2016 Presidential Primary

A Summary of Presidential Candidates' Positions on Immigration

Oregon Primary Election – May 17, 2016
 Summary of Presidential Candidates' Positions on Immigration as of April 21, 2016
Campaign statements by four Presidential candidates are included in the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet mailed out recently to registered voters.  Only two of the Presidential candidates mention immigration in their Voters’ Pamphlet statements:
Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton says: “We have to … reform our broken criminal justice and immigration systems.”   Republican Party candidate Donald Trump says: “We want free and fair trade. …  We must restore the integrity of our national borders. A country cannot exist without strong borders.  We will welcome international visitors, but we must build a wall to protect our southern border.”
Differences in Presidential candidates’ positions on immigration policy have been made very clear by NumbersUSA in their ratings based on voting records if the candidate has been in Congress and on public statements or other actions by the candidates. Presently, Clinton is rated D- and Trump is rated A-.  Cruz is rated A, Kasich, D, and Sanders F-.
OFIR has previously presented information on Presidential candidates’ positions on immigration on the OFIR website at: http://www.oregonir.org/immigration-topics/2016-presidential-primary.  Earlier postings included candidates who have since withdrawn from the race.
The five candidates currently in the race all have websites which include contact information.
Ted Cruz’s website has a lengthy section, “Secure the Border,” which includes many specific proposals that would strengthen immigration controls. https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/secure-the-border/.
Donald Trump’s website has a section on “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again,” https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform, and a separate one on  “Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall,” https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/pay-for-the-wall.  His immigration control proposals were developed in cooperation with Sen. Jeff Sessions who has for years been a leader in the U.S. Senate advocating for policies that put the interests of U.S. citizens first.
John Kasich’s website, https://www.johnkasich.com/,  has no discussion of immigration.
Hillary Clinton’s website has a lengthy section, “Immigration reform; America needs comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.”  https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration-reform/.  It describes her plans for immigration policy should she become president, and shows that she favors nearly unlimited immigration and many benefits for illegal aliens already here.
Bernie Sanders’ website has a lengthy section, called “A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy,” at https://berniesanders.com/a-fair-and-humane-immigration-policy/.  There is a brief resume of the points and then a much more detailed version, which shows he would go even further than President Obama in ready acceptance and benefits to illegal aliens.

Bush, Jeb - Positions on immigration policy

"The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families -- the dad who loved their children -- was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. …" --  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/06/jeb-bush...
“What we need to do is allow people to earn legal status where they pay a fine, where they work, where they don’t commit crimes, where they learn English, and over an extended period of time, they earn legal status. That’s the path — a proper path.”  -- http://time.com/4107636/transcript-read-the-full-text-of-the-fourth-repu...
In his September 2015 speech at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce conference in Houston Bush stood by his amnesty pledge for illegal aliens. He said, "I've been consistently for the Dream Act kids to get a path to citizenship," Bush continued. "I've been consistently for it, and I'll continue to be consistently for it irrespective of what the political ramifications of that are." Under his plan, Bush said illegal immigrants could apply for legal status after a certain period of time as long as they pay taxes and pay a fine, learn English and hold a job. “That is the dignified American way, the practical way of solving the problem of 12 million immigrants,” he said. “If we did that we could turn immigration into what it has always been - a sustained economic drivers for our country."   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jeb-bush-immigration-dreamers_56005c...
In an interview with CBS News on August 18, 2015 Bush responded to Trump's immigration plan and pushed back on the birthright citizenship issue, saying “That’s a constitutional right and Mr. Trump can say that he’s for this because people are frustrated that it’s abused. We ought to fix the problem rather than take away rights that are constitutionally endowed.” http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trumps-gop-rivals-blast-immigratio...
Gov. Bush supports efforts to give drivers licenses and in-state tuition to illegal aliens.  In addition, Gov. Bush signed the first 287(g) agreement with the government, but later stated that immigration is strictly a federal issue.   http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/198550/jeb-bush-was-local-enforceme...
The above references are selected from NumbersUSA’s website on presidential candidates.  NumbersUSA grades candidates based on their voting records and public statements on immigration. Jeb Bush is graded C- as of January 14, 2016.  View the complete report at: https://www.numbersusa.com/content/elections/races/presidential/jeb-bush....
Bush’s campaign website is at https://jeb2016.com.  It contains a section on Border Security but none on other immigration policy. 

Carson, Ben - Positions on immigration policy

Four policy statements are grouped together on his website: https://www.bencarson.com/issues/issue/topic/immigration
"Securing the Southern Border -- Many Americans have reached out to me to share their concern about sanctuary cities and the seemingly insurmountable problems on the Southern border. One of my top priorities as president would be to seal the border with Mexico to stop the flow of drugs and violence into the United States. Furthermore, I would end federal policies that have permitted cities to harbor criminal illegal immigrants. The tragedies that have occurred due to such criminal illegal immigrants are completely avoidable and should never happen again." - Ben Carson
"Birthright Citizenship -- The Obama administration's open border policy has encouraged illegal immigrants to slip into the United States to give birth to their children here, which earns them birthright citizenship. I believe the first steps in addressing birthright citizenship overreach is to begin securing our borders and enhancing visa enforcement." - Ben Carson
“Guest Workers and Visas --I would first work to seal the borders and enhance border security. For some illegal immigrants, I would consider integrating them into a guest worker program, but they would not receive amnesty or voting rights." - Ben Carson
“Immigration Policy -- The overwhelming majority of Americans want the borders of our country secured and our immigration laws robustly enforced, but many recent administrations have been unwilling to get tough on this issue. This is yet another area where our government's leadership and the wishes of many of the people diverge and the people are being ignored. As president, I will work to end government overreach, reform our immigration policies, boost visa enforcement and secure our borders." - Ben Carson
From a general list of issue statements:  “Syrian Refugees -- I was deeply touched by my trip to Jordan to visit major refugee camps. Many refugees told me that they don't want to be relocated in the United States, but hope to be able to return to their country. I believe we should ensure that the United States is offering financial support to countries such as Jordan that are supporting many Syrian refugees. I also believe that at home, given national security concerns, we should terminate all funding for programs to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States, given the risk that such programs might allow ISIS terrorists, disguised as refugees, to infiltrate our country." - Dr. Ben Carson
The following references are selected from NumbersUSA’s website on presidential candidates.  NumbersUSA grades candidates based on their voting records (if they have been in legislatures or Congress) and public statements on immigration.  Dr. Carson is graded C as of January 14, 2016.  View the complete report at:  https://www.numbersusa.com/content/content/elections/races/presidential/...
In July 2014, Dr. Carson didn't mention E-Verify by name, but he did say that employers should face harsh punishments for hiring illegal aliens: "You have to reduce the incentive for people to want to come here. That's how you fix the problem. I guarantee you that if you remove all the goodies, people will find a way to get out of here just like they found a way to get in here. And one of the most important parts of that are the employers," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, the second offense, if you hire someone who's not here legally, should be a criminal offense -- and they should be treated as such. Absolutely." 
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire in July 2015, Dr. Carson sad he opposes sanctuary cities and blocking illegal aliens access to public benefits was an important piece to ending illegal immigration. “No sanctuary cities,” said Carson. “That’s part one [border security]. Part two is, you have to turn off the spigot that dispenses the goodies.” 
During a Presidential forum in Baltimore, Md. in June 2015, Dr. Carson said he supported a guest worker program for illegal aliens. "Give them an opportunity to become guest workers so they can at least come out of the shadows." 
In May 2015, Dr. Carson applauded a decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a temporary stay against Pres. Obama's executive amnesties. “It’s an important victory for those committed to preserving the rule of law, the essential consent of Congress and ultimately the voice of the people,” Carson said. 
In a Nov. 2015 press conference Carson discussed the need for illegal aliens to keep and get jobs. “When you look at farming industries, I’ve talked to farmers with multi-thousands acres farms and they say their business would collapse, I’ve talked to hotel owners and they say that they would have a very difficult time without them,” he said. Source:http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/11/11/carson-proposes-six-month-regi...

Clinton, Hillary - Positions on immigration policy

"I believe strongly we are missing a great opportunity by not welcoming people like you and 11 million others who have made contributions to our country into a legal status so you don't have to worry, you can go to school, you can work, you can pursue your dreams." "I’m a huge supporter of immigration reform and a path to citizenship and will continue to advocate for that." 
After announcing her intention to run for president in April 2015, Sen. Clinton doubled down on President Obama's executive orders and pledged to go even further: “If Congress continues to refuse to act, as president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further.... There’s much more to do expand and enhance protections for families and communities."  Sen. Clinton also said that Republicans pushing for legal status, but opposing citizenship, for "illegal aliens is 'code for second-class status.'"  Clinton, not only supporting DREAMers, supported their parents as well: Therefore we should put in place a simple, straightforward, and accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children." 
Speaking at a Politico panel in June 2015, Sen. Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook explained how Clinton would expand Pres. Obama's executive amnesties. She "is advocating for going even further than President Obama on immigration, to stop deporting the parents of these DREAMers who are contributing to our economy, and are valuable members of our society. Specifically in the policy that she was proposing, she wanted to make it easier for families to appeal some of these deportation decisions, parents of DREAMers who might be facing deportation." 
In September 2015 Clinton said the answer to Americans losing jobs to illegal aliens is to give illegal aliens work permits."There are people who say with ... real feeling and evidence that they believe that either they or somebody they know lost a job, didn't get a job because an undocumented worker got it," Clinton told supporters in Iowa on Monday. "Of course, but undocumented workers can be paid less and exploited more, which is why disreputable situations arise where people have been mistreated, and sometimes not even paid for their labor at the end of their workday or week…The answer to that, in my view, is to have this path to citizenship, so that the labor market can be regulated, and nobody, American citizen or somebody on the path to citizenship, can be exploited," she said. "Their wages can't be stolen, they can't be mistreated on the job. That is why I believe comprehensive immigration reform would be good for our economy and good for American workers." 
The above references are selected from NumbersUSA’s website on presidential candidates.  NumbersUSA grades presidential candidates based on their voting records and public statements on immigration.  Hillary Clinton is graded F as of January 14, 2016.  View the NumbersUSA report at: https://www.numbersusa.com/content/elections/races/presidential/hillary-...
Clinton’s campaign website contains a list of her positions on immigration: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration-reform/

Cruz, Ted - Positions on immigration policy

On his campaign website, in the Issues section, one of the main points is titled Secure the Border, and there Cruz lists the steps he would take as President to improve immigration management.
• Border security is national security. We need to secure the border once and for all. We need to stop Obama’s amnesty and enforce the rule of law. And we need to reform legal immigration to protect American workers.
• It’s not that we don’t know how to solve illegal immigration. What is missing is the political will to get it done. As President, Ted Cruz will do what he says. He will stop illegal immigration. He will build a wall that works, triple border security, and put in place the surveillance and biometric tracking to secure the border.
• Ted Cruz will end Obama’s amnesty on day one, will end catch-and-release, increase deportations, stop sanctuary policies, and strengthen E-verify.
• In order to protect our national security and serve American workers, he will suspend and audit H-1B visas and halt any increase in legal immigration so long as American unemployment remains unacceptably high.
• Cruz led the fight in Congress to defeat the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, he has introduced strong legislation to stop illegal immigration, and he has outlined a detailed immigration plan to protect Americans.
Sen. Cruz is now serving his first term in the Senate, having been elected in November 2012.
He is rated A by NumbersUSA for his positions on immigration policy as related to the interests of U.S. citizen workers.  In November he issued a detailed list of recommendations and promises for restoring proper enforcement and ensuring that immigration serves the best interests of citizens. View the policy paper at:  https://www.tedcruz.org/cruz-immigration-plan/  
Below are some quotes that appear on the NumbersUSA website. 
November 2015 - Sen. Cruz said that a strong E-Verify system would reduce the number of people living in the U.S. illegally.  “If we put in place a strong E-Verify system and deport criminal illegal aliens, the number of people here illegally will drop significantly, particularly if there’s not a continual flow of people coming in illegally,” Cruz said. Source: http://time.com/4123317/ted-cruz-immigration-reform-amnesty/
In a December 2015 CNN interview Sen. Cruz said he would enforce immigration laws and deport those who came here illegally. “I would enforce the law,” Cruz said, explaining that he would first deport criminals without proper papers. “Federal immigration law provides that if someone is here illegally and is apprehended, that they should be sent back to their home country." Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/15/politics/ted-cruz-immigration-legalization/
"We should end granting automatic birthright citizenship to the children of those who are here illegally,” Cruz, a senator from Texas, says on Michael Medved’s radio show in August 2015. Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/ted-cruz-ending-birthright...
At a January 2016 campaign stop Sen. Cruz responded to a DACA recipient question saying that even children who entered the U.S. illegally with their parents must still face the consequences. Cruz told her that there are "human tragedies when people break the law…There's no reason that America's laws should have less respect than the laws of every other country on Earth," Cruz said to audience applause. "We should welcome people who come following the laws, but there are consequences for breaking the laws. And that's part of what makes America the nation that we are." Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/video-ted-cruz-daca-deported-2016-1
In a January 2016 op-ed posted on GreenvilleOnline.com (SC), Sen. Cruz, along with Rep. Jeff Duncan, highlighted the federal government's inability to properly vet refugees and wrote, "[t]his is why we also support a moratorium in the refugee program from high-risk countries, at the very least until we are confident in our vetting process and we have seen progress in destroying the Islamic State." Source: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/01/23/op...
In a Nov. 2015 radio interview on the Vince CoakleyShow, Sen Cruz said he would prosecute companies who abused the H-1B visa program. “I have been very concerned about reports of abuse of the [H-1B] program, of companies laying off American workers and replacing them with foreign workers.  That’s not what the H-1B program was designed to do….  If companies are abusing it and laying off American workers, they need to be investigated, they need to be audited — they’ve broken the law, they need to be prosecuted,” he said. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBhDrSgmLL0

Kasich, John - Positions on immigration policy

John Kasich is rated D by NumbersUSA in its report on Presidential candidates as of April 2016.    The report on Kasich contains links to public statements he has made recently on immigration issues and gives citations to sources.  It also refers to his actions on immigration issues during his years in the U.S. House of Representatives.
NumbersUSA rates Kasich “Abysmal”on opposing work permits for illegal immigrants and also abysmal on ending birthright citizenship.”  He is rated “Harmful” on protecting against unfair work-visa competition and “Harmful” on ending chain migration.

Rubio, Marco - Positions on immigration policy

Rubio’s campaign website is at https://marcorubio.com/.  It contains a section on Immigration Issues at:  https://marcorubio.com/issues-2/marco-rubio-immigration-plan-border-secu....  The section is titled “Secure the border first” and is excerpted from his 2015 book, American Dreams.
Some quotes from the discussion posted on his website:
“Each year our colleges and universities graduate foreign students who are among the best and the brightest in the whole world. Instead of putting them to work here, innovating products and creating jobs, we send them back to China and India to compete against us. This makes no sense.”
“The only way we are going to be able to break this impasse [difficulty in passing immigration reform] and make progress on this issue is in a sequential and piecemeal way, with a series of bills that build upon one another until ultimately we have put in place the kind of immigration system our nation needs.
The first step must be enforcement measures that are effective and verifiable. Such measures would include securing the most vulnerable and most trafficked sectors of the southern border, mandatory E-Verify and the full implementation of an entry-exit tracking system.”
“In the end, immigration reform is fundamentally about reforming government and restoring the American people’s faith in the ability of their government to do basic things right. I don’t believe this challenge will be fully met until we have new leaders in Washington who support both the rule of law and the job-creating potential of the free market. Until then, the best way to rebuild trust and reform our broken immigration system is through incremental steps both to fix our immigration system and to realize the full potential of our country.”
This campaign ad of January 2016 is also posted on his website:
“When I’m president, there will be no amnesty. I’ll cancel Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders; cut sanctuary city funding; and deport criminal aliens. We’ll add 20,000 border agents; finish all 700 miles of border wall; and if we aren’t 100 percent sure who you are and why you’re coming to America, you’re not getting in.”
The following references are selected from NumbersUSA’s website on presidential candidates.  NumbersUSA grades candidates based on their voting records and public statements on immigration.  Marco Rubio is graded D as of January 14, 2016.  
In his Iowa State Fair speech in August 2015, Sen. Rubio said he did not agree with Trump's plan or ending birthright citizenship. "I'm open to doing things that prevent people who deliberately come to the U.S. for purposes of taking advantage of the 14th Amendment, but I'm not in favor of repealing it," he stated. 
Sen. Rubio was a main sponsor and driving force of the Gang of Eight's amnesty legislation and is supportive of giving work permits to illegal aliens. However, he does support securing the border prior to the granting of work permits. Sen. Rubio also backtracked on the 2015 DHS budget bill, urging the Senate to pass legislation even if it funds President Obama's illegal amnesties. Rubio said on February 27, 2015, "What I’ve learned is that you can’t even have a conversation about that until people believe [that future illegal immigration will be controlled]." Source: http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2015/02/27/marco-rubio-hillary-is-yesterday/
In an April 2015 Univision interview Sen. Rubio said he would wait to repeal Obama’s amnesty executive actions. “DACA…applies to young people that arrived in this country at a very young age before they were adults and I don’t think we can immediately revoke that… I’m not calling for it to be revoked tomorrow, or this week, or right away…I think it will have to end at some point and I hope it will end because of some reform to the immigration laws,” Rubio said. Source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/02/marco-rubio-jorge-ram...
Sen. Rubio told the Marietta Journal on May 15, 2015, that "we have to reasonably deal with the fact that there are 10, 11 million people who have been in this country longer than a decade. They will be here for the rest of their lives, legally or illegally. It behooves the country to know who they are, figure out a way for them to be start paying taxes, pay a fine, learn English and be able to live in the country in a legal status that allows for us to account for that so long as we can ensure that this is never going to happen again. But that issue has to eventually be dealt with. Leaving it the way it is is not good for the country.....I've described a process whereby people who meet a certain criteria, meaning they've been in this country a decade or longer, would have to come forward. They would have to pass a background check, and you can make that background test as strict or as lenient as you want. I believe that it needs to be stricter and not more lenient. They'll have to pay a fine as a consequence of violating the laws. They'll have to learn English and they'll have to start paying taxes. In exchange for all that, the only thing they would get is a work permit, and that's all they would have for at least a decade or longer, and then at some point after that period of time has expired, the only thing they would be allowed to do is apply for a green card. They would have to do it just like anybody else would, including people who are here legally or people that are abroad. And that would also take a significant period of time. Some people argue that all they should ever be allowed to have is a work permit. If that's the best we can do, I could support a proposal like that." 
Speaking in New Hampshire in July 2015, Sen. Rubio continued to say that he supports amnesty. When asked if he supports a path to citizenship, he said "I do." Then, he said, Americans will be “very generous but responsible.” He would require a background check, paying a fine, paying taxes and receiving legal status; after “at least a decade,” they could apply for permanent residency, and several years thereafter apply for citizenship. 
We can find no quotes from Sen. Rubio acknowledging the impacts immigration has on American workers. Rubio was a main sponsor of the Gang of 8 amnesty bill that would have drastically increased foreign worker numbers and his new immigration plan includes increases in worker visas, particularly visas for highly-skilled workers. 

Sanders, Bernie - Positions on immigration policy

Immigration policy initiatives listed on his website:
“Allow immigrants to purchase health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
“Issue whistleblower visas for workers who report abuse and employer violations.
“Redirect resources away from boondoggle walls to modernize our border and ensure proper oversight that protects border communities.
“Employ humanitarian parole to ensure the return of unjustly deported immigrants and unify broken families.
“Ensure our border remains secure and protects local communities.
“Regulate future flows via a reformed visa system and reworked trade agreements,
“Put a stop to the notion that the border must be secured before a legalization can happen.
“Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and private detention centers.
“Reject ‘The Great Sanctuary City Slander’ as the politics of fear, and support humane local and state laws that integrate immigrants to our society.”
The list of points is followed by a long, detailed discussion of his views on immigration.  In part, he says:
“In a Sanders Administration, a legislative solution to modernize our immigration system will be a top priority. In addition, Senator Sanders will not stand idly by waiting around for Congress to act. Instead, beginning in the first 100 days of his administration, Senator Sanders will work to take extensive executive action to accomplish what Congress has failed to do and to build upon President Obama’s executive orders …”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been in Congress for many years and as a Presidential candidate is rated F- by NumbersUSA as of January 14, 2016, on the basis of his voting history and public statements on immigration issues.  See NumbersUSA’s report on their website at:  https://www.numbersusa.com/content/elections/races/presidential/bernie-s...

Trump, Donald - Positions on immigration policy

“The three core principles of Donald J. Trump's immigration plan 
“When politicians talk about ‘immigration reform’ they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties.
“Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform: 
“1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border. 
“2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced. 
“3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.”
Other points on his website:
Make Mexico pay for the wall. - Defend the laws and Constitution of the United States. - 
Triple the number of ICE officers. - Nationwide E-Verify. This simple measure will protect jobs for unemployed Americans.- Mandatory return of all criminal aliens. - Detention—not catch-and-release. - Defund sanctuary cities. - Enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa. - Cooperate with local gang task forces.- End birthright citizenship.
Put American Workers First - Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs. - Requirement to hire American workers first. - End welfare abuse. - Jobs program for inner city youth.
Refugee program for American children. Increase standards for the admission of refugees and asylum-seekers to crack down on abuses. Use the monies saved on expensive refugee programs to help place American children without parents in safer homes and communities, and to improve community safety in high crime neighborhoods in the United States.
Immigration moderation. Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers. This will … allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.
NumbersUSA grades presidential candidates based on their voting records and public statements on immigration. Donald Trump is graded A- as of January 14, 2016.  View the NumbersUSA report at: