Snap Fact #316 - Comparing Platforms:  Immigration Reform

Post date: Sep 25, 2012 8:51:38 PM

Snap Fact #316

Comparing Platforms:  Immigration Reform

President Obama’s Platform is Committed to Real Immigration Reform

Governor Romney Says Yes but the Republican Platform Says No!

Republican: The Rule of Law: Legal Immigration - We recognize that for most of those seeking entry into this country, the lack of respect for the rule of law in their homelands has meant economic exploitation and political oppression by corrupt elites. In this country, the rule of law guarantees equal treatment to every individual, including more than one million immigrants to whom we grant permanent residence every year. That is why we oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by intentionally violating the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed it. Granting amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking. We support the mandatory use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (S.A.V.E.) program—an internet-based system that verifies the lawful presence of applicants—prior to the granting of any State or federal government entitlements or IRS refunds. We insist upon enforcement at the workplace through verification systems so that jobs can be available to all legal workers. Use of the E-verify program—an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees—must be made mandatory nation-wide.

In addition, it is why we demand tough penalties for those who practice identity theft, deal in fraudulent documents, and traffic in human beings. It is why we support Republican legislation to give the Department of Homeland Security long-term detention authority to keep dangerous but un-deportable aliens off our streets, expedite expulsion of criminal aliens, and make gang membership a deportable offense.

“procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily, while enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas.”

State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked. The pending Department of Justice lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah must be dismissed immediately. The double-layered fencing on the border that was enacted by Congress in 2006, but never completed, must finally be built. In order to restore the rule of law, federal funding should be denied to sanctuary cities that violate federal law and endanger their own citizens, and federal funding should be denied to universities that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, in open defiance of federal law.

This is the second of a major multi-part series that will compare the Democratic and Republican Platforms. These documents are the philosophical foundations that tell us how the winning candidate will govern. A lot of work went into this series researched by Allen Robbins and Arnold Mollot. Outside of The Rational Majority’s SNAP-CAP heading, and the reference section*, every word in the body of each SNAP-CAP is taken verbatim from 100s of pages comprising the two party platforms. Read and compare these CAPS so you will know which candidate is on YOUR side. *The Reference section is provided at the bottom of this SNAP-CAP as a supplementary informational resource to familiarize the reader with some of the less well-known items.


Democrat: Strengthening the American Community - Immigration. Democrats are strongly committed to enacting comprehensive immigration reform that supports our economic goals and reflects our values as both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. The story of the United States would not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have strengthened our country and contributed to our economy. Our prosperity depends on an immigration system that reflects our values and meets America’s needs. But Americans know that today, our immigration system is badly broken – separating families, undermining honest employers and workers, burdening law enforcement, and leaving millions of people working and living in the shadows.

President Obama and the Democrats fought for the DREAM Act, legislation ensuring that young people who want to contribute fully to our society and serve our country are able to become legal residents and ultimately citizens. Although this bill has a long history of bipartisan support, Republicans decided to play politics with it rather than do the right thing. So the Obama administration provided temporary relief for youth who came to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, grew up as Americans and are poised to make a real contribution to our country.


Democratic Platform (complete)

Republican Platform (complete)


DREAM Act, legislation

President Obama has long been a supporter of the DREAM Act, a proposed law that would give legal status to the small subset of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States before they turned 16 years old, are no older than 30, have been in the U.S. for at least five years, have been convicted of no serious crime, and have a high-school diploma, a GED, or a stint in the U.S. military. On August 15, 2012 President Obama’s bold executive order began a process to allow youngsters a 2 year reprieve from the threat of deportation hanging over them. The move was bold for 2 reasons. First, after a couple of years of trying to get the Dream Act through Congress, the President finally had to take it upon himself and issue an executive order that began a process to bring some sanity to the mess that has become our broken immigration system. The other reason is political. The American public could have taken the President’s actions either positively or negatively – in true Trumanesque fashion he just went ahead and did the right thing regardless of the political consequences.

The Democratic Party's platform for 2012, which was formally approved at the Democratic National Convention held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from September 4 through 6, supports comprehensive immigration reform that "brings undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and requires them to get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship." The platform states, among other things, that the Department of Homeland Security is "prioritizing the deportation of criminals who endanger our communities over the deportation of immigrants who do not pose a threat." It touts existing Obama administration efforts, such as deferred action for childhood arrivals in lieu of the DREAM Act and supporting family reunification as a priority.

The Rule of Law: Legal Immigration

Laws regulating immigration are analogous to those requiring the payment of taxes or the licensing of physicians. Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is not in itself unjust, but it may be imprudent.

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (S.A.V.E.) and E-verify

There is no magic database or system that gives the simple, speedy determination of unlawful presence that states crave. The SAVE program, operated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), does not and was never designed to meet these needs. SAVE can only verify immigration status or immigration information at a particular point in time, and cannot determine whether someone is unlawfully present in the United States. E-Verify is a federal database that can only be used to verify a worker’s authorization to work in the U.S. This disconnect between what current verification programs can do and how state legislatures seek to use them means that much of the state immigration legislation that has passed or is under consideration is relying on a false premise. If the programs relied upon for determining unlawful presence cannot actually meet that expectation, then the legislation itself is not on solid ground.