By Brooke Moody–
The U.S. is four weeks away from the 2016 presidential election, and the current political atmosphere couldn’t be messier. The latest drama arose Friday with the release of crude, predatory statements made by Donald Trump and unfavorably moderate speeches made by Hillary Clinton privately to some of the country’s biggest banks.
Soon Americans will have to make an educated vote for the next president. With the polls fueled by political and moral biased, it is important that voters take time to educate themselves on the facts of the election. The combatant to hearsay and emotional appeal is the stated position of the candidates on important issues.
Leading up to the election, The Cardinal will look at each candidate’s views on topics such as taxation, equality actions, foreign affairs and health care.
The issue: immigration
An important issue of this years election is immigration. A recent report by the Center for Migration Studies totaled the undocumented immigration population at 10.9 million, continuing the decline since 2008. Specifically, the report indicated a decline in illegal immigration from Mexico.
Still, the issue of immigration raises concerns for voters from both parties in regards to taxation, the job market, humane treatment of immigrants and legal enforcement.
Immigration and race are hots topic on U of L’s campus. The past year has included racial controversies including former president James Ramsey’s sombrero incident last Halloween.
Student and faculty have voiced concerns regarding the measures the administration is taking to respect diversity and ensure equality on campus. Students within the Latino community have been advocates for the immigrant rights, cultural appropriation and diversity on campus. In addition, there is a population of U of L students who are undocumented citizens that will be directly affected by the outcome of the election.
Clinton and Trump stand on opposing sides of the immigration debate, and reflect the deep partisan values of their parties. But they aren’t America’s only options. Third party candidate Gary Johnson has an established stance on many issues, including immigration.
The candidates and their stances:
True to the nature of the Democratic party, Clinton has taken a position on immigration that reflects a plan to prioritize fair immigration laws, promote naturalization and defend humanitarian treatment. Details of the reform include:
- Enacting a plan to protect families and parents of DREAMers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and who have gone to school here.
- Close private immigration detention centers and end family detention of families and children arriving from desperate situations.
- Allow immigrant families, regardless of status, to purchase health insurance.
- Promote naturalization by extending fee waivers, increasing language programs, and expanding educational programs.
- Focusing on humane enforcement to ensure fair chance at asylum and effective detention and deportation of those who pose a threat to public safety.
Clinton values immigration as the heart of American heritage, and therefore should be reformed for positive immigration laws. The pro-immigration stance will benefit undocumented immigrants and incoming refugees as they integrate into American society and go through the naturalization process.
Criticism of her stance includes concerns regarding the laxity of the reform. Specifically, critics have voiced concerns that Clinton would provide a means for more terrorist to enter the country. In addition, her plan does not directly address protection of American jobs, which Republicans have deemed as a key concern within immigration.
Trump’s position on immigration calls for extreme and immediate action. One of the most distinct features of his plan is the wall that will separate the U.S. and Mexico. But Trump’s plan goes further than simply keeping immigrants out. His proposal details:
- Detaining illegal entrants and immediately deporting them.
- Suspending issuance of visas to places where screening is inadequate.
- Removing criminal aliens and forcing countries to take back their citizens.
- Protecting American jobs and lessening the economic impact of illegal immigrants by not aiding undocumented immigrants.
- Increase patrolling of the board by ICE agents and other resources in order to enforce the law.
Trump’s plan speaks to the concerns of Americans who believe illegal immigration negatively impacts the job market and therefore Americans’ abilities to obtain jobs. In opposition, critics of his stance are concerned that Trump’s plan is too radical and will hinder American growth and those who come to America seeking asylum.
Gaining popularity in the wake of the polarizing candidates, Trump and Clinton, Johnson represents the Libertarian party and a middle-ground stance on many issues. Johnson’s proposal for immigration is self-deemed practical and respectful of immigrants. His proposal includes:
- Creating an effective system of issuing work visas.
- Conducting background checks.
- Incentivizing non-citizens to pay taxes.
- Encouraging assimilation.
Johnson’s platform opening refutes Trump’s aggressive propositions and seeks to be a “breath of fresh air” in the partisan political atmosphere.
With scandals continuing for Clinton and Trump, only the polls will reveal the real effects of Johnson’s primarily neutral campaign. Americans have a choice to make, and for the first time in recent history a third party candidate will be on the ballot in all 50 states.
Photo by Nick Amon / The Louisville Cardinal