Immigration and Presidential Candidates

Election contests have narrowed down the number of candidates currently running for president. Idaho’s holding an election today–so get out and vote.

Here’s where the major candidates stand on immigration:


  1. As I’ve previously stated, Hillary Clinton supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. This sets her apart from the Republican candidates. However, her immigration stance hasn’t always been so immigrant-friendly. It’s not clear that immigration issues are a big priority for her.
  2. Bernie Sanders also supports a pathway to citizenship. However, he’s against expanding the number of temporary work permits, perhaps due to the fact that employers often exploit temporary workers, or perhaps because he wants to protect U.S. citizen workers.


  1. Donald Trump’s stance on immigration is extreme. He wants to change the Constitution in order to make it so people who are born in the U.S. don’t automatically become U.S. citizens, he wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and magically get Mexico to pay for it, he wants to deport every undocumented immigrant, and he wants to prohibit all Muslims from entering the United States. As far as legal immigration, Trump also wants to put a stop to much of that.
  2. Ted Cruz shut down the U.S. government because he didn’t like a pro-immigration bill. He’s against deferred action. He’s stated that he’ll deport anyone here who’s not here legally.
  3. Marco Rubio was historically moderate on the issue of immigration. He helped write moderate immigration reform bills in 2013. Unfortunately, he has since said he’d reverse President Obama’s deferred status program. He’s also stated that we need to “secure the border” (whatever that means) before taking on other elements of immigration reform.

There are other candidates, but right now their chances of winning are slim. If Mitt Romney or someone else ends up being a serious contender, I’ll provide an update.

Rubio was the best chance Republicans had to holding on to some of the pro-immigrant vote, but he’s moved so far to the right on immigration that he’s no longer a viable option. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz will not be immigrant-friendly. So the options are Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell which of these two will do more to help immigrants.