Election Cheat Sheet: Immigration
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
In the weeks leading up to the election, The Spectrum will be providing facts about the Democratic and Republican candidates’ platforms so students can make an informed decision in the voting booth on Nov. 6. Today we will present both President Barack Obama’s and former Governor Mitt Romney’s stances on immigration.
President Barack Obama
Obama’s immigration plan is not focused in deportation. Rather, he plans to turn illegal immigrants – particularly those who came here as children – into citizens of the United States.
Obama believes those young people should be able to earn their citizenship either through serving in the military or pursuing a college degree.
He is also focusing immigration enforcement resources on those illegal immigrants who pose a threat to “our communities.” The groups Obama plans on de-emphasizing are: students, veterans, seniors and military families.
Additionally, in order to keep families together, Obama has proposed undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens be allowed to stay in the United States while they undergo their legal immigration and naturalization processes.
Despite how controversial immigration has been on the campaign trail this election season, the majority of registered voters feel Obama’s recent announcement that the United States will not be deporting illegal immigrants under the age of 30 – if they were brought to the country by their parents as children – does “just enough,” according to CNN.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Romney wants to grow legal immigration to help supplement the economy.
He plans to attract more highly skilled immigrants by increasing the number of high-skilled visas, increasing immigration caps on specific countries and granting permanent residency to every foreign student who earns an advanced degree in math, science or engineering at a U.S. university.
He also wants to introduce a system that brings seasonal workers, like temporary agricultural workers, into the country. He proposes to do this by eliminating “unnecessary” requirements, which delay workers from receiving their visas.
Romney takes a strong stance against illegal immigration and insists it must end. He will do this by building a “high-tech fence,” which will help enhance border security. He will make sure there are enough border control officers to gain and maintain control of the border. He will also develop a system of “exit verification,” which will make sure people do not overstay their visas.
He will discourage illegal immigration by creating a mandatory system for employers to check the work eligibility of those they hire. Romney vetoed in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants while serving as the governor of Massachusetts.
But he wants to give green cards to the families of citizens and legal residents to help legal immigrants bring their spouses and children to the states.
Romney agrees with Obama that current illegal immigrants who were brought here as children should have the chance to become citizens by serving in the military.
He opposes amnesty for all current illegal immigrants, although he wishes to “address the 11 million illegal immigrants in America in a civil and resolute manner that respects the rule of law.”