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Immigration: Where 2020 Democratics Stand On Border Crossings And More

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Immigration: Where 2020 Democratics Stand On Border Crossings And More

Decriminalize illegal border crossings One of the most contentious immigration questions in the Democratic primary is whether candidates want to decriminalize illegal border crossings. Some have talked about repealing Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes it a misdemeanor to cross illegally. Several Democratic candidates want it to be a civil offense, not criminal. The Trump administration used this statute to justify its family separation policy, which is how it became a hot topic in the campaign.

Yes: Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Messam, Sanders, Sestak, Steyer, Warren,Williamson

Temporarily: Yang

No: Bennet, Biden, Bullock, Delaney, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Ryan Unclear: De Blasio, Gabbard 

Increase, decrease or roughly maintain current legal immigration levels Right now, around 1.1 million people obtain legal permanent resident status in the U.S. each year, in addition to the hundreds of thousands who are naturalized and tens of thousands who are resettled as refugees (a group that the Trump administration has cut drastically). We asked candidates whether they would like to increase, decrease or roughly maintain current levels of legal immigration to the U.S.

Increase: Bennet, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sestak, Warren, Yang Maintain: none

Decrease: none

Unclear: Booker, Bullock, Castro, De Blasio, Delaney, Gabbard, Harris, Messam, Ryan, Sanders, Steyer, Williamson 

Increase, decrease, or roughly maintain the amount spent annually on Customs and Border Protection Candidates have talked about wanting to do different types of immigration enforcement, for example changing the technologies used to patrol the border. As one way to get at the question of candidates’ attitudes toward border security, we asked whether they would like to increase, decrease or hold steady the amount spent annually to operate U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Increase: Bennet, Sestak

Maintain: none

Decrease: Sanders Unclear: Biden, Booker, Bullock, Buttigieg, Castro, De Blasio, Delaney, Gabbard, Harris, Klobuchar, Messam, O’Rourke, Ryan, Steyer, Warren, Williamson, Yang

Change makeup of current legal immigration? In recent years, between 60% and 70% of all legal permanent immigration has been family-based, as opposed to people getting legal status for reasons like work or their refugee status, according to the Migration Policy Institute. This is an issue that President Trump raised earlier this year, when he controversially proposed making immigration less weighted toward family connections and more employment-based. We asked candidates whether they would like to maintain the current balance or whether they would like to somehow change it (and if so, how).

Change: Bennet, Buttigieg, Castro, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sestak, Warren

Maintain: none

Unclear: Biden, Booker, Bullock, De Blasio, Delaney, Gabbard, Harris, Messam, Ryan, Sanders, Steyer, Williamson, Yang 

This article was adapted from npr.org. Originally written by Danielle Kurtzleben.

 

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