Clinton vs Sanders: Who's got the better immigration platform?
As the presidential election approaches and the Latino electorate increases, immigration is expected to mobilize Latino voters.
Leading Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders have published their respective platforms to address immigration, both promising to go beyond President Obama’s executive action and to fight for a comprehensive and humane immigration reform, with some differences worth noting.
But activist Cesar Vargas’ response to the promises is: “We have certainly been burned before.”
The Dream Action Coalition activist added that the community’s job “is not to be a cheerleader for a politician at this point, our job is to push them in the right direction.”
According to Politico, back in May when “Clinton pledged that she would go even further than Obama did, she specifically singled out parents of so-called DREAMers, who are young immigrants who came to the United States illegally.”
“The law currently allows for sympathetic cases to be reviewed, but right now, most of these cases have no way to get a real hearing,” Clinton said then, calling for a “simple, straightforward, accessible way” for parents of DREAMers to get similar deportation protections and work permits, according to Politico.
“I am going to back and support what President Obama has done to protect DREAMers and their families, to use executive action to prevent deportation. And I have said that if we cannot get comprehensive immigration reform as we need, and as we should, with a real path to citizenship that will actually grow our economy — then I will go as far as I can, even beyond President Obama, to make sure law-abiding, decent, hard-working people in this country are not ripped away from their families" Hillary Clinton
Sanders released his own immigration plan mid-November, which includes the implementation of legislation and executive action that would “pave the way for a swift and fair legislative roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants.”
Sanders; immigration platform has been called the most complete and progressive, including the use of technology to ensure a secure, efficient border and avoiding its militarization. It also fights to end federal, state and municipal contracts with for-profit private prisons within two years.
However in terms of new immigrants coming into the country, Sanders has reiterated his position “that opening the border would hurt employment and wages,” Think Progress reported.
“There is a reason why Wall Street and all of corporate America likes immigration reform, and it is not, in my view, that they’re staying up nights worrying about undocumented workers in this country. What I think they are interested in is seeing a process by which we can bring low-wage labor of all levels into this country to depress wages for Americans, and I strongly disagree with that. I frankly do not believe that we should be bringing in significant numbers of unskilled workers to compete with [unemployed] kids,” Sanders said. “I want to see these kids get jobs” Sen. Bernie Sanders
If elected president, Clinton has pledged to:
Fight for comprehensive immigration reform legislation with a path to full and equal citizenship.
Defend President Obama’s DACA and DAPA executive actions. According to the platform, if Congress continues its refusal to act on comprehensive immigration reform, Clinton will put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible system for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities
Conduct humane, targeted immigration enforcement. Clinton will focus enforcement resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and work to ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.
End family detention for parents and children who arrive at our border in desperate situations.
Close private immigrant detention centers. Move away from contracting out this critical government function to private corporations and private industry incentives that may contribute — or have the appearance of contributing — to over-incarceration.
Expand access to affordable healthcare allowing families — regardless of immigration status — buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
If elected president, Sanders has pledged to:
- Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and private detention centers.
Offer humane treatment and asylum to victims of domestic violence and minors fleeing from dangerous circumstances in Latin America.
End policies that discriminate against women and ensure that mothers and wives who come into the United States with their families have the same right to work as their partners.
Pave the way for a swift legislative path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Close loopholes that allow federal agencies to use racial and ethnic profiling at the border.
Ensure our border remains secure and protects local communities.
Make it easier for immigrants to access the judicial system.
Increase oversight of key Department of Homeland Security agencies to guard against waste, fraud and abuse.