The upcoming US election has been the most hyped in history. In the blue corner, weighing in her political career experience of 37 years is Hillary Rodham Clinton. The current Secretary of State, she has lived in the White House as First Lady but has always had her eye on the big, roundish office. However, with all the allegations levelled against her campaign, Clinton’s presidency isn’t a sure thing.
In the red corner, a heavy hitter, a billionaire, a self-styled reality star, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say about Donald Trump that hasn’t already been said, tweeted, blogged, shouted, chanted, celebrated and mocked. A divisive personality to say the least, Trump represents the disillusionment of the masses with political arena.
The United States has always been the land of opportunity. It has also been home to immigration. Founded by descendants from European countries, the US currently stands as number one country in the world when it comes to ethnic diversity. People from all cultures and different walks of life are proud to call America home but depending on the outcome of this election, we’re looking at two very different policies over the next four years.
The Republican candidate Donald Trump views the present immigration policy of the US to be worse than ever. He said as much in his speech at Arizona and has demanded a ban on people bringing terrorism to their country. Trump emphasizes nationalism and views immigrants to perpetrate violent crime in the country.
Trump very clearly opposes to any pathway to offer legal status to immigrants residing in the US unlawfully. He says that the immigrants should return back to their home countries and then apply for visa to enter the country if they want to return back to USA. Trump proposed that he would select the immigrants on the basis of, “their likelihood of success in the U.S. and their ability to be financially self-sufficient”. He also said that if he becomes the President he would give away the birth right citizenship, where automatic citizenship is granted to the child born in the country irrespective of their parent‘s citizenship status.
Trump also proposed to build a wall at the Mexican border and insists that Mexico should pay for the expenses, a bill that the Mexican President refused to consider. The logic of this one might be ‘China has a Wall. They don’t have Mexicans. Clearly, America’s solution is to get their own wall’
On the deportation issue, Trump has a rigid stance that any undocumented immigrant will be deported back. He also mentioned about deportation of ‘criminal aliens’ and wants that the native countries of ‘criminal aliens’ should take them back. He stated in that, “Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities”.
This Presidential candidate’s prime concern is for the American worker and said that his administration would work for the benefit of Joe the Plumber. He believes that the condition of unemployment in the USA is primarily because of immigrant workers. Trump states that under his presidency, organisations first have to recruit Americans before considering foreign workers. He could even call for a temporary freeze on offering green cards to immigrants until Americans are hired.
Overall Trump has clear and strict views on immigration policies. His immigration policies will depend on the employment conditions of the Americans and would be very rigid on offers of permanent status in the US to any immigrant.
Democratic Presidential candidate Clinton seems to be all about immigration. Where Trump wants to close the doors for immigrants, then Clinton wants to unlock the doors that are closed.
Clinton has promised that within her first 100 days in the office, she would follow a new immigration statute which would create new pathways for undocumented immigrants to qualify as citizens. She has also promised to protect deportation of undocumented immigrants and ensure that children are not deported.
She mentioned in her speech that, “I think it’s important that we move to our comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, stop the raids, stop the round-ups, stop the deporting of people who are living here doing their lives, doing their jobs, and that's my priority”.She also has plans to rule out the 3 and 10 years bars that impose limits on the undocumented immigrants to either get a legal status or leave the country at the end of the period.
Clinton is quiet liberal on the issue of immigration and wishes to close the immigrant detention centres. She also said the families which do not present a threat to the country will be provided with cost effective measures instead of detention.
Clinton, to help the immigrants with the naturalization process, plans to increase the access to education. According to her policy, “families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so”.
Clinton adopts a dignified approach towards immigration policies and she also added that the immigrants who pose threat to the country will definitely be detained and deported. Of course, it still remains to be seen how much of these policies will eventually come to pass with the Republican Party still retaining the majority of Congress.
The presidential candidates have contrasting views on immigration policies. Trump is vehemently against immigration and afraid that immigrants will be a threat to the safety of the country. If Trump wins things will be difficult for immigrants in the US and it might become harder to obtain US visa in the future. Trump aims to deport every undocumented immigrant in the country and he views that instead of giving preference to foreign workers, organisation should first recruit Americans.
On the other hand, Clinton policies are extremely immigration friendly and she wants to ease the process for the future US citizens and temporary skilled workers. She wants to offer legal status to undocumented immigrants in the country as long as they don’t pose threat to the US and her interests. The election on the 8th of November promises to be a true showdown.
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