Comment: Trump, Sanders, Rubio
This issue of Immigration Daily concludes our series on the immigration positions of Presidential candidates by covering the three remaining candidates: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio.

In this series, we have covered all 24 Presidential candidates who ran in 2016. We have let the candidates speak for themselves in their own words obtained from their own websites, edited only for length. The level of detail and the aspects of immigration covered reflect by what the candidates chose to carry on their own websites. We provide links to the candidates' immigration positions on their website so that you can read their entire presentation on immigration yourself.

For your convenience here are the links to the entire series in a single place.

Please let us know your thoughts on this series by writing to us at


Donald Trump

Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again

Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first - not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change.

The three core principles of Donald J. Trump's immigration plan
  1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
  2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
  3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Details of the Plan
  • Make Mexico Pay For The Wall: Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards - of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options]. We will not be taken advantage of anymore.
  • Defend The Laws And Constitution Of The United States: America will only be great as long as America remains a nation of laws that lives according to the Constitution. No one is above the law. The following steps will return to the American people the safety of their laws, which politicians have stolen from them:
  • Triple the number of ICE officers.
  • Nationwide e-verify. This simple measure will protect jobs for unemployed Americans.
  • Mandatory return of all criminal aliens. All criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries, a process which can be aided by canceling any visas to foreign countries which will not accept their own criminals, and making it a separate and additional crime to commit an offense while here illegally.
  • Detention-not catch-and-release. Illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border must be detained until they are sent home, no more catch-and-release.
  • Defund sanctuary cities. Cut-off federal grants to any city which refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement.
  • Enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa. Individuals who refuse to leave at the time their visa expires should be subject to criminal penalties.
  • Cooperate with local gang task forces. ICE officers should accompany local police departments conducting raids of violent street gangs.
  • End birthright citizenship. This remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration.
  • Put American Workers First: : The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans - including immigrants themselves and their children - to earn a middle class wage. We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to: help wages grow, get teenagers back to work, aid minorities' rise into the middle class, help schools and communities falling behind, and to ensure our immigrant members of the national family become part of the American dream. Additionally, we need to stop giving legal immigrant visas to people bent on causing us harm.
  • Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs. We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program. More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program's lowest allowable wage level, and more than eighty percent for its bottom two. Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas.
  • Requirement to hire American workers first. Too many visas, like the H-1B, have no such requirement. In the year 2015, with 92 million Americans outside the workforce and incomes collapsing, we need companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed. Petitions for workers should be mailed to the unemployment office, not USCIS.
  • End welfare abuse. Applicants for entry to the United States should be required to certify that they can pay for their own housing, healthcare and other needs before coming to the U.S.
  • Jobs program for inner city youth. The J-1 visa jobs program for foreign youth will be terminated and replaced with a resume bank for inner city youth provided to all corporate subscribers to the J-1 visa program.
  • Refugee program for American children. Increase standards for the admission of refugees and asylum-seekers to crack down on abuses. Use the monies saved on expensive refugee programs to help place American children without parents in safer homes and communities, and to improve community safety in high crime neighborhoods in the United States.
  • Immigration moderation. Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers. This will help reverse women's plummeting workplace participation rate, grow wages, and allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.

Bernie Sanders

A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy

Through legislation and executive action, Senator Sanders will implement a humane and secure immigration policy that will:
  1. Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and detention centers;
  2. Pave the way for a swift and fair legislative roadmap to citizenship for the eleven million undocumented immigrants;
  3. Ensure our border remains secure while respecting local communities;
  4. Regulate the future flow of immigrants by modernizing the visa system and rewriting bad trade agreements;
  5. Enhance access to justice and reverse the criminalization of immigrants;
  6. Establish parameters for independent oversight of key U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies.

Details of the plan:
  • Deportation and Detention: The growth of the immigrant detention/deportation machine and the expansion of border militarization has perpetuated unjust policies and resulted in the separation of hundreds of thousands of immigrant families.
  • Expand DACA and DAPA - As President, Senator Sanders will expand DACA and DAPA programs to provide broad administrative relief to the parents of DREAMers, the parents of citizens, the parents of legal permanent residents, and other immigrants. Under this plan, close to nine million individuals would be able to apply for deferred action.
  • Protect Immigrant Workers Exercising their Rights.
  • Provide Permanent Immigration Relief to Families.
  • Decouple Local Law Enforcement from Immigration Enforcement.
  • Employ Humanitarian Parole to Reunite Families.
  • Promote Cooperation Between Immigrants and Local Law Enforcement.
  • Expand Access to Counsel for Immigrants.
  • Properly Fund Our Nation's Immigration Courts.
  • Close Loopholes that Allow Racial Profiling by Federal Authorities.
  • End For-Profit Detention.
  • End Family Detention.
  • Propose Budgets with Smart, Targeted Enforcement.
  • Make Detention Practices Accountable.
  • Alternatives to Detention.
  • Guarantee Due Process and Bond Hearings.
  • Eleven Million New Americans: Senator Sanders will make a path to citizenship for the undocumented population the building block of a new humane immigration system.
  • Establish Broad Eligibility for Relief.
  • Establish a Reasonable and Fair Wait for Citizenship.
  • Minimize Financial Penalties and Fees.
  • End the Three-Year, Ten-Year, and Permanent Bars.
  • Provide Expansive Relief to DREAMers.
  • Border Security And Militarization: Senator Sanders believes that we can ensure that our borders are modern and secure. Indeed, we must continually modernize our border security measures and maintain security, all while protecting the rights and needs of our border communities.
  • A 21st Century Border Must Use Resources Efficiently and Effectively.
  • Reject Piecemeal Border Enforcement.
  • Reduce Border Deaths.
  • End Operation Streamline and Barriers to Asylum.
  • Implement the "Best Interests of the Child"
  • Turn Back the Militarization of the Southern Border.
  • Hold CBP Accountable.
  • End the "Constitution Free" Zone.
  • Future Flow of Immigrants: A humane immigration system must honestly look at creating viable, legal channels that match our labor market needs. We must seriously reassess our foreign and international trade policies in light of the effects they have on migration and U.S. workers.
  • Keep Families Together.
  • Protect Women from Discrimination.
  • Strengthen and Expand Our Support for Refugees.
  • End the Economic Exploitation of Immigrant Workers.
  • Protect and Expand the Legal Rights of Immigrant Workers.
  • Operate Smart and Fair Employment Verification.
  • Reduce Health Care Costs.
  • Defend the Diversity Visa from Attacks.
  • Ensure Access to Asylum for Persecuted Immigrants.
  • Balanced Trade Agreements: Inequality across the world is universally acknowledged as the driving force behind migration. This inequality does not develop organically and the United States must be introspective about its role. For example, the ill-conceived NAFTA, devastated local economies and pushed millions to migrate.
  • Establish Fair and Equitable Trade Policies.
  • Immigrant Integration: Integration into the great American mosaic is extremely important. Yet our immigrant integration policies, often not a priority in our national discourse, gravitate towards forced assimilation and, even as our society became more inclusive, provided little support, guidance, or even a welcome path to becoming an American.
  • Fully Fund and Prioritize Immigrant Integration.
  • Expand Access to Naturalization.
  • Connect Integration with Educational Programs.

Marco Rubio

Secure the Border First
  • Winning the global competition for investment and innovation will require us to win the global competition for talent. We simply cannot remain competitive in the twenty-first century if we are unable to attract and keep the most talented people in the world. But today, at a time when so many working-class and middle-class families are struggling, it can fairly be asked: Is it possible to advocate continued immigration while at the same time fighting for an agenda to lift up the working and middle classes? Aren't these two things at odds with each other? Well, the answer is yes-if we continue on the path we're on.
  • To begin with, our immigration system itself is chaotic. Entire sectors of our southern border are not secure, creating not just an immigration problem but a serious humanitarian and national security one as well. In addition, many of our immigration laws are simply not enforced or unenforceable. For example, a significant percentage of those here illegally arrived legally, but then overstayed visas. We do not know who most of them are or where they are.
  • Our immigration system, designed primarily to reunite families, is an outdated relic of the last century. This system worked for much of the twentieth century, when we had no shortage of low-skill, middle-income jobs and the government safety net was still fairly limited. But today we have low to nonexistent growth, a shortage of good jobs and a massive web of needs-based programs.
  • No nation on earth is more generous when it comes to immigration than America. Each year about one million people permanently immigrate here legally. But when people hear that we have over twelve million people here illegally, they feel as if we are being taken advantage of. They see how hard it is to find and keep a steady and well-paying job, and they worry that more people will mean more competition for already scarce work. That's not nativism. That's human nature.
  • We must begin by reigniting economic growth and opportunity in this nation. When our economy is growing and thriving, employment isn't a zero-sum game. A new American's gain does not have to be an existing American's loss. If that were true, every time we hand out a high school or college diploma to one person we should hand an unemployment check to someone else. In fact, the opposite is true.
  • Our current system is damaging our economy. Each year our colleges and universities graduate foreign students who are among the best and the brightest in the whole world. Instead of putting them to work here, innovating products and creating jobs, we send them back to China and India to compete against us. This makes no sense.
  • Making our legal immigration system a merit-based system that encourages innovators will have broad benefits for our economy. Transitioning to a merit-based, high-skilled immigration system would also help immigrants assimilate more quickly and easily into American economic and civil life.
  • A significant percentage of Americans simply don't trust either party in Washington to address other aspects of immigration reform before illegal immigration has been brought under control.
  • So what is the way forward? First, we must make the argument that reform is needed at all. I have heard some argue that all we need to do is enforce the laws we have already. But that is not accurate. On the enforcement side, we need additional investment in electronic monitoring and personnel. Building more fencing alone will not be enough to address illegal crossings. We also need to give employers a reliable way to check the legal status of the people they hire. We need to invest in an entry and exit tracking system to prevent visa overstays.
  • The first step must be enforcement measures that are effective and verifiable. Such measures would include securing the most vulnerable and most trafficked sectors of the southern border, mandatory E-Verify and the full implementation of an entry-exit tracking system.
  • The second step is to modernize our legal immigration system toward a merit-based one. That would mean reassigning existing visas away from family-based immigration and toward work- and skill-based immigration, passing reforms for high-tech visas, as well as creating a limited guest worker program for seasonal workers in the agricultural sector to reduce the incentive for these workers to come here illegally in the future.
  • Once both of these reforms have been passed, then I believe the conditions will be in place to address the most politically sensitive aspect of immigration reform: what to do with more than twelve million people currently here illegally.
  • On the one hand, calls to grant amnesty to twelve million people are unrealistic and quite frankly irresponsible. First, those here illegally must come forward and be registered. If they have committed serious crimes or have not been here long enough, they will have to leave. With the new E-Verify system in place, they are going to find it difficult to find a job in any case. Second, those who qualify would be allowed to apply for a temporary nonimmigrant visa. To obtain it they will have to pay an application fee and a fine, undergo a background check and learn English. Third and finally, those who qualify for a nonimmigrant visa will have to remain in this status for at least a decade. After that, they would be allowed to apply for permanent residency if they so choose. Many who qualify for this status will choose to remain in it indefinitely. But those who choose to seek permanent residency would have to do it the way anyone else would, not through any special pathway.
  • This three-step plan is not only the best way to reform our immigration system, it is, in my opinion, the only approach that has any chance of success. An overwhelming majority of Americans in both parties would support this sort of incremental approach.
  • The best way to rebuild trust and reform our broken immigration system is through incremental steps both to fix our immigration system and to realize the full potential of our country.
  • Why? Because the American Dream is not small. It's not about entitlement. It's about opportunity. It is not about parceling out prosperity to the few. It is about a striving, growing prosperity for anyone willing to work hard and to dream. Conservatives have always been the keeper of this flame. We have always been the believers in a growing, striving America. It is a tragedy that today we find ourselves being portrayed as pessimists about America's potential rather than the optimists we have always been. We will miss a great opportunity to reclaim the true meaning of our movement-and, much more important, to restore the true potential of our country-if we fail to act.

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Focus: The Removal Book

Editor: Priscillia Suntoso
Articles by Nadeen Aljijakli, Josh Bardavid, Philip Eichorn, Aga Haupt, Lauren Kosseff, Matthew Kriezelman, Michelle Mendez, Lory Rosenberg, Jason Schaffer, Kimberly Sutton, and others to be announced.

The book outline is as follows:

Chapter 1: Removal Proceedings
Chapter 2: Grounds of Deportability
Chapter 3: Grounds of Inadmissibility
Chapter 4: Contesting Removability
Chapter 5: Adjustment of Status
Chapter 6: Waivers of Inadmissibility and Deportability in Removal Proceedings
Chapter 7: Section 212(c) Relief and Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents
Chapter 8: Cancellation and Suspension for Non-Permanent Resident Aliens
Chapter 9: Asylum: Withholding of Removal and Protection Under the Convention Against Torture
Chapter 10: Voluntary Departure
Chapter 11: Naturalization as a Defense to Removal
Chapter 12: Administrative Review of Removal Orders
Chapter 13: Judicial Review of Removal Orders
Chapter 14: Removal Issues Outside the United States

To order The Removal Book and for biographies, please see:
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Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
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Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Stamford or New Haven, CT. Wiggin and Dana LLP, a full-service law firm representing clients throughout the country and abroad seeks an experienced Business Immigration Associate for its Stamford or New Haven, Connecticut office. Applicants must have 3+ years of employment-based immigration experience, including nonimmigrant (H-1B, L-1, TN, O-1, E-1/E-2, etc.) and immigrant (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3) visa petitions, complex RFE responses, PERM cases, and extraordinary ability petitions. Excellent writing skills and top academic credentials are required. Please visit the Career Opportunities page at to complete an online application.

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ComingsNGoings: Immigration Event
LACBA EB-5 Conference: EB-5 Reboot: New Rules, New Players, New Opportunities
February 13, 2016, 8am - 6pm (Pacific), Universal City, CA. The Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Immigration Section will host its' 4th Biennial EB-5 conference, a full-day EB-5 conference featuring top national speakers: Ira Kurzban, Ron Klasko, Chuck Kuck, Bernie Wolfsdorf, Linda Lau, Jan Pederson, Tammy Fox-Isicoff, and many others. Title: "EB-5 Reboot: New Rules, New Players, New Opportunities." Sessions will include discussions of latest program updates and hot topics: "what happens when the EB-5 project fails," transitioning to EB-5 petitions from E-2s and L-1s, litigation update, country specific issues, ethics and risk management, and a special session on recent SEC enforcement actions. Attendees will receive 7.5 units of CLE credits, including 1 hour of ethics. (Based on California requirements.) Registration includes breakfast, lunch, and reception following the conference. For more information and registration see here.

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