Comparing the Candidates on Immigration Policy
By Laura Muñoz
September 21, 2016
As an immigrant, the 2016 Presidential race has caused me to reflect on my migration to the United States. In 1997 when I was 4 years old, my dad moved our family from Manizales-Caldas, Colombia to Miami, Florida. I remember thinking that my life was going to be different. I wasn’t sure in what capacity, but I knew that Miami was our new home. I never thought that it would be close to 20 years before I would have the possibility of going back to my home country.
Unfortunately, the possibility for me and millions like me, to be able to go back to our home country even to simply visit our families is in the hands of two individuals who have extremely opposing views. NETWORK’s side by side comparison clearly show Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s stance on comprehensive immigration reform, among other issues.
Hillary Clinton has made it a priority to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship within her first 100 days of office. She also supports President Obama’s administrative relief efforts such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and his Deferred Action for Parents of Americans initiative (that still unfortunately has not been passed). On the contrary, Donald Trump has pledged that within the first hour of his presidency he is going to begin the deportation of all undocumented people in the United States (yes, all 11 million). He is set on making Mexico pay for the wall at the southern border and of course, he will triple the amount of immigration officers, and make it harder for refugees and asylum seekers to come to the United States.
It isn’t hard for me to choose between the two candidates. Partly because this election directly affects me, but also because Catholic Social Justice shows us that we, as a people, need to address the inequality and suffering in our world and confront it as Christians by using the Gospel. When we use this mindset and think about immigration reform, the decision becomes clear. As Matthew 25:35 states, “I was a stranger and you took me in.”
In this critical presidential election, we must remind ourselves of our values and our principles, and keep in mind that if not us, many of our ancestors were once immigrants in search of a better life.