The issue of immigration is one of the most debated issues for the upcoming 2016 US presidential election, not only for the candidates themselves, but also for the voters. An estimated 60 percent of registered voters say that the topic of immigration is a big determining factor in how they will vote in the November election. An estimated 20 percent said that they will only vote for the candidate with whom they share similar views regarding immigration. Both candidates – Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump have opposing views regarding this issue, which will likely be a preview of what immigration will be like in 2017 and beyond that, depending on who wins on November.
Trump’s stand on immigration is that the country must restore integrity to the system by prioritizing Americans first. Strict enforcement of immigration laws, particularly at the US-Mexico border, building a border wall, and sending illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds back to their home countries, are some of the ways Trump is planning on doing once he gets elected. He has said that he will deport illegal immigrants already in the country, and that the only way they can go back is if they go through the legal process.
Trump has drawn controversy around the world due to his comments regarding Mexicans. He previously called them “rapists” and blamed them for bringing drugs and crime into the United States. He vowed to deport undocumented Mexicans, even if they have established lives in the US. He also vowed to ban Muslims from entering the United States because of terrorist links.
In contrast, Clinton is more accommodating to illegal immigrants, particularly those who have been working for some time in the US and are contributing to the local economy and communities. She supports President Obama’s executive actions DAPA and DACA and believes that Obama did the right thing, instead of letting it go through Congress.
While she said immigration laws must be enforced, she promised to have it done humanely – meaning, deporting those who are threats to safety, and making sure that refugees will not be turned away instantly. Clinton promised to promote naturalization by waiving some naturalization costs and encouraging English proficiency, among others. She believes that families must be kept complete, especially those already in the US, despite some of them being undocumented immigrants.
How immigration will actually look in 2017 and beyond is highly dependent on who will win the election, and if they make do on their promises. For the most part during the campaign, Clinton has been sticking to what she initially said regarding her immigration policies. Trump meanwhile, took a hardline stance at the beginning, but later on said he was “softening” his stance on immigration, and is “open” to some ideas such as a pathway to citizenship, which he was previously against.
Both candidates agree on one thing – that immigration law must be enforced. It is best for those wanting to go to the United States (either to work or live or both), to go through the legal process rather than risk going in illegally. For Mexicans who want to cross the California border, talking to a green card lawyer in San Diego could be very beneficial. A green card lawyer will be able to answer questions regarding the whole process – from application forms to interviews up to the time an immigrant gets in to the country. This is the best way to go, because regardless of who wins the election, it is the legal and proper way.