We are rapidly approaching the 2016 presidential election. On Tuesday, November 8th, tens of millions of Americans will go to the polls to select our next president of the United States. The next president will have many important issues on his or her plate. Immigration policy is no doubt one of the most important. Notably, the two candidates offer drastically different view on the future of American immigration policy. It is clear that the next president will have tremendous power to change our immigration laws. Any changes could have a very positive (or very negative) effect on the lives of immigrants throughout Southern California. It is important that immigrants exercise their political power and make their voices heard. If you are eligible to vote, you need to show up to the polls. To better understand the views of the candidates, the following is a brief overview on their positions on immigration.
The Candidates’ Policies on Immigration
Republican Donald Trump: Introduce the End Illegal Immigration Act
Donald Trump has largely focused his immigration policy on dramatically reducing immigration into the United States. This includes removing people who are already here in the country. In a speech on October 22nd, 2016, Trump outlined his plans to introduce the “End Illegal Immigration Act” as his signature immigration-related program. While Trump was somewhat light on the details of his proposal, he noted three primary aims of this prospective legislation:
- Build a wall on the southern border: First and foremost, Trump’s immigration policy is about building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has pledged that Mexico will be responsible for paying for that construction of the wall. Though, the Mexican government has repeatedly and vigorously denied that claim. They contend that they will never pay. According to the Washington Times, the Trump campaign has stated that they could force Mexico to pay for the wall by blocking remittances to the country. In other words, Trump wants to confiscate money earned by hard-working immigrants to pay for his wall. This would put a tremendous financial burden on the backs of immigrants throughout our region.
- Increase deportations: Within the End Illegal Immigration Act, Trump has also committed to a policy that will dramatically increase annual deportations. Trump has been all over the board on this issue, and at times he has even promised that he will remove all undocumented immigrants from the country immediately. Notably, the Pew Research Center has reported that annual deportations are already at all-time record levels. Trump is proposing to make an already harsh system far more severe.
- Eliminate funding for sanctuary cities: Finally, Trump has also pledged to defund all sanctuary cities. A sanctuary city is a municipality that will not prosecute a person locally solely because of his or her immigration status. Sanctuary cities are common. In fact, Los Angeles County alone has 15 different sanctuary cities, including the city of Los Angeles. Of course, based on the nature of our government, all localities receive significant funds from the federal government. As such, cutting off federal funding would be a very harsh measure that could force many cities to change their local policies. The result of such a policy change would almost certainly be more deportations and worse treatment for immigrants.
Democrat Hillary Clinton: Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Hillary Clinton has focused her immigration goals on attempting to pass comprehensive immigration reform. This type of reform once had bipartisan support, including by President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. In sharp contrast to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, Clinton has repeatedly stated that immigrants play an important role in our country and our economy. Hillary Clinton has noted three key goals of comprehensive immigration reform package:
- Create a pathway to citizenship: Clinton’s comprehensive immigration reform package would include a pathway to full and equal citizenship for many undocumented immigrants. This is extremely important as it would allow hardworking people to come out of the shadows. Though, the specifics of who would qualify under the proposed legislation are still up for debate.
- Defend President Obama’s Executive Actions: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) provide temporary legal status for certain immigrants. Though, DAPA has been held up by the courts. These are both important acts that are hanging in the balance of this presidential election. Hillary Clinton has promised to defend these policies. While, her opponent Donald Trump has pledged to end them.
- Increase funding for immigrant services: Clinton has also vowed to increase funding for immigrants and immigrant-related support services. In fact, earlier this year CNN reported that Clinton proposed establishing an Office of Immigrant Affairs to held immigrants integrate into new communities and local economies.
Are You Moving to L.A.? We Offer Immigration Help in Los Angeles
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, our immigration attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of California’s immigrants, including those in the entertainment industry. If you are in need of immigration solutions, please do not hesitate to call our L.A. office today at (213) 514-8870. Our Los Angeles immigration lawyers proudly represent immigrants throughout the region, including in Cerritos, Burbank, Inglewood and Santa Monica.