“We have to finally and once and for all fix our immigration system – this is a family issue, it’s an economic issue too, but it is at heart a family issue. If we claim we are for family then we have to pull together and resolve the outstanding issues around our broken immigration system. The American people support comprehensive immigration reform not just because it’s the right thing to do—and it is—but because it will strengthen families, strengthen our economy, and strengthen our country. That’s why we can’t wait any longer, we can’t wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship.”
HILLARY, MAY 5, 2015
Since the founding of this nation, generations of immigrants have contributed to the strength of America. Immigrants have spurred economic growth, fueled innovation, defended us abroad and added to the unique character of our nation. Despite the steady growth of America’s immigrant population, immigrants continue to earn less, lag on educational attainment rates, and face discrimination. And, while millions of undocumented immigrants have become an integral part of America’s social fabric, many live in fear that deportation will tear their families apart.
Hillary is fighting for an America where every family feels like they belong here. Instead of breaking up hardworking, law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America for years, she will work to keep families together and ensure a more humane immigration enforcement system.
As president, Hillary will:
Fight for comprehensive immigration reform legislation with a path to full and equal citizenship. As senator, Hillary was a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, cosponsoring Senator Ted Kennedy’s 2004 bill and supporting the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act in 2006 and 2007. She cosponsored the DREAM Act in the Senate in 2003, 2005, and 2007 to give undocumented students who grew up in the U.S. a chance to contribute to our nation’s growth. As president, Hillary will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a full and equal path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.
Defend President Obama’s DACA and DAPA executive actions. President Obama’s executive actions that provide relief from deportation for DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents would protect an estimated 5 million people. Hillary will defend DACA and DAPA against partisan attacks and politically motivated lawsuits that would put DREAMers and others at risk of deportation.
Do everything possible under the law to go further to protect families. If Congress continues its refusal to act on comprehensive immigration reform, Hillary will put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible system for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to be able to make their case and be eligible for deferred action as well.
Conduct humane, targeted immigration enforcement. Hillary believes immigration enforcement must be humane, targeted, and effective. She will focus enforcement resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and work to ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.
End family detention. Hillary believes we should end family detention for parents and children who arrive at our border in desperate situations. We have alternatives to detention for those who pose no flight or public safety risk, such as supervised release, that have proved effective and cost a fraction of what it takes to keep families in detention.
Close private immigrant detention centers. Hillary will end private immigrant detention centers. She believes we should move away from contracting out this critical government function to private corporations and private industry incentives that may contribute—or have the appearance of contributing—to over-incarceration.
Expand access to affordable health care to all families. Hillary has been fighting her entire life to ensure that families have access to affordable health care. She sponsored the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act in the Senate, which later became law and allows immigrant children and pregnant women to obtain Medicaid and SCHIP. She believes we should let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so.
Promote naturalization. Hillary believes we need to do more to help the millions of people who are eligible for citizenship to take that last step. She will work to expand fee waivers so more people can get a break on costs; increase access to robust language programs to help people boost their English proficiency; and enhance outreach and education so more people are informed about their options and engaged in the process.