WASHINGTON (AP) - No doubt the two presidential candidates have dramatically
different approaches on immigration.
In tone, Republican Donald Trump often highlights violent crimes perpetrated
by immigrants in the country illegally, with aggressive rhetoric that
emphasizes nationalism. Democrat Hillary Clinton features a softer approach
that embraces diversity and the value of keeping immigrant families together,
even as her critics accuse her of promoting "open borders."
It's not just talk. The White House contenders' policies would
send the country - and the lives of roughly 11 million people - down very
Trump says he would build a massive wall, target millions for deportation
and deny legal status to anyone currently in the country illegally. Clinton
would offer a pathway to citizenship for most immigrants regardless of
how they arrived, continue to defer enforcement action against families,
and offer health care options to immigrants here illegally.
Here is a summary of their proposals:
Pathway to citizenship
CLINTON: She promises to propose immigration legislation in her first 100
days that would include a route to citizenship. Her approach is largely
in line with that approved by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate
in 2013 but turned aside by the House.
TRUMP: He has clarified that he opposes any pathway to legal status for
immigrants in the U.S. illegally. They would have to return to their home
countries and apply for legal entry should they wish to come back. He
has not said what would happen to those who choose to stay, but said they
are subject to deportation. Trump has also called for an end to "birthright
citizenship," currently granted to anyone born in the United States.
A border wall
TRUMP: A centerpiece of Trump's immigration plan is a wall along the
border between the United States and Mexico. There are already some 650
miles of fencing along the border, including roughly 15-foot-tall steel
fencing in many urban areas. Trump says he'll extend a huge wall across
the vast majority of the 2,100-mile border, which would be a major construction
feat costing billions of dollars. He promises to make Mexico pay for it.
He would also add 5,000 border patrol agents and expand the number of
border patrol stations.
CLINTON: She says there are places where a physical barrier is appropriate
but opposes large-scale expansion of a border wall. She prefers relying
on technology and more border patrol agents to ensure the border is secure.
Obama's executive orders
CLINTON: She supports President Obama's executive actions that deferred
immigration enforcement against millions of children and parents in the
country illegally. A deadlocked Supreme Court decision in June blocked
his order, but Clinton insists that such actions are within the president's
TRUMP: He has said he would "immediately terminate" the executive
orders, which he said gave amnesty to 5 million immigrants. One part of
the president's executive action that remains in place has shielded
about 740,000 immigrations from deportation, all of them people who came
to the United States as children. The president's plan to expand the
program would have protected as many as 4 million immigrant parents of
U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.
TRUMP: He has softened his approach on dealing with those already in the
country illegally. He has pledged to begin deportation of criminal immigrants
on his first day in office, but backed off his earlier pledge to forcibly
remove all of the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally,
saying only that those who aren't immediate threats would have to
go home and then apply for legal status. Critics have likened that piece
of the plan to Mitt Romney's widely panned call for "self-deportation."
CLINTON: She would continue Obama's policy of deporting violent criminals
and others who break the law after entering the United States. But she
would scale back the current administration's immigration raids, which
she says produce "unnecessary fear and disruption in communities."
Under her plan, the vast majority of people in the country illegally would
be allowed to stay and apply for legal status and eventual citizenship.
CLINTON: She would allow all people to buy into the federal health care
exchanges, although she has said those in the country illegally wouldn't
qualify for subsidies. Her policy would also allow some to collect Social
Security, so long as they pay into the system for at least 10 years.
TRUMP: He would deny immigrants in the country illegally access to any
government benefits, including the federal health care exchanges. He has
said that such immigrants should not be allowed to get food stamps, welfare
payments or government-backed housing assistance. Those who do, he said,
would be priorities for deportation.
TRUMP: Like many Republicans, he vows to crack down on so-called sanctuary
cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. Trump
has pledged to block taxpayer dollars from going to any cities that refuse
to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Municipalities like
San Francisco, for example, have passed ordinances preventing city officials
from asking about immigration status unless required by law or court order.
CLINTON: She has not directly answered whether she supports sanctuary cities,
but her campaign has said that "Hillary trusts our local police to
make sound decisions about protecting their communities." That suggests
she would not interfere with local ordinances, like San Francisco's.
She has said such systems allow immigrants to freely report crimes and
communicate with local policy without fear of deportation. Her campaign
noted, however, that she believes violent criminals should be deported
and a system is needed to ensure that happens.
Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey in Des Moines, Iowa, contributed
to this report.
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