Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens
- Strongly Support means you believe: Immigration restrictions are basically racist because they keep out Hispanics and other non-whites. We should reform US immigration laws and use them to increase our diversity and cultural tolerance. Social services should be offered to all residents of the United States regardless of immigration status. Illegal aliens should be offered amnesty if they prove themselves as productive members of society.
- Support means you believe: The government should make few restrictions on immigration. If the number of immigrants is too high, establish an immigration fee and raise it until the number of immigrants is acceptable. Or change the immigration quotas by some other method.
- Oppose means you believe: Maintain legal immigration while enforcing against illegal immigration. Tighten our borders - decrease substantially or stop all immigration so we can address domestic problems.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe: We should strictly enforce our immigration laws by increasing border patrols, and we should crack down on illegal immigrants already in the US by deportation and by removing all their social benefits. In the long run, we should decrease immigration.
This question is looking for your views on both legal and illegal immigration; whether we should open our borders or patrol them more tightly and lower the legal immigrant count. However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:
How do you decide between "Support" and "Strongly Support" when you agree with both the descriptions above? (Or between "Oppose" and "Strongly Oppose").
The strong positions are generally based on matters of PRINCIPLES where the regular support and oppose positions are based on PRACTICAL matters.
If you answer "No Opinion," this question is not counted in the VoteMatch answers for any candidate.
If you give a general answer of Support vs. Oppose, VoteMatch can more accurately match a candidate with your stand.
Don't worry so much about getting the strength of your answer exactly refined, or to think too hard about the exact wording of the question -- like candidates!
- Legal immigration should be increased
- We spend enough on patrolling the Mexican border
- Grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who have resided here for 5 years
- Strongly Support means you believe in the principle of free immigration: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
- Support means you believe in practical reforms but not in treating illegal aliens as criminals.
- Oppose means you believe in practical limitations like increased border security.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe in the principle that illegal aliens are criminals.
2012 Election Immigration Issues
- Anti-immigration advocates often seek Official English status (the US has no official language), which would enforce assimilation of non-English speaking immigrants. Similarly, anti-immigration advocates seek to terminate Bilingual Education, which is currently funded in school systems with large non-English-speaking populations.
- The "Simpson-Mazzoli Act" refers to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, was the immigration reform supported by President Reagan. Its opponents claimed that it granted amnesty in exchange for tightening immigration law, but that the tightening never occurred while the amnesty did.
- In April 2010, the state legislature of Arizona passed a law, S.B. 1070, which allowed state police to check for legal papers of people suspected of being illegl immigrants.
- Proponents say that the AZ law only enforces federal law in a circumstance where the federal government has failed to enforce its own law.
- Opponents say that the AZ law constitutes "racial profiling", and targets Latinos and especially Mexicans.
- The author of the AZ law, State Senate President Russell Pearce, was subjected by the people of his legislative district to a recall vote as a result of the AZ law, and lost his seat in Nov. 2011.
- The US admits about 660,000 legal immigrants per year (1998 figures).
- The Immigration Act of 1990 allows for 480,000 immigrants with family in the US; 140,000 immigrants in needed employment fields; and the rest under per-country limits and diversity limits.
- Foreign-born people accounted for 8% of the US population in the 1990 census; in the decades prior to 1930, the figure was 13%.
- About 5 million illegal aliens reside in the US (1996 figures).
- 55% of all illegal aliens come from Mexico. (Other Latin American countries account for another 20%).
- 40% of all illegal aliens live in California. (TX, NY, FL, and IL account for the next 40%).
- The illegal alien population is growing by about 275,000 each year.
- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) runs the Border Patrol as well as interior enforcement.
- Pro-immigration advocates sometimes accuse anti-immigration advocates of racism, because of the large Hispanic component of current immigration.
In that view, immigration restrictions are seen as limiting growth of the Hispanic population.
- Anti-immigration advocates often seek Official English status (the US has no official language), which would enforce assimilation of non-English speaking immigrants.
Similarly, anti-immigration advocates seek to terminate Bilingual Education, which is currently funded in school systems with large non-English-speaking populations.
- The biggest components of the immigration debate is how many legal immigrants to allow, and how to prevent illegal immigration.
- Liberals and libertarians generally oppose restricting immigration. Look for buzzwords like "promote diversity" to define the liberal attitude, or "we're a nation of immigrants" to define the libertarian attitude.
Any reference to providing illegal immigrants with services beyond emergency medical treatment, or any reference to "clemency" for illegal immigration, implies a strong pro-immigrant stance.
- Moderate liberals and libertarians will oppose restricting immigration while paying lip-service to restrictions on illegal immigration. Look for buzz-phrases like "promote immigration, block illegal immigration" and "separate the functions of the INS and the Border Patrol," which mean the same thing.
- Conservatives and populists generally favor restricting immigration. Look for buzzwords like "protect our borders" or "strengthen the INS".
A call for "Official English" is a strongly anti-immigration stance, because most immigrants are from non-English speaking countries. That's the same attitude as "End bilingual education," which focuses primarily on Spanish-speaking immigrants.
- Moderate conservatives and populists will favor restricting illegal immigration while paying lip-service to allowing legal immigration. The result is the same as moderates in favor of immigration: calls for separating out legal immigration from illegal, but with a focus on enforcement against illegals instead of a focus on respecting immigrant rights.