, he now supports reforming the system to “prioritize the interests and well-being of Americans.”
  • John Kasich: Kasich supports giving illegal aliens a “path to legalization” and said a top priority in his administration will be “expand[ing] guest workers.” Kasich calls deporting illegal aliens “a silly argument” but has expressed vague support for securing the border.
  • Marco Rubio: Rubio led the 2013 Gang of Eight bill that granted mass amnesty, significantly increased legal immigration, and contained only promises of future enforcement. Rubio now opposes that 1,200 page bill but his immigration plan supports passing its provisions “in a sequential and piecemeal way.”
  • Donald Trump: Trump’s immigration plan opposes amnesty and calls for eliminating the incentives that encourage illegal immigration. His plan centers on three “core principles” of immigration reform: control the border; enforce immigration laws; and prioritize American workers. However, Trump has previously said that after deporting illegal aliens he would allow the “really good people” to return.

Democratic Presidential Candidates

  • Hillary Clinton: Clinton promises to go even “further” than President Obama in granting executive amnesty outside the law until Congress passes legislation providing “full and equal citizenship” to illegal aliens. Regarding enforcement, Clinton will only deport illegal aliens “who pose a violent threat to public safety.” By comparison, in 2003 as a U.S. Senator, Clinton described herself as “adamantly against illegal immigrants.”
  • Bernie Sanders: Sanders vows to “take extensive executive action” to shield even more illegal aliens from deportation than President Obama did until Congress passes a “roadmap to citizenship.” Sanders’s immigration plan calls for “modernizing” border security while ending State and local cooperation for interior enforcement. Sanders voted for the Gang of Eight mass amnesty guest worker bill in 2013 but played a key role in stopping amnesty legislation in 2006 and 2007.



Once Again, Advocating for the Public Interest on Immigration…

…Provides Good Return on Investment for GOP Candidates

new hampshireThe New Hampshire primary returns are in and advocating immigration policies that protect the public interest once again spoke much more loudly to GOP voters than millions of Super PAC dollars. Much as happened in Iowa, sensible talk on immigration policy produced a far greater return on investment than massive spending by Super PACs.

Once again, Jeb Bush and Super PACs supporting his candidacy outspent the field in New Hampshire. About $36.1 million was spent supporting his New Hampshire effort, yielding a fourth place total of 31,310 votes, or about $1,153 per vote(which is less than half the of the $2,673 per vote price tag in Iowa). Bush has been one of the most outspoken Republicans supporting amnesty for illegal aliens.

Bush’s fellow Floridian, Sen. Marco Rubio has also been famous for supporting amnesty, having been a sponsor of the 2013 Gang of Eight amnesty bill. Super PACs supporting Rubio also spent lavishly, resulting in a fifth place 30,032 vote total for the senator, at a cost of about $508 per vote.

As in Iowa, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (and the PACs supporting them) saw the highest return on campaign dollar investment in New Hampshire. Trump, who lapped the field in the Granite State with 35 percent of the vote, spent just $40 per vote. Third place finisher Ted Cruz compiled 33,189 votes for a bargain basement cost of about $18 per vote.

Trump and Cruz have been the most vocal in favoring tighter immigration enforcement. Obviously many issues played into New Hampshire voters’ decisions, but in their analysis of Tuesday night’s results, Politico acknowledged the importance of immigration, noting that “almost half of New Hampshire exit-poll respondents saying they supported a position many of [Trump’s] fellow candidates have decried as xenophobic.”

Of course, that fundamental misunderstanding of the public’s concern about immigration (derogatorily labeled “xenophobia”) precisely explains another Wednesday morning headline in Politico, “GOP establishment stares into the abyss.” The GOP establishment is simply out of touch with its constituency on many issues, and immigration is at or near the top of that list.

The results in Iowa and New Hampshire would indicate that the GOP has some company when it comes to staring into the political abyss. When it comes to immigration, the positions of the two Democratic contenders are virtually identical, but given Sen. Bernie Sanders’s tie with Hillary Clinton in Iowa and his lopsided victory in New Hampshire, dissatisfaction with the political establishment is clearly a bipartisan syndrome.

The takeaway lesson from the first two contests of 2016 might be that both parties would be well-advised to spend less time raising money and more time really listening to the concerns of voters on important issues like, say, immigration.

Recommended Reading:

Where do the Presidential Hopefuls Stand on Immigration?
In Iowa, PAC Money Talks Very Softly While Sensible Immigration Speaks LOUDLY
New York Times Editorial Board Condemns Candidates for Opposing Illegal Immigration