Questions CNN Should Ask the Democratic Presidential Candidates Tonight


The first Democratic presidential debate is tonight on CNN, with coverage beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Given the importance of the immigration debate to voters, FAIR believes the moderators should press the candidates on this issue. Accordingly, we suggest that Anderson Cooper, Dana Bash, and Juan Carlos Lopez ask the following questions:

For Hillary: During your husband’s administration, he endorsed the bipartisan Jordan Commission’s recommendations on immigration. Among the key recommendations, the Commission called for ending illegal immigration and significantly reducing legal immigration. Your current position on immigration seems opposite to his. Was your husband wrong to support these recommendations and do you fully reject them?

For any candidate: The Obama administration has recently proposed a plan to admit nearly 200,000 refugees over the next two fiscal years, including a large increase in refugees from Islamic extremist hotbed Syria. Many have suggested that refugee resettlement from Syria comes with significant security risks, as it is extremely difficult to obtain background information on the refugees and determine if they are currently radicalized or will be susceptible to radicalization in the future. In fact, the FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism recently testified that the United States does not have “systems in places on the ground” in Syria to collect enough information to properly screen refugees. Do you believe it is possible to conduct sufficient background checks on these refugees to ensure the safety and security of the American people?

For Bernie Sanders: Up until 2013, you opposed mass amnesty, stating that it takes away jobs from Americans. Considering there are 90 million unemployed Americans and it takes 150,000 jobs created per month just to keep up with the rate of legal immigration, how do you explain voting for the Gang of Eight bill?

For any candidate: President Obama personally reached out to the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray, yet no one from his administration has contacted Kate Steinle’s family. Two questions: First, will you condemn President Obama for his silence after the Steinle tragedy? Second, do you support the current legislative effort to end sanctuary cities that protect criminal illegal aliens in violation of federal immigration law?

For Hillary: In 2003 you said you are “adamantly opposed to illegal immigrants.” Now you want to expand executive amnesty. Isn’t that a flip-flop?

***Update [Oct. 14, 2015]: Unsurprisingly, CNN did not ask any of the immigration questions posed by FAIR. Instead, the Democratic candidates were allowed to unanimously offer their support for mass amnesty without being challenged on the impact that would pose to the 90 million unemployed Americans, including the minority community which is impacted the most by these policies.***

About Author


Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    Every candidate should be mandated to answer this questions first:

    1. Do you meet the Constitutional requirement for the Office of POTUS, that of being a Natural Born Citizen of USA?

    2. Do you think Barack H. Obama II aka Barry Soetoro, should be allowed to occupy the Office of POTUS, given so much evidence and admissions by Obama and Michelle that Obama aka Soetoro was born in Kenya?

  2. avatar

    As long as any administration is illegally allowing the invasion of illegal aliens, into America, releasing the criminals back into America’s neighborhoods to commit more crimes and murders, The Legal American Citizens will
    continue to abide by OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION-2nd Amendment Rights to Arm and Protect Ourselves from the lawlessness of a Tyrannical Government, Supreme Court Imbalance of Constitutional Justices, and the threat of a Presidential Secret and Dangerous Military UNDERGROUND and MARTIAL LAWS. Communist threats in 1956 brought legislation to protect the legal citizens’ RIGHTS, by reinforcing THE DICK ACT,1902/1956- so that NO ONE; NO government, NO President, U.S.C. Section 3002 (15) and the states 28 U.S.C. Section 3002 (10) cannot ban arms or stop people from defending themselves against a tyrannical government.
    Amazingly, even if the US tries to ban all arms, through backdoor measures like domestic violence laws (Violence Against Women Act,18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)or through an unconstitutional U.N. declaration adopted by our current Marxist unconstitutional Congress, NO TREATY CAN SUPERSEDE THE CONSTITUTION: “This (Supreme) Court
    has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty.” Reid v. Covert, October 1956,354 U.S.1, at pg. 17. No Arms treaty, No Sea Treaty, No UN Global Tax, No UN new Computer (cost override)
    Tax, No UN Unfair Percentage Dues, and UN-US Headquarters terminated Lease is requested.

  3. avatar


  4. avatar

    Political candidates in general have no conscience, so they will never on their own offer their thoughts on questions like the ones above. So what’s left but a media whose members have for years had access to pertinent information from credible sources, including the federal government, but have chosen to keep it from the public eye. Congress does what it does because nobody in or out of media is holding those people accountable.

    • avatar

      no differently from Trump hiring people to cheer for him with T-shirts…PATHETIC…………I think Trump will quit the race………he was not born to be president…….has no guts……..for it.

    • avatar

      The Republican Brass Hit Trump Too

      With CNN Fiorina Trained Seals, clapping loudly whenever she spoke. I didn’t hear CNN seals clapping for Trump, yet polls had him winning the debates easily.

      We’re on to CNN, Fiorina is now a has been.

  5. avatar

    This president has always “reached out” to the families of hoodlums and the street rabble, before the facts are even apparent. In the case of M. Brown in Ferguson he said the rioters anger at the grand jury decision to not indict officer Wilson was “understandable”. And yet his own Justice Dept. a couple months afterward said the forensic evidence all supported Wilson. So why expect him to be on the side of law abiding Americans when he has shown an anti law enforcement bias from the start.