Get Informed Before You Caucus

ballotboxThe race to the White House officially kicks off with the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on February 1. Although FAIR does not endorse candidates, we believe that the issue of immigration is of the upmost importance as Republicans and Democrats choose their nominees for the 2016 presidential election. For your convenience, FAIR provides the following summary of each of the major candidates’ immigration positions to educate you before you caucus on Monday. For more information on commonsense immigration positions that advance the national interest, please visit

Democratic Presidential Candidates

  • Hillary Clinton: Clinton promises to go even “further” than President Obama in granting executive amnesty outside the law until Congress passes legislation providing “full and equal citizenship” to illegal aliens. Regarding enforcement, Clinton will only deport illegal aliens “who pose a violent threat to public safety.” By comparison, in 2003 as a U.S. Sentor, Clinton described herself as “adamantly against illegal immigrants.”
  • Martin O’Malley: O’Malley supports taking “bold, executive action to provide immediate relief” to illegal aliens until Congress passes “comprehensive” immigration reform. O’Malley will end State and local cooperation for interior enforcement while expressing vague support for border security. O’Malley also wants to make illegal aliens eligible for Obamacare.
  • Bernie Sanders: Sanders vows to “take extensive executive action” to shield even more illegal aliens from deportation than President Obama did until Congress passes a “roadmap to citizenship.” Sanders’s immigration plan calls for “modernizing” border security while ending State and local cooperation for interior enforcement. Sanders voted for the Gang of Eight mass amnesty guest worker bill in 2013 but played a key role in stopping amnesty legislation in 2006 and 2007.

Republican Presidential Candidates

  • Jeb Bush: Bush’s immigration plan calls for a path to “earned legal status” for illegal aliens and an expedited path to citizenship for so-called DREAMers, illegal aliens who claim to have been brought to the country unlawfully as minors. Bush considers fencing a “component of border security” but only “where appropriate” and supports a “strong E-Verify system.”
  • Ben Carson: Carson’s immigration plan grants illegal aliens with a “pristine record” the “opportunity to become guest workers” and possibly citizens “later on down the road.” Additionally, Carson claims his administration can seal the border within the first year but he opposes deporting the entire illegal alien population currently residing unlawfully in the country.
  • Ted Cruz: Cruz opposes amnesty and wants to “stop illegal immigration.” His immigration plan calls for securing the border and strengthening and enforcing existing immigration laws. Although Cruz has previously supported increasing legal immigration, he now supports reforming the system to “prioritize the interests and well-being of Americans.”
  • John Kasich: Kasich supports giving illegal aliens a “path to legalization” and said a top priority in his administration will be “expand[ing]guest workers.” Kasich calls deporting illegal aliens “a silly argument” but has expressed vague support for securing the border.
  • Marco Rubio: Rubio led the 2013 Gang of Eight bill that granted mass amnesty, significantly increased legal immigration, and contained only promises of future enforcement. Rubio now opposes that 1,200 page bill but his immigration plan supports passing its provisions “in a sequential and piecemeal way.”
  • Donald Trump: Trump’s immigration plan opposes amnesty and calls for eliminating the incentives that encourage illegal immigration. His plan centers on three “core principles” of immigration reform: control the border; enforce immigration laws; and prioritize American workers. However, Trump has previously said that after deporting illegal aliens he would allow the “really good people” to return.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    Many, are against illegal immigration because many do not like aliens coming to their country and taking their jobs. But to be honest many Americans are to lazy to even get a job and some just stay at home not doing anything. While you have these aliens coming from different countries trying to work on really dangerous and hard jobs just to get money to support their family members. Then you got all the people whining that they are talking there jobs while they don’t even want to do it in the first place.

  2. avatar

    Securing borders is obviously the first priority in any immigration reform plan. But how can you secure borders when so many folks simply overstay their visas?

    Is it reasonable to expect this Congress to fund a bureaucracy large enough to control illegal immigration when they are determined not to reduce the military budget (which keeps so much of the economy going)?

    They also absolutely refuse to increase taxes on the ultra-wealthy (whose support they need to fund election campaigns).

    And can you ever locate illegals if companies both large and small refuse to use e-verify – because they prefer to hire low-wage immigrants (desperate to find work and too scared to complain about lousy working conditions)?

    I doubt even ‘the Donald’ would be able to stem the flow of migrants, with all his ‘let’s build a wall’ rhetoric.

    • avatar

      You’re correct about visa overstays and e-verify. The e-verify system is up and operating, and has been for years. One of the open border libertarians, Alex Nowrasteh, recently claimed that checking each job applicant with e-verify would cost $147 per person. Preposterous nonsense. The grocery store can check your credit card number, assigned to you only, in 10 seconds and it’s not costing them $147. We need to stop incentivizing illegal entry, which is what we are doing now. Look at all the politicians who are falling all over themselves to grant citizenship, and access to every welfare program, to people who ignore our laws.

      • avatar

        The Social Security Agency, Our Three Credit Bureaus and the Banks Open Border Leadership All Know

        That identity theft by IAs of our Social Security Numbers CLEARLY EXISTS, yet deny it and CLEARLY hate eVerify bringing this to an end. They’re all anarchists against America in my book. COMPLETE FELONY LAWLESSNESS.

  3. avatar

    Poor Jeb, Daddy Bush told him it’s his turn to be President, and told the Bush family donors to give Jeb a lot of money, but no one wants another Bush in the White House.

  4. avatar

    Donald Trump’s populist positions on immigration and trade clearly defy the profit motives of those entities which own and control the corporate media.

    Thus, it should come as no surprise that Fox News Management – and their so-called “star journalist” Megyn Kelly – are so overtly hostile toward Mr. Trump.

    For some more background on this, you can refer to the following:

  5. avatar

    Senate Democrat Harry Reid was against birthright citizenship 20 years ago. Hillary was “against illegal immigrants” in 2003. Sanders opposed amnesty 10 years ago. Now they all want illegals given citizenship. Let’s just say they saw the “electoral light”. This just proves that the Republicans are never going to out pander the Democrats with Latinos because they will always sweeten the pot.

    Never mind the good of the country or the law, it’s all about the votes, just like it was when southern Democrats blocked all civil rights legislation for a century.

    It was interesting that the Supreme Court announced that they would specifically address the question about the president’s constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”. It’s one thing to say that he is using his discretion not to prosecute. It’s another to take an affirmative action like issuing work permits. Under what authority is he doing that?

    • avatar

      IOWs Leland

      The fringe politics of overpopulation overtake supporting the the “Central Silent Majority” politics of making the nation great again. My Latina friend called from Dallas, she made it adamant that “she supports Donald Trump…..she previously caucused for Hillary in 2008.

      She’s not the only Democrat straying away from the establishment for Trump, the MSM will never admit it.

      BTW, Trump supporters are signing the primary race voting paper for Republican to attend and vote at the Iowa Caucases…..Trump leads among Caucus goers in Iowa too, according to a recent WSJ poll taken a few days ago.

      • avatar

        I always have been a Democrat. I agree with the majority, not all, of their positions. But the question has become does all that matter if the Democratic party has become the champion of open borders, which they have. They’re giving away the country to people who had nothing to do with building this nation and think their ethnic group is entitled to break the law. I voted for Hillary in the 08 primaries. I much preferred her to the present occupant of the White House, a guy who sat in the pews of a church for 20 years and listened to anti-white hate-America rhetoric. [and then subsequently claimed he never heard any of that, although he quoted a line about “white greed” in his book.] It’s not politically correct to say that but it’s a fact.

        • avatar

          Dr Norman Vincent Peale, the Positive Thinker Renown Innovator and Author

          Was the pastor Donald Trump and his father attended. No wonder Trump was so successful and yes, he loves this country dearly. My kind of pastor.

    • avatar

      If any Republicans are actually deluded enough to think that they can out promise the Democrats for the votes of illegal aliens given amnesty, then they can see the future of the party at the national level by looking at what has happened in California, where Republicans have become a small and irrelevant political party. The last Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was only elected because he was a popular movie star.

      Open borders Republicans can behold the future of the Republican party on a national scale, if current trends continue, in California. The demographics have shifted in the state to the point where it is impossible to stop open borders politically. Once this same demographic shift happens on a national scale it will be too late to stop open borders, so people had better wake up and act now before it is too late. For example, once newly arriving immigrants tip Florida and Texas to the category of permanent blue states, the Republicans can kiss winning the White House ever again goodbye and good luck stopping open borders at that point.

      • avatar

        And I know that voters in blue state Oregon voted against illegal immigration on the ballot, but the key difference between Oregon and California is that over 75 percent of Oregon is white, but less than 40 percent of California is white. There are as many, if not more Hispanics than whites in California and Hispanics are more likely to support open borders, though not all Hispanics do. This is all politically incorrect to say but reality is reality and it doesn’t change just because we ignore it.