Monday, January 13, 2020

Michael Kagan's grading of the top candidates' immigration platforms

UNLV immigration law professor Michael Kagan has synthesized the immigration proposals of the top four Democratic presidential candidates. Based on his review, he graded them on how well they would actually build the welcoming America they promise.

Here’s how they did, according to his rankings:

Elizabeth Warren A-

Bernie Sanders B+

Pete Buttigieg B+

Joe Biden C+

The criteria covered five aspects of immigration reform:

  1. Treatment of undocumented immigrants inside the United States
  2. Enforcement policies at the border
  3. Asylum and refugee policy
  4. Visa reform
  5. Institutional reform

The big take-aways:

All of the leading Democrats would roll back the major anti-immigrant measures imposed by President Trump, including the Muslim Ban and restrictions on asylum. They would protect DACA, support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and try to avoid deportations of immigrants without criminal records.

Biden stands out for proposing less. He would leave in place a large deportation system that threatens undocumented immigrants. He would limit deportations, but only so long as he is president.

Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg all propose structural changes to immigration enforcement that would protect immigrants longer term.

UPDATE 1/14/2020 (From Michael Kagan): Based on new information I received from the Biden campaign, I have revised my article and the grades. In short, Biden (like the others) calls for ending private immigration detention. That's a big deal.

Elizabeth Warren A-
Bernie Sanders B+
Pete Buttigieg B+
Joe Biden B-


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