With the 2016 presidential election drawing near, one of the biggest issues in the debate is immigration reform and laws. But what exactly are they saying? The next president will have a lot of power to pass and veto legislation, so it’s best to know who stands in which corner.

Both Democrats and Republicans have varying opinions on the best course of action. Read on to see what they are saying.

2016 Democratic Candidates

Joe Biden: On the topic of those in the US without documentation, he wants to help those 11 million people become legal citizens. He believes that doing so will grant immigrants the respect they deserve. He also believes that those who are affected by the DREAM Act should not be deported. He was quoted in June of 2013 saying, “Where do these guys think they’ll be sent to? A land they’ve never seen, maybe they don’t speak the language or dialect… no family.”

Lincoln Chafee: Along with 13 other governors, he encouraged John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi to create a three-part immigration reform which included 1) a way to gain citizenship that would include payment of taxes and a penalty, 2) some form of replacement for the “guest worker” visa program, and 3) provisions of visas to foreign graduate students in both science and math.

Hillary Clinton: She criticized San Francisco for not enforcing federal immigration law. She says that the city made a mistake in not deporting a Mexican citizen who later murdered a young woman. However, she does support the idea of sanctuary cities and said that immigration officers and the federal government will need to tighten up on the security.

Andrew Cuomo: He announced that in 2011 New York would no longer participate in the “Secure Communities Program” and that serious felons would be deported. He said this is because there are many concerns about the impact on the family, the area, and law enforcement.

Martin O’Mally: He was opposed to the decision from the Obama Administration to deport children that illegally crossed the US-Mexico border. He also looks at immigration a little differently, saying that the immigration laws are archaic and, as a result, any negativity from immigration is something that the US is doing to itself.

2016 Republican Candidates

Jeb Bush: He is opposed to ending birthright citizenship, but also thinks there should be greater enforcement against “anchor babies.” He also stood by his use of this term, which he claimed mostly related to Asian parents who would give birth in America. On those entering the US illegally, he can be quoted saying, “Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love, it’s an act of commitment to your family.”

Chris Christie: He supports “Kate’s Law” which states that there is a minimum of five years sentence for those who were deported and tried to enter the US once again without documentation. He also wants to re-examine birthright citizenship.

Ted Cruz: He is another proponent for ending birthright citizenship and agrees with Donald Trump on this. He believes that it isn’t something that should be automatically granted. However, he sponsored the Protect Children and Families Through the Rule of Law Act, which benefits children.

Mike Huckabee: He believes that securing the US-Mexico border should come before any other immigration reform. He is against sanctuary cities and would cut all funding to them. He would be in favor of implementing a fence along the border and doubling the security.

Donald Trump: Believes in the implementation of a wall – which he says Mexico will pay for – and deporting the “bad immigrants” first, instead of holding them in prisons. He does not support birthright citizenship and thinks that legal immigration should be more challenging.

If you have any questions about the presidential candidates and possible immigration reform, contact Neelam Bhardwaj today!

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