How Important Is Immigration in the 2016 Elections


2016-electionAnyone who considers running for president has a lot to consider before making the commitment. It really should be an alignment between what the country needs and what the candidate has to offer. In so doing, the candidate needs to evaluate his or her position on foreign policy, domestic policy, social issues, and the like. One of these societal issues that special interest for a NJ immigration lawyer is immigration. But there have been times during which I have wondered if other people share my interest in immigration.

Immigrants Are Almost 8% of the U.S. Population

Despite its importance, how many Americans truly worry about immigration policy? Well, there are currently 41.3 million documented immigrants living in the United States, representing close to 8% of the US population. That is a major demographic no candidate can take for granted. The most commonly discussed issues are foreign policy and military spending, and the economy. Immigration plays a role into all of those.

Executive Action Is a Lightning Rod

With the increased attention immigration is receiving as a result of President Obama’s executive actions, we are likely to see an increase in the discussion of this topic. The democratic candidates will likely defend President Obama’s actions and promote similar reforms. In fact, Hillary Clinton has already said she would go farther than President Obama did. Whereas the republican candidates are likely to attack these actions on some level, and foster a focus on border security. In fact, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Marco Rubio, Governor Jeb Bush, and Governor Rick Perry have supported some form of immigration reform in the past. There are also the Sen Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul, who have consistently voted against reform. The fact that Republican candidates are not of one mind on the subject guarantees that it will come up in the Republican primaries.

Questions to Consider for Any Candidate

Here are some questions each candidate will have to answer as they wade into the immigration debate:

  1. Do they seek to deport the over 11 million undocumented immigrants in presently in the U.S.?
  2. If yes, how do they do it? It will require a lot of resources for Enforcement, Courts and personnel, and detention centers
  3. If no, do they maintain the status quo (by doing nothing) or try to focus the government’s priorities on deporting the “bad people” (however you define “bad”)?
  4. If they try to do something with the undocumented immigrants, are they in favor of a path to citizenship (create a path where if conditions are met immigrant will one day be able to become a U.S. citizen) or path to legal status (there is no direct path to U.S. citizenship only the creation of some status which risks creating second class citizens).
  5. What reforms will they pursue and in what order? (Border security, enforcement, undocumented immigrants, courts, future flow of legal immigration, etc.)

As candidates start to crystallize their position on immigration, pay attention to what they say and don’t say. Don’t fall for the spin. Politicians are great at telling you what you want to hear but meaning something else entirely. Don’t fall for it. Listen to what they say and write and review these questions to see where they actually fall.

Free Resources Available for You

If you face an immigration challenge, your NJ immigration lawyer has some valuable resources for you:

  1. Do You Qualify for Legal Status?  If you aren’t legal in the U.S. you owe it to yourself to find out if you can get legal status.  Select the link, answer the questions, and find out for FREE.
  2. Do You Need an Immigration Attorney? You Might Not – I will explain when you need an immigration attorney.  Not every needs one.  I will also explain the benefits of hiring one in any immigration challenge.
  3. 7 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Immigration Attorney – If you have decided that you need an immigration attorney, how do you make sure you hire a good one?  I explain to you the questions you need to ask before you hire your immigration attorney.
  4. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court – Here I discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings.  I also explain the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being placed into removal proceedings.

If You Have Immigration Questions, Your NJ Immigration Lawyer Has Answers. You Can:

  1. Call our knowledgeable staff at 888-582-6146;
  2. Fill out our contact us form on this page; or
  3. Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help immigrants, one petition at a time.

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