Republican and Democratic 2012 Party Platforms: Immigration Highlights

Over the past two weeks, the Republican and Democratic Parties have released their official 2012 Party Platforms, both including strong stances on immigration. As the election nears, many people are looking to find out what the immigration views of both parties are. Below, the distinct stances of both parties are summarized.

 Republican Party Platform on Immigration:

 The Republican Party Supports the Following:

The Republican Party has indicated that it supports the rule of law and opposes any form of amnesty. The Party has also made clear that their top priority is the security of the border and ports of entry to prevent drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and terrorism. For this reason, the Party has called for the completion of the double-layered fencing on the southern border. Additionally, the Party has made clear that they support “humane procedures to encourage illegal immigrants” to leave the U.S. and they support increased enforcement against overstays. The Party also articulated that they support tougher penalties for ID theft, human trafficking, and for those who deal in fraudulent documents. The Party supports long-term detention of those who cannot be deported to their country of nationality and the use of the 287(g) cooperation agreements with states and localities. The Party supports making E-verify mandatory nationwide and supports state immigration enforcement efforts in the workplace. Additionally, the Party supports making the SAVE program mandatory, which verifies the lawful presence of applicants for State or federal government entitlements or IRS refunds. The Party also supports granting more visas to holders of advances degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Lastly, the Party is willing to consider a guest worker program to meet labor needs.


The Republican Party Opposes the Following:

The Republican Party’s Platform articulated that they oppose the current administration’s 2012 policy of granting deferred action to certain individuals who came to the U.S as children. Additionally, the Party made clear that they oppose the Obama administration’s “assaults on state governments” on immigration and oppose the ongoing Department of Justice litigation against state and immigration laws.


The Republican Party’s Calls to Action

The Republican Party calls for denying federal funding to “sanctuary cities” and to universities that offer in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants. Additionally, the Party calls for English to be made the nation’s official language.


Democratic Party Platform on Immigration:


The Democratic Party Supports the Following:

Conversely, the Democratic Party supports the DREAM Act and continuing to provide deferred action to undocumented people who came to the U.S as children. The Party also supports family reunification as a priority and the current administration’s streamlining of the process of legal immigration for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. The Party supports inclusion of lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender relationships in the definition of family in immigration policy to protect bi-national families threatened with deportation.  The Party also supports the enhanced opportunities for English-language learning and immigrant integration. Additionally, the Party supports continued litigation to oppose state enforcement laws that interfere with federal immigration law. The Democratic Party made clear that they plan to hold employers accountable for whom they hire. The Party also indicated that they prioritize enforcement against criminals who endanger communities instead of immigrants who do not pose a safety threat. The Party asserts that the southwest border is more secure than at any time in the past twenty years, unlawful crossings are at a 40-year low, and that the Border Patrol is better staffed than at any time in its history. Finally, the Democratic Party supports comprehensive immigration reform with the following components: bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and requiring them to get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship; and creating a system for allocating visas that meets the nation’s economic needs, keeps families together, and enforces the law.

Source: AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12090541 (posted Sep. 5, 2012)