State of California secondary Archives: on Immigration


John Melendez: Find path for immigrants here illegally

What is happening right now is a complete disregard of the very fundamentals of our democracy. We are a melting pot of people, and I will fight for everyone seeking to be a part of this great nation we call America. California should continue to lead the way on immigration reform. I would like to find a way to integrate immigrants who are here illegally, but who are willing to take the necessary steps towards US citizenship.
Source: 2018 CA Senate campaign website JohnMelendezForSenate.com Aug 1, 2017

Jimmy Gomez: Deporting parents of U.S. citizens is morally wrong

Jimmy believes that immigration and diversity contributes to the fabric of this country and makes us better. Banning immigration based on religion is unconstitutional, and splitting up families to deport parents of U.S. citizens is morally wrong. Jimmy will stand up and fight for protecting DACA, implementing comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together, and bringing undocumented persons out of the shadows with a path to citizenship.
Source: 2017 CA House campaign website, JimmyGomezForCongress.com Jun 6, 2017

Jimmy Panetta: Let DREAMers earn their way to citizenship

As the grandson of immigrants who crossed an ocean for the opportunity offered by America, Jimmy understands that finding a path for immigrants to succeed is fundamental to who we are as a nation. He believes that the time has come for Congress to stop playing politics and get serious about passing common sense immigration reform. America must recognize that children of immigrants--the so called "dreamers"--should have the chance to earn their way to citizenship in this country. The answer is not deporting millions of hard working immigrants--rather it is creating a path to citizenship for law-abiding families paying taxes and those willing to play by the rules. They have fought to come here--and many have brought prosperity to their families and the California economy through their hard work and ingenuity. Jimmy's goal is comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens border security, provides effective worker programs, and educational opportunities for the children of immigrants.
Source: 2016 CA House campaign website JimmyPanettaForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Nanette Barragan: Comprehensive reform instead of fences and deportation

Nanette is the daughter of immigrant parents. Her parents both came to this country so that they could provide for their children. Immigrants are a crucial part of our nation's economy, particularly in Southern California, and we need to embrace them & help better incorporate them into our society. Republican "solutions" to immigration--to deport immigrants, to build a fence on the border--inhibit any sort of dialogue on the issue and prevent us from taking steps forward.

We need to focus on solutions like the comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that already passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. In addition, we must provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who are working day in and day out to contribute to our nation's economy. The children of immigrants also require our attention and action. By supporting the DREAM Act, we are giving the sons and daughters of immigrants who were born outside of the U.S. but grew up here, a chance to take part in the American dream.

Source: 2016 CA House campaign website BarraganForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Tom Del Beccaro: Immigration is a national security issue; ports are a danger

Our broken immigration system has been bad for the country and a source of political division for well over a decade. Tom proposes a more practical approach:
  1. National Security: Immigration should now be viewed as the national security issue it has become. We can build a consensus on immigration by putting the interests of the entire country first.
  2. Comprehensive Legislation Won't Work: 2,500 page bills are unlikely to pass and have proven to be a Pandora's box of bad provisions and policy. Therefore, Tom believes we need to take a piecemeal approach to solving the crisis.
  3. Immediate Visa Reform. Up to half of those here illegally have overstayed their visas. We can reduce racial tension in this country by acknowledging that fact instead of implying all illegal immigration is from a single country.
  4. All Ports of Entry. We must understand that all of our ports of entry represent a danger. Therefore, we need to bring added resources to protect all of them not some of them.
Source: 2016 CA Senate campaign website DelBeccaroForSenate.com Jan 8, 2016

Elizabeth Emken: Comprehensive solution that starts by securing our borders

Q: What changes, if any, should Congress make to federal immigration policy?

Elizabeth Emken: We must approach the illegal immigration issue with a comprehensive solution that starts by securing our borders. Until we do, we cannot adequately address the other problems with immigration. We also need to ensure a vibrant guest worker program.

Source: Sacramento Bee Voter Guide: 2012 CA Senate debate May 31, 2012

Herman Cain: Secure the border with more boots on the ground

I do believe we can secure the border with a combination of boots on the ground, technology, and a fence, but we've got three other problems. And to get to it, we've got to secure the border.

Secondly, let's promote the path to citizenship that's already there. We don't need a new one, we just need to clean up the bureaucracy that's slowing the process down and discouraging people.

The third thing we need to do, enforce the laws that are there, and the way we do it, empower the states. I believe that the people closest to the problem are the best ones to be able to solve that problem. Empower the states to do what the federal government hasn't done, can't do, and won't do. This is how we solve the entire problem.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Jon Huntsman: Focus on fixing legal immigration as well as illegal

President Reagan, when he made his decision [on immigration and amnesty] back in 1987, he saw this as a human issue. And I hope that all of us, as we deal with this immigration issue, will always see it as an issue that resolves around real human beings.

Yes, they came here in an illegal fashion. And yes, they should be punished in some form or fashion.

We can find a solution. If President Reagan were here, he would speak to the American people and he would lay out in hopeful, optimistic terms how we can get there, remembering full well that we're dealing with human beings here. We have to agree.

But let me just say one thing about legal immigration. Let's not lose sight of the fact that our legal immigration system is broken. And if we want to do something about attracting brain power to this country, we need to focus as much on legal immigration.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Michele Bachmann: Our immigration law worked beautifully until 1960s

Our immigration law worked beautifully back in the 1950s, up until the early 1960s, when people had to demonstrate that they had money in their pocket, they had no contagious diseases, they weren't a felon. They had to agree to learn to speak the English language, they had to learn American history and the Constitution.

And the one thing they had to promise is that they would not become a burden on the American taxpayer. That's what we have to enforce.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Michele Bachmann: Lack of border fence yields our sovereignty

Q: You believe the fence is fundamental as an integral part of controlling the border. Let's say that in 2012, there's a fence, & the border is secure; what do you do then with 11 million illegals?

A: Understand the context and the problem that we're dealing with. In Mexico right now, we're dealing with narco terrorists. This is a very serious problem. To not build a border or a fence on every part of that border would be, in effect, to yield US sovereignty, to yield it to another nation. That we cannot do.

Q: What do you do with 11.5 million illegals?

A: It depends upon where they live, how long they have been here, if they have a criminal record. All of those things have to be taken into place.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Mitt Romney: Build 2,600-mile fence with enough guards to secure it

Q: What would you consider enough to be able to declare the border safe?

A: Well, first, we ought to have a fence.

Q: The whole fence, 2,600 miles?

A: Yes. We've got to have a fence, or the technologically approved system to make sure that we know who's coming into the country, number one. Number two, we ought to have enough agents to secure that fence and to make sure that people are coming over are caught. But the third thing [is to address employers attracting illegal immigrants].

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Mitt Romney: Turn off the magnet that attracts immigrants

I learned this when I was with border patrol agents in San Diego, and they said, look, they can always get a ladder to go over the fence. And people will always run to the country. The reason they come in such great numbers is because we've left the magnet on.

And I said, what do you mean, the magnet? And they said, when employers are willing to hire people who are here illegally, that's a magnet, and it draws them in. And sanctuary cities, giving tuition breaks to the kids of illegal aliens, employers that knowingly hire people who are here illegally. Those things also have to be stopped.

If we want to secure the border, we have to make sure we have a fence, determining where people are, enough agents to oversee it, & turn off that magnet. We can't talk about amnesty, we cannot give amnesty to those who have come here illegally.

We've got 4.7 million people waiting in line legally. Let those people come in first, and those that are here illegally, they shouldn't have a special deal.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Newt Gingrich: Require official English plus American history

We should make English the official language of government. We should insist that first-generation immigrants who come here learn American history in order to become citizens. And then find a way to deal with folks who are already here, some of whom, frankly, have been here 25 years, are married with kids, live in our local neighborhood, go to our church. It's got to be done in a much more humane way than thinking that to automatically deport millions of people
Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Newt Gingrich: I voted for Reagan's legal guest worker program

Q: Your current perception on immigration reform is a little different on your initial positions under Reagan?

GINGRICH: I think we have to find a way to get to a country in which everybody who's here is here legally. But you referenced Pres. Reagan. In 1986, I voted for the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which in fact did grant some amnesty in return for promises. Pres. Reagan wrote in his diary that year that he signed the act because we were going to control the border and we were going to have an employer program where it was a legal guest worker program. That's in his diary. I'm with Pres. Reagan. We ought to control the border, we ought to have a legal guest worker program. We ought to outsource it, frankly, to American Express, Visa, and MasterCard, so there's no counterfeiting, which there will be with the federal government. We should be very tough on employers once you have that legal program.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Rick Perry: El Paso border is not safe until we have boots on the ground

Q: What would make the border secure?

PERRY: Well, the first thing you need to do is have boots on the ground. We've had a request in to this administration since 2009 for 1,000 border patrol agents or National Guard troops, and working towards 3,000 border patrol. That's just on the Texas border. There's another 50% more for the entire Mexican border. So you can secure the border, but it requires a commitment of the federal government of putting those boots on the ground, the aviation assets in the air. We think predator drones could be flown, that real-time information coming down to the local and the state and the federal law enforcement. And you can secure the border. And at that particular point in time, then you can have an intellectually appropriate discussion about immigration reform. For the President to go to El Paso, Texas, and say that the border is safer than it's ever been, either he has some of the poorest intel in history, or he was an abject liar. It is not safe on that border.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Rick Santorum: No tricks like 1986; secure the border first

Q: There are 11 million illegals that are here. What do you do with them if you are able to secure the border?

A: We can have the discussion [afterwards, based on] how long they've been here, whether they had other types of records. But to have that discussion right now and pull the same trick that was pulled in 1986--we said, well, we'll promise to do this if you do that--no more. We are going to secure the border first, and that's the most important, then we'll have the discussion afterwards.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Rick Santorum: No promises & no government benefits to immigrants

GINGRICH: [to Santorum]: We should make English the official language of government. We should insist that first-generation immigrants who come here learn American history in order to become citizens. We should also insist that American children learn American history. And then find a way to deal with folks who are already here, some of whom, frankly, have been here 25 years, are married with kids, live in our local neighborhood, go to our church. It's got to be done in a much more humane way than thinking that to automatically deport millions of people.

SANTORUM: My solution is very similar to Newt Gingrich's. We should not have a debate talking about how we don't want people to come to this country, but we want them to come here like my grandfather and my father came here. They made sacrifices. They came in the 1920s. There were no promises. There were no government benefits. They came because they wanted to be free and they wanted to be good law-abiding citizens.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Ron Paul: ID cards and border fences are not the American way

The first choice--sending twelve to fifteen million illegals home--isn't going to happen and should not happen. Neither the determination or the ability to accomplish it exists. Besides, if each case is looked at separately, we would find ourselves splitting up families and deporting some who have lived here for decades, if not their entire life, and who never lived for any length of time in Mexico. The people who want big fences and guns, sure, we can secure the borders--a barbed-wire fence with machine guns, that would do the trick. I don't believe that's what America is all about. I just really don't.

We can enforce our law. If we had a healthy economy, this wouldn't be such a bad deal. People are worrying about jobs. But every time you think about this toughness on the border and I.D. cards and real ideas, think that it's a penalty against the American people, too.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

Barbara Boxer: Cosponsored DREAM Act: legal status from college or military

The candidates sparred over immigration. Fiorina reiterated her objections to comprehensive immigration reform. But in a nod to the importance of Latino voters, who make up 18% of the state's likely voters, Fiorina said for the first time Wednesday night that she would support the so-called DREAM Act, which would allow certain undocumented youths to earn legal status by attending college or serving in the military. It was a rare moment of agreement: Boxer is a co-sponsor of that bill.
Source: Los Angeles Times coverage of 2010 CA Senate Debate Sep 2, 2010

Carly Fiorina: No comprehensive reform; but yes to DREAM Act

The candidates sparred over immigration. Fiorina reiterated her objections to comprehensive immigration reform. But in a nod to the importance of Latino voters, who make up 18% of the state's likely voters, Fiorina said for the first time Wednesday night that she would support the so-called DREAM Act, which would allow certain undocumented youths to earn legal status by attending college or serving in the military. It was a rare moment of agreement: Boxer is a co-sponsor of that bill.
Source: Los Angeles Times coverage of 2010 CA Senate Debate Sep 2, 2010

Karen Bass: Human services for immigrants and their children

Q: Do you support providing human services (medical care, education, etc.) for legal immigrants and their children?

A: Yes.

Source: 2004 CA Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2004

Bill Simon: Immigration system needs fundamental reform

Q: What about undocumented immigrants?

A: Immigration is what makes our country and our state great. But our immigration system is broken, and needs fundamental reform. I support President Bush’s efforts to fix the system and look forward to working with him to achieve this goal. I am also committed to raising the quality of life in California for all our citizens.

Source: Eastern Groups Publications, CA Gov. Q&A, with Raul Vasquez Nov 2, 2002

Gray Davis: Diversity is our strength; welcome all good citizens

Q: Do you think that everyone who pays taxes and works should share the same privileges, regardless of immigrant status? What about undocumented immigrants?

A: We are the most diverse people on the planet Earth. It is a strength, and it’s my function & duty to persuade people of the benefits they receive from sharing this state with people from all over the country - all over the world. I recognize the reality that we are living in. I think all people, regardless of their status, ought to be treated with dignity and respect. Immigrants work hard to overcome their resistance. To California’s credit, we say: “you are the best employee, we are hiring you.” Or they make the best product, and we say: “we’re going to buy that product.” And that is one of the real reasons why this economy is as good as it is. Alan Greenspan said all that extra work that immigrants expend to prove their doubters wrong, economists call productivity. If you’re a good citizen we want you to be part of our economy.

Source: Eastern Groups Publications, CA Gov. Q&A, with Raul Vasquez Nov 2, 2002

Peter Camejo: Immigrants are necessary to keeping the economy strong

Q: What about undocumented immigrants?

A: I absolutely believe undocumented immigrants in California have a place here. A recent Wall Street Journal article shows how necessary immigrants are to keeping the economy strong. We need more immigrants, in fact. If immigrants are already here, then we can’t treat them as if we’re living in a caste system. We need to end the mistreatment of undocumented residents, legalize undocumented workers, and provide a legal driver’s license for all immigrants.

Source: Eastern Groups Publications, CA Gov. Q&A, with Raul Vasquez Nov 2, 2002

  • The above quotations are from State of California Politicians: secondary Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Immigration:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 11, 2018