2016 State of the Union address: on Immigration


Jill Stein: FactCheck: 2.5M deportations counts removals, not returns

Jill Stein asserted that Obama deported "a record 2.5 million immigrants, more than any past president." Is that true? And why do Republicans claim Obama's deportation numbers are falling? Here's the relevant DHS Yearbook data:
AdministrationRemovalsReturns
Reagan 1st term<0.1M3.5M
Bush Sr<0.1M4.0M
Clinton 1st term 0.2M5.2M
Bush Jr 1st term 0.8M4.5M
Obama 1st1.6M1.6M
Stein's claim only looks at "removals": that means criminal deportations and people caught at the border. Stein is correct that Obama will reach 2.5M this year. The GOP is also "correct" because they look at the total including non-criminal "returns". Why cite one figure or another? Because Stein wants to demonstrate Obama's over-strictness, while the GOP wants to demonstrate his under-strictness!
Source: 2016 State of the Union: OnTheIssues FactCheck Jan 13, 2016

Nikki Haley: FactCheck: US does have history of religion-based exclusion

Gov. Haley criticized Donald Trump's immigration policy of excluding Muslims, saying, "we've never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on...religion." Is that true? We checked and readily found numerous cases:In summary, Haley is incorrect about the US history of religious laws. And Haley's focus on religious exclusion implies acceptance of country-based exclusion (like disallowing Syrian refugees). A country-based policy echoes that 1924 policy--its intent was to exclude Catholics, but using a more subtle method.
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck: 2016 State of the Union GOP response Jan 13, 2016

Jill Stein: We're deporting more immigrants than ever, 2.5M under Obama

The immigration crisis also needs an immediate remedy. In addition to deporting a record 2.5 million immigrants, more than any past president, Obama's recent night raids and deportations of Central American families and children are inhumane and morally reprehensible. These families came here as refugees from violence, poverty and chaos created by US policies like NAFTA, the war on drugs, and political and military interventions. It's no coincidence that the three most violent countries in Central America--El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala--are failed states resulting from US interventions that overthrew democratically elected progressive governments.

OnTheIssues Note: See related FactCheck; this 2.5M figure only includes "removals," not "returns". Counting "returns" as well, Obama deported fewer total immigrants than George Bush Jr or Ronald Reagan, but more than Bill Clinton.

Source: Green Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech Jan 12, 2016

Jill Stein: Deportation of vulnerable refugees is morally abhorrent

Obama's recent night raids and deportations of Central American families and children are inhumane and morally reprehensible. Deportation of these vulnerable, abused refugees is morally abhorrent. We are all immigrants in this country--with the exception of native Americans. The diversity of multicultural immigrant America has always been the core strength of our nation. Our 12 million undocumented immigrants are hardworking, tax-paying community residents who take the hardest and worst paid jobs. They should be celebrated, not intimidated with the threat of deportation. It's time to create a welcoming path to citizenship and put an immediate end to the shameful era of deportations and detentions. Fundamentally, the immigration crisis must be resolved by ending the harmful US policies (including drug wars, predatory trade agreements, and political and military interventions) that are turning whole populations into refugees to start with.
Source: Green Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech Jan 12, 2016

Nikki Haley: Immigrants have come for generations to live the dream

I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country. Growing up in the rural south, my family didn't look like our neighbors, and we didn't have much. There were times that were tough, but we had each other, and we had the opportunity to do anything, to be anything, as long as we were willing to work for it.

My story is really not much different from millions of other Americans. Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America. They wanted better for their children than for themselves. That remains the dream of all of us, and in this country we have seen time and again that that dream is achievable.

Source: Republican Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech Jan 12, 2016

Nikki Haley: Don't follow the siren call of anti-immigration anger

During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.

No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.

At the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our borders. We can't do that. We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally. And in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.

Source: Republican Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech Jan 12, 2016

Nikki Haley: Protect our borders, our sovereignty, and our citizens

We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.

I have no doubt that if we act with proper focus, we can protect our borders, our sovereignty and our citizens, all while remaining true to America's noblest legacies.

Source: Republican Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech Jan 12, 2016

  • The above quotations are from 2016 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the opposition party responses: Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Barack Obama on Immigration.
  • Click here for more quotes by Nikki Haley on Immigration.
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 Grah