Immigration Station

A Critical discourse analysis of immigration in the 2016 Presidential Election

Below is an aggregated list of in debate speeches pertaining to immigration from each candidate. We encourage you to click a candidate image of your choice to view their listed immigration speeches and click on the [source] link to read the utterance within the context of its debate. The debate menu is also available for textual analysis on an individual basis with each candidate.


[source] Well, first of all, I want to make sure every child gets health care. That's why I helped to create the Children's Health Insurance Program, and I want to support states that are expanding health care and including undocumented children and others. I want to open up the opportunity for immigrants to be able to buy in to the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. I think to go beyond that, as I understand what Governor O'Malley has recommended, so that they would get the same subsidies. I think that is — it raises so many issues. It would be very difficult to administer, it needs to be part of a comprehensive immigration reform, when we finally do get to it.

[source] Demonize hard-working immigrants who have insulted them. You know, I came to Las Vegas in, I think, May. Early may. Met with a group of DREAMers, I wish everybody in America could meet with this young people, to hear their stories, to know their incredible talent, their determination, and that's why I would go further.

[source] I think that is the number one requirement. I also said that we should take increased numbers of refugees. The administration originally said 10. I said we should go to 65, but only if we have as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine, whatever resources it takes because I do not want us to, in any way, inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country. But I want to say a quick word about what Senator Sanders and then Governor O'Malley said. We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges. We've got challenges in the South China Sea because of what China is doing in building up these military installations. We have problems with Russia. Just the other day, Russia allowed a television camera to see the plans for a drone submarine that could carry a tactical nuclear weapon. So we've got to look at the full range and then come to some smart decisions about having more streamlined and focused approach.

[source] Well, first of all, I know that the President has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. And my reading of the law and the Constitution convinces me that the President has the authority that he is attempting to exercise with respect to dreamers and their parents, because I think all of us on this stage agree that we need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Border security has always been a part of that debate. And it is a fact that the net immigration from Mexico and South has basically zeroed out. So, what we want to do is to say, look, we have 11 million people who have been here, many of them for decades. They have children who are doing so well, I've met and worked with dreamers. I think any parent would be so proud of them. So let's move toward what we should be doing as a nation and follow the values of our immigration history and begin to make it possible for them to come out of the shadows and to have a future that gives them a full chance of citizenship. [applause]

[source] I don't think a halt is necessary. What we have to do is put all of our resources through the Department of Homeland Security, through the State Department, through our intelligence agencies, and we have to have an increased vetting and screening. Now, this takes, David, 18 months to 24 months, two years. So I know it's not going to happen overnight and everything that can be done should be done. But the process should move forward while we are also taking on ISIS, putting together the kind of strategy that I've advocated for, and making sure that the vetting and the screening is as tough as possible. Because I do believe that we have a history and a tradition, that is part of our values system and we don't want to sacrifice our values. We don't want to make it seem as though we are turning into a nation of fear instead of a nation of resolve. So I want us to have a very tough screening process but I want that process to go forward. And if at the end of 18 months, 24 months there are people who have been cleared, and I would prioritize widows, and orphans, and the elderly, people who may have relatives, families, or have nowhere else to go. I would prioritize them. And that would I think give the American public a bit more of a sense of security about who is being processed and who might end up coming as refugees.

[source] Martha, that -- you know, one of the reasons why I have advocated for a no-fly zone is in order to create those safe refuges within Syria, to try to protect people on the ground both from Assad's forces, who are continuing to drop barrel bombs, and from ISIS. And of course, it has to be de-conflicted with the Russians, who are also flying in that space. I'm hoping that because of the very recent announcement of the agreement at the Security Council, which embodies actually an agreement that I negotiated back in Geneva in June of 2012, we're going to get a diplomatic effort in Syria to begin to try to make a transition. A no-fly zone would prevent the outflow of refugees and give us a chance to have some safe spaces.

[source] I would work quickly to present to the Congress my plans for creating more good jobs in manufacturing, infrastructure, clean and renewable energy, raising the minimum wage, and guaranteeing, finally, equal pay for women's work. I would also...[applause]...I would also be presenting my plans to build on the Affordable Care Act and to improve it by decreasing the out-of-pocket costs by putting a cap on prescription drug costs; by looking for ways that we can put the prescription drug business and the health insurance company business on a more stable platform that doesn't take too much money out of the pockets of hard-working Americans. And third, I would be working, in every way that I knew, to bring our country together. We do have too much division, too much mean- spiritedness. There's a lot we have to do on immigration reform, on voting rights, on campaign finance reform, but we need to do it together. That's how we'll have the kind of country for the 21st century that we know will guarantee our children and grandchildren the kind of future they deserve. [applause]

[source] Well, I—I don't accept that premise, Chuck. I think that we've got so much business we have to do. We've talked a lot tonight about what we're against—we're against income inequality. We're against the abuses of powerful interests. We're against a lot of things. I'm for a lot of things. I don't want to just stop bad things from happening, I want to start good things from happening. And I believe, if I'm so fortunate to get the nomination, I will begin to work immediately on putting together an agenda, beginning to talk with members of Congress and others about how we can push forward. I want to have half a billion more solar panels deployed, the first four years. [applause] I want to have enough clean energy to power every home the next four years. I want us to keep working on the Affordable Care Act, to get not only to 100 percent coverage, but bring down the costs of prescription drugs and out-of-pocket costs. I want to move forward on paid family leave, on early childhood education, I want us to do more for small businesses. [applause] Small businesses have to create most of the jobs, and we're not creating and growing small businesses. I think, if you have a smart agenda, you pick the committees that you know have to begin to work on these various pieces—because that's the way Congress is set up. You go through different committees, and you really make a big push in the beginning. Immigration reform, economic revitalization with manufacturing, with infrastructure—we put it out there, and we begin to work on an ambitious, big, bold agenda that will actually produce the results that I want to see for our country.

[source] The answer to both of those is no. I'm interested in making what we have work better. I want to streamline programs that are duplicative and redundant. I want to have a top-to-bottom review about what works and what doesn't work, and be absolutely clear we're getting rid of what doesn't work. I have had the opportunity to run a big agency. I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better—better than anybody had run it in a long time. So I have an idea of what it's going to take to make our government work more efficiently. And when you put together a budget, you have to make a lot of hard decisions, but I think it's not appropriate to say "I'm going to get rid of this, get rid of that" until you have a very good process that gives you the information about what to do. But I want to add something else, you know, because look, we have so much work to do in our country, and I think it's the greatest work that Americans will be called to do. And of course, we have to have people in every community involved in it. We have to have the political voice, the political grassroots speaking up and speaking out about what we have to try to accomplish in Washington. But we also need to have a very clear set of goals that we are going to achieve, and we need to level with the American people about what they are, what they will cost, what will be expected of our citizenry. So I see as president having a constant dialogue with Americans here's what we're trying to get done, here's why I need your help, here's why you may think comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship isn't something you care about, but I'm telling you it will help fix the labor market, it will bring people out of the shadows—

[source] Thank you very much. I've been looking forward to this debate, and I want to thank Univision, the Washington Post, Facebook and Miami-Dade College, the largest college in North America for hosting us here this evening. [applause] And tonight I am looking forward to the opportunity to discuss how we knock down the barriers that stand in the way of people getting ahead and staying ahead, starting with the economic ones. My focus is on more good paying jobs with rising incomes for families and how we prevent corporations from taking jobs out of our country by imposing an exit tax, making them pay back any tax breaks they've gotten. But we also need to be having a positive agenda for manufacturing. for small businesses and entrepreneurs, for more clean energy jobs. And I also look forward to discussing comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship that will be one of my priorities in my first 100 days as president. And I will also be talking about education, every child deserves a good teacher and a good school.

[source] In 2003, I sponsored the DREAMER Act. I sponsored I think in every Congress after that. I have been consistent and committed to comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. I think our best chance was in 2007, when Ted Kennedy led the charge on comprehensive immigration reform. We have Republican support. We had a president willing to sign it. I voted for that bill. Senator Sanders voted against it. Just think, imagine where we would be today is we had achieved comprehensive immigration reform nine years ago. Imagine how much more secure families would be in our country, no longer fearing the deportation of a loved one; no longer fearing that they would be found out. So I am staunchly in favor of comprehensive immigration reform and have been so over the course of my public career. [applause]

[source] If I could...[applause] You know, I think it's very hard to make the case that Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, me, La Raza, United Farmworkers, Dolores Huerta, leaders of the Latino community, would have supported a bill that actually promoted modern slavery. That was one of the many excuses used not to vote for the 2007 bill. And I will go back to what I said. If we had been able to get that passed, we would be so much further along now. I'm committed to defending DAPA and DACA. I'm committed to going even further to get more people deferred action, to go as far as I can under the law. And I am committed to introducing comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship in the first 100 days of my presidency.

[source] Let me — let me respond again because the misrepresentation can't go unanswered here. First of all, that is something that is not fair about what I said. I did say we needed to be very concerned about little children coming to this country — on their own, very often — many of them not making it. And when they got here, they needed, as I have argued for, legal counsel, due process, to make a decision. We need to end private detention, we need to end family detention. And in 2006, when Senator Sanders was running for the Senate from Vermont, he voted in the House with hard-line Republicans for indefinite detention for undocumented immigrants, and then he sided with those Republicans to stand with vigilantes known as Minute Men who were taking up outposts along the border to hunt down immigrants. So I think when you were running for the Senate, you made it clear by your vote, Senator, that you were going to stand with the Republicans. When you got to the Senate in 2007, one of the first things you did was vote against Ted Kennedy's immigration reform which he'd been working on for years before you ever arrived.

[source] Yes, you can because the question you were asking me were about children seeking asylum. And we have laws. That was the most critical thing I said. Under our laws. I would like to see those laws changed. I would like see added to them, a guaranteed counsel and other support for children. But if you are asking about everyone who is already here, undocumented immigrants, the 11-12 million who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals, terrorists, and anyone who threatens our safety. So I do not have the same policy as the current administration does. I think it's important that we move to our comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, stop the raids, stop the round-ups, stop the deporting of people who are living here doing their lives, doing their jobs, and that's my priority. [applause]

[source] I will not deport children. I would not deport children. I do not want to deport family members either, Jorge. I want to, as I said, prioritize who would be deported: violent criminals, people planning terrorist attacks, anybody who threatens us. That's a relatively small universe.

[source] That's what I'm telling you. Now I don't want — because I'm not contradicting what I told you in the interview. Asylum is a particular legal process. I'd like to see it changed. I'd like to see us give more support to people who come fleeing the terrible violence that they do. But under our law, we have a process we have to go [through which is different.

[source] Of the people, the undocumented people living in our country, I do not want to see them deported. I want to see them on a path to citizenship. That is exactly what I will do. [applause]

[source] This is why I go back to that 2007 vote because if we had been successful then, a lot of the issues we are still discussing today would be in the rear-view mirror. I want us to be able to achieve comprehensive immigration reform if I'm so fortunate enough to be president. And we do have to take a look at asylum laws. When I was secretary of state, I worked to try to support many different approaches to ending the violence in Central America. I was there meeting with leaders, security leaders, and others. And I think the Congress should support the president's request to fund programs that would protect people and change the culture of criminality and violence in Central America, helping people be able to stay safely in their homes and countries. [applause]

[source] Let me just conclude by saying that United Farm Workers considered that bill in their words the last best hope for farm workers and immigrants. They have proven to be right in the succeeding years. I only hope that we can put together a coalition to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the next Congress. And as I said earlier, in 2006, Senator Sanders supported indefinite detention for people facing deportation...

[source] ...and stood with the Minutemen vigilantes in their ridiculous, absurd efforts to, quote, "hunt down immigrants. So look, I think the goal here is to elect a Democratic Senate, elect a Democratic president and get to work immediately to get comprehensive immigration reform. [applause]

[source] Well, I think both of us, both Senator Sanders and I, voted numerous times to enhance border security along our border. We increased the number of border security agents. We did vote for money to build a fence, a pedestrian fence in some place, a vehicle fence in other places. And the result is that we have the most secure border we've ever had. Apprehensions coming across the border are the lowest they've been in 40 years, which just strengthens my argument that now it's time to do comprehensive immigration reform. The Republicans, the opponents no longer have an argument. And certainly, we hear a lot coming from the Republican side that is absolutely out of touch with reality. We raised money [through the congressional appropriations process. We enhanced the border security. That part of the work is done. Everybody that I know has looked at it said, okay, we have a secure border. There's no need for this rhetoric and demagoguery that's still —is carried out on the Republican side. You've run out of excuses. Let's move to comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. And I think that makes a very strong argument in favor of doing it.

[source] It's a big difference. First of all, as I understand him, he's talking about a very tall wall. [laughter] Right? A beautiful tall wall. The most beautiful tall wall, better than the Great Wall of China, that would run the entire border. That he would somehow magically get the Mexican government to pay for. And, you know, it's just fantasy. And in fact, if he cared to know anything about what members of Congress, like the senator and I have done, where it was necessary, we did support some fencing. Where it was necessary, we did add border patrol agents. We have done what by any fair estimate would have to conclude is a good job, quote, "securing the border". So let's get about the business of comprehensive immigration reform.

[source] Everything I just said will improve the living conditions, and I've spent a lot of time and effort talking to and mostly listening to Latinos. Jobs are the number one issue, with rising incomes. Close behind is education. Every child deserves a good teacher in a good school, regardless of the zip code that they live in. Following behind that is health care and how important it is to continue to build on the Affordable Care Act and provide access to health care. And then there are a number of other issues — comprehensive immigration reform certainly at the top.

[source] Well, like everyone else, I've spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours about what we heard and saw. You know, with prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them on politics, policies, principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve. Donald Trump is different. I said starting back in June that he was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing. What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn't represent who he is. But I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is. Because we've seen this throughout the campaign. We have seen him insult women. We've seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from one to ten. We've seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate spend nearly a week denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms. So, yes, this is who Donald Trump is. But it's not only women, and it's not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be our president, because he has also targeted immigrants, African- Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and so many others. So this is who Donald Trump is. And the question for us, the question our country must answer is that this is not who we are. That's why—to go back to your question—I want to send a message—we all should—to every boy and girl and, indeed, to the entire world that America already is great, but we are great because we are good, and we will respect one another, and we will work with one another, and we will celebrate our diversity. These are very important values to me, because this is the America that I know and love. And I can pledge to you tonight that this is the America that I will serve if I'm so fortunate enough to become your president.

[source] Well, first of all, I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us. But there are a lot of refugees, women and children—think of that picture we all saw of that 4-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he'd been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces. There are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely, I believe, because of Russian aggression. And we need to do our part.

[source] Well, within hours I said that I was sorry about the way I talked about that, because my argument is not with his supporters. It's with him and with the hateful and divisive campaign that he has run, and the inciting of violence at his rallies, and the very brutal kinds of comments about not just women, but all Americans, all kinds of Americans. And what he has said about African-Americans and Latinos, about Muslims, about POWs, about immigrants, about people with disabilities, he's never apologized for. And so I do think that a lot of the tone and tenor that he has said—I'm proud of the campaign that Bernie Sanders and I ran. We ran a campaign based on issues, not insults. And he is supporting me 100 percent.

[source] Well, as he was talking, I was thinking about a young girl I met here in Las Vegas, Carla, who is very worried that her parents might be deported, because she was born in this country but they were not. They work hard, they do everything they can to give her a good life. And you're right. I don't want to rip families apart. I don't want to be sending parents away from children. I don't want to see the deportation force that Donald has talked about in action in our country. We have 11 million undocumented people. They have 4 million American citizen children, 15 million people. He said as recently as a few weeks ago in Phoenix that every undocumented person would be subject to deportation. Now, here's what that means. It means you would have to have a massive law enforcement presence, where law enforcement officers would be going school to school, home to home, business to business, rounding up people who are undocumented. And we would then have to put them on trains, on buses to get them out of our country. I think that is an idea that is not in keeping with who we are as a nation. I think it's an idea that would rip our country apart. I have been for border security for years. I voted for border security in the United States Senate. And my comprehensive immigration reform plan of course includes border security. But I want to put our resources where I think they're most needed: Getting rid of any violent person. Anybody who should be deported, we should deport them. When it comes to the wall that Donald talks about building, he went to Mexico, he had a meeting with the Mexican president. Didn't even raise it. He choked and then got into a Twitter war because the Mexican president said we're not paying for that wall. So I think we are both a nation of immigrants and we are a nation of laws and that we can act accordingly. And that's why I'm introducing comprehensive immigration reform within the first 100 days with the path to citizenship.

[source] There are some limited places where that was appropriate. There also is necessarily going to be new technology and how best to deploy that. But it is clear, when you look at what Donald has been proposing, he started his campaign bashing immigrants, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and drug dealers, that he has a very different view about what we should do to deal with immigrants. Now, what I am also arguing is that bringing undocumented immigrants out from the shadows, putting them into the formal economy will be good, because then employers can't exploit them and undercut Americans' wages. And Donald knows a lot about this. He used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers, and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do: "You complain, I'll get you deported. " I want to get everybody out of the shadows, get the economy working, and not let employers like Donald exploit undocumented workers, which hurts them, but also hurts American workers.

[source] We will not have open borders. That is. ..

[source] We will have secure borders, but we'll also have reform. And this used to be a bipartisan issue. Ronald Reagan was the last president. ..

[source] ... to sign immigration reform, and George W. Bush supported it, as well.

[source] But, of course, there's no way we can know whether any of that is true, because he hasn't released his tax returns. He is the first candidate ever to run for president in the last 40-plus years who has not released his tax returns, so everything he says about charity or anything else, we can't prove it. You can look at our tax returns. We've got them all out there. But what is really troubling is that we learned in the last debate he has not paid a penny in federal income tax. And we were talking about immigrants a few minutes ago, Chris. You know, half of all immigrantsundocumented immigrants in our country—actually pay federal income tax. So we have undocumented immigrants in America who are paying more federal income tax than a billionaire. I find that just astonishing.


[source] Did Donald Trump apologize for taking after somebody in a Twitter war and making fun of her weight? Did he apologize for saying African-Americans are living in Hell? Did he apologize for saying President Obama was not even a citizen of the United States? You will look in vain to see Donald Trump ever taking responsibility for anybody and apologizing. Immigration. There's two plans on the table. Hillary and I believe in comprehensive immigration reform. Donald Trump believes in deportation nation. You've got to pick your choice. Hillary and I want a bipartisan reform that will put keeping families together as the top goal, second, that will help focus enforcement efforts on those who are violent, third, that will do more border control, and, fourth, that will provide a path to citizenship for those who work hard, pay taxes, play by the rules, and take criminal background record checks. That's our proposal. Donald Trump proposes to deport 16 million people, 11 million who are here without documents. And both Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to get rid of birthright citizenship. So if you're born here, but your parents don't have documents, they want to eliminate that. That's another 4.5 million people. These guys — and Donald Trump have said it — deportation force. They want to go house to house, school to school, business to business, and kick out 16 million people. And I cannot believe...

[source] I look forward to working together in whatever capacities we serve in. But I just want to make it very, very clear that he's trying to fuzz up what Donald Trump has said. When Donald Trump spoke in Phoenix, he looked the audience in the eye and he said, no, we're building a wall, and we're deporting everybody. He said, quote, "They will all be gone." "They will all be gone." And this is one of these ones where you can just go to the tape on it and see what Donald Trump has said. And to add...

[source] And to add to it, and to add to it, and to add to it, we are a nation of immigrants. Mike Pence and I both are descended from immigrant families. Some things, you know, maybe weren't said so great about the Irish when they came, but we've done well by absorbing immigrants, and it's made our nation stronger. When Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists and criminals, Mexican immigrants, when Donald Trump says about your judge, a Hoosier judge, he said that Judge Curiel was unqualified to hear a case because his parents were Mexican, I can't imagine how you could defend that.

[source] We have different views on — on refugee issues and on immigration. Hillary and I want to do enforcement based on, are people dangerous? These guys say all Mexicans are bad.

[source] And with respect to refugees, we want to keep people out if they're dangerous. Donald Trump said keep them out if they're Muslim. Mike Pence...


[source] Juan Carlos, I think what you've heard up here is some of the old thinking on immigration reform, and that's why it's gridlocked. We need to understand that our country is stronger in every generation by the arrival of new American immigrants. That is why I have put out a policy for comprehensive immigration reform, that is why I would go further than President Obama has on DACA, and DAPA. I mean, we are a nation of immigrants, we are made stronger by immigrants . Do you think for a second that simply because somebody's standing in a broken que on naturalization they're not going to go to the hospital, and that care isn't going to fall on to our insurance rates? I am for a generous, compassionate America that says we're all in this together. we need

[source] . .. comprehensiveimmigration reform. It'll make wages go up in America $250 for every year.

[source] Tried to mischaracterize it as free tuition for illegal immigrants. But, we took our case to the people when it was petitioned to referendum, and we won with 58 percent of the vote. The more our children learn, the more they will earn, and that's true of children who have yet to be naturalized.

[source] Anderson, thank you. I am very, very grateful to have been able to be on this stage with this distinguished group of candidates tonight. And what you heard tonight, Anderson, was a very, very — and all of you watching at home — was a very, very different debate than from the sort of debate you heard from the two presidential Republican debates. [applause] On this stage — on this stage, you didn't hear anyone denigrate women, you didn't hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants, you didn't hear anyone speak ill of another American because of their religious belief. What you heard instead on this stage tonight was an honest search for the answers that will move our country forward, to move us to a 100 percent clean electric energy grid by 2050, to take the actions that we have always taken as Americans so that we can actually attack injustice in our country, employ more of our people, rebuild our cities and towns, educate our children at higher and better levels, and include more of our people in the economic, social, and political life of our country. I truly believe that we are standing on the threshold of a new era of American progress. Unless you've become discouraged about our gridlock in Congress, talk to our young people under 30, because you'll never find among them people that want to bash immigrants or people that want to deny rights to gay couples. [applause] That tells me we are moving to a more connected, generous, and compassionate place, and we need to speak to the goodness within our country. [applause]

[source] John, I was the first person on this stage to say that we should accept the 65,000 Syrian refugees that were fleeing the sort of murder of ISIL, and I believe that that needs to be done with proper screening. But accommodating 65,000 refugees in our country today, people of 320 million, is akin to making room for 6.5 more people in a baseball stadium with 32,000. There are other ways to lead and to be a moral leader in this world, rather than at the opposite end of a drone strike. But I would want to agree with something that Senator Sanders says. The nature of warfare has changed. This is not a conflict where we send in the third divisions of Marines. This is a new era of conflict where traditional ways of huge standing armies are not as -- serve our purposes as well as special ops, better intelligence and being more proactive.

[source] Well, Mr. Cooney, we've actually been focusing on border security to the exclusion of talking about comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, if more border security and these -- and more and more deportations were going to bring our Republican brothers and sisters to the table, it would have happened long ago. The fact of the matter is -- and let's say it in our debate, because you'll never hear this from that immigration-bashing carnival barker, Donald Trump, the truth of the matter is... [applause] The truth of the matter is, net immigration from Mexico last year was zero. Fact check me. Go ahead. Check it out. But the truth of the matter is, if we want wages to go up, we've got to get 11 million of our neighbors out of off the book shadow economy, and into the full light of an American economy. That's what our parents and grandparents always did. That's what we need to do as a nation. Yes, we must protect our borders. But there is no substitute for having comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people, many of whom have known no other country but the United States of America. Our symbol is the Statue of Liberty. It is not a barbed wire fence.

[source] No, what I would say is this is look, I was the first of the three of us to call for America to accept the 65,000 refugees we were asked to accept. And if this humanitarian crisis increases, we should accept more.

[source] David, there are wider vulnerabilities than when it comes to refugees. I met recently with some members of the Chaldean Christian communities and the wait times are a year, 18 months, 24 months. There is a pretty excruciating process that refugees go through. We need to invest more in terms of the other sort of visas and the other sort of waivers.

[source] What these Chaldean families told me was that their families in Syria, when ISIS moves into their town, they actually paint a red cross across the door and mark their homes for demolition, and that tells the family you'd better get out now. The sort of genocide and brutality that the victims are suffering, these are not the perpetrators. We need to be the nation whose enduring symbol is the Statue of Liberty, and we need to act like the great country we are, according to our values.

[source] Well, they can have their anger and they can have their fear, but anger and fear never built America. We build our country by adopting wage and labor policies, including comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway of citizenship for all.

[source] Thank you. First of all, I would lay out an agenda to make wages go up again for all Americans, rather than down. Equal pay for equal work, making it easier rather than harder for people to join labor unions and bargain collectively for better wages; getting 11 million of our neighbors out of the underground shadow economy by passing comprehensive immigration reform, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, however we can, wherever we can. Secondly, I believe the greatest business opportunity to come to the United States of America in 100 years is climate change. And I put forward a plan to move us to a 100 percent clean electric energy grid by 2050 and create 5 million jobs along the way. [applause]

[source] Yes, but senator you never came to campaign for Vincent Sheheen when he was running for governor. In fact, neither of you came to campaign for Vincent Sheheen when he was running for governor. [applause] We can talk all we want about wanting to build a stronger Democratic party, but Lester, the question you answered, it's no laughing matter. The most recurring question I get when I stand on the chair all across Iowa and talk with my neighbors is, how are you going to heal the divisions and the wounds in our country? This is the biggest challenge we face as a people. All my life, I brought people together over deep divides and very old wounds, and that's what we need now in a new leader. We cannot keep talking past each other, declaring all Republicans are our enemies or the war is all about being against millionaires or billionaires, or it's all against American Muslims, all against immigrants. Look, as Frederick Douglas said, we are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other if we are going to succeed.

[source] There are so many issues that we haven't been able to discuss here. We have not fully discussed immigration reform, and the deplorable number of immigrant detention camps that our nation's now maintaining. We haven't discussed the shameful treatment that the people of Puerto Rico, our fellow Americans, are getting treated with by these hedge funds that are working them over. [applause] We haven't discussed the fact that in our hemisphere we have the danger of nation-state failures because of drug traffickers; and Honduras, and Guatemala and El Salvador. I guess the bottom line is this, look we are a great people the way we act at home and abroad based on the beliefs that unite us. Our belief in the dignity of every person, our belief in our own common good. There is now challenge that is too great for us to overcome provided we bring forward in these divided times, new leadership that can heal our divides here at home and bring our principles into alignment abroad. We're on the threshold of a new era of American progress and I believe we have only need to join forces together and cross that threshold into a new era of American prosperity.

[source] Sure. Yes. The - let me talk a little bit about our economy. Prior to President Obama's good work - and he's done great work. He saved us from a second Great Depression, from the recklessness and the greed on Wall Street. Our nation's creating jobs again and we're the only species on the planet without full employment, so jobs are important, right? Without jobs, nothing works very well. But here's another thing that doesn't work very well in America, unless it's going in the right direction, and that is wages. For the first time this side of World War II, 70 percent of us are earning the same or less than we did 12 years ago. So as I look at this, I believe that we need to first and foremost remember that our economy is not money. It is people. It is all of our people. And we need to restore common sense wage and labor policies that make wages rise again. Things we used to do, Democrats and Republicans together all the time, like keeping the minimum wage above the poverty line, paying overtime pay for overtime work. How about this, the long deferred promise of equal pay for equal work for men and women? [applause] Making it easier for people to join labor unions instead of harder. And then... [applause] ...And here's another one to make wages go up instead of being a drag on wages, let's get 11 million of our neighbors out of the underground shadow economy by passing comprehensive immigration reform... [applause] ...with a pathway to citizenship for all.


[source] I didn't leave anybody at the altar. I voted against that piece of legislation because it had guest-worker provisions in it which the Southern Poverty Law Center talked about being semi-slavery. Guest workers are coming in, they're working under terrible conditions, but if they stand up for their rights, they're thrown out of the country. I was not the only progressive to vote against that legislation for that reason. Tom Harkin, a very good friend of Hillary Clinton's and mine, one of the leading labor advocates, also voted against that.

[source] I know that. But point being is that progressives did vote against that for that reason. My view right now — and always has been — is that when you have 11 million undocumented people in this country, we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need a path toward citizenship, we need to take people out of the shadows.

[source] Let me do that but let me pick up on an issue, a very important issue that we have not yet discussed. This nation is the most powerful military in the world. We're spending over $600 billion a year on the military and yet, significantly less than 10 percent of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars maintaining 5,000 nuclear weapons. I think we need major reform in the military, making it more cost effective, but also focusing on the real crisis that faces us. The Cold War is over. And our focus has got to be on intelligence, increased manpower, fighting internationally targets. So, in terms of refugees, I believe that the United States has the moral responsibility with Europe, with Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia to make sure that when people leave countries like Afghanistan and Syria with nothing more than the clothing on their back that, of course, we reach out. Now, what the magic number is, I don't know, because we don't know the extent of the problem. But I certainly think that the United States should take its full responsibility in helping those people.

[source] I'm one of the 77 percent. I think this is a very difficult issue. Let me agree with much of what the secretary and the governor have said. Let me tell you what I think we have got to do. I think it's a two-pronged issue. Number one, our goal is to crush and destroy ISIS. What is the best way to do it? Well, I think there are some differences of opinion here, perhaps between the secretary and myself. I voted against the war in Iraq because I thought unilateral military action would not produce the results that were necessary and would lead to the kind of unraveling and instability that we saw in the Middle East. I do not believe in unilateral American action. I believe in action in which we put together a strong coalition of forces, major powers and the Muslim nations. I think one of the heroes in a real quagmire out there, in a dangerous and difficult world; one of the heroes who we should recognize in the Middle East is King Abdullah II of Jordan. This small country has welcomed in many refugees. And Abdullah said something recently, very important. He said, "Yes, international terrorism is by definition an international issue, but it is primarily an issue of the Muslim nations who are fighting for the soul of Islam. We the Muslims should lead the effort on the ground." And I believe he is absolutely right.

[source] Well, thank you very much for hosting this debate, and let me applaud my colleagues up here. Because I think frankly, maybe I'm wrong, but on our worst day, I think we have a lot more to offer the American people than the right wing's extremists. [applause] My father came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, which sparked my interest in the need for immigration reform because I know what it's like to be the son of an immigrant. We grew up in a three-and-a-half-room, rent controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York. My mother's dream -- and she died very young, but my mother's dream for her whole life was to be able to get out of that rent-controlled apartment and own a home of her own. She never lived to see that.

[source] ... I am absolutely supportive of comprehensive immigration reform and a path towards citizenship for 11 million people today who are living in the shadows. All right? We got to do that. [applause] But you miss—when you looked at the issues, you missed two of the most important. And that is you're not going to accomplish what has to be done for working families and the middle class unless there is campaign finance reform. [applause] So long as big money interests control the United States Congress, it is gonna be very hard to do what has to be done for working families. So let me be very clear. No nominee of mine, if I'm elected president, to the United States Supreme Court will get that nomination unless he or she is loud and clear, and says they will vote to overturn Citizens United. [applause] Second point—second point is that the only way we make change in terms of health care, in terms of dealing with a broken criminal justice system which, today, allows us to have more people in jail than any other country—largely African-American and Latino—the only way we create millions of jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure or have a tax system that says to the wealthy that they are going to pay their fair share, is when millions of people become involved in the political process. No, you just can't negotiate with Mitch McConnell. Mitch is gonna have to look out the window and see a whole lot of people saying, "Mitch, stop representing the billionaire class. Start listening to working families." And as president, that's what I will work hard on. [applause]

[source] Thank you — thank you all very much. I'm running for president of the United States because given the crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics. Together we're going to have to overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. [applause] Billionaires and Wall Street should not be buying elections. We've got to end this rigged economy where people are working longer hours for low wages, almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent, and of course, we need comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship. And here in Miami...[applause] in Miami as much as any city in America, we know that we have got to combat climate change, transform our energy system, and leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and our grandchildren.

[source] This is what I think. I think that the American people are never going to elect a president who insults Mexicans, who insults Muslims, who insults women, who insults African-Americans. And let us not forget that several years ago, Trump was in the middle of the so- called birther movement, trying to delegitimize the president of the United States of America. [applause] You know, I find it very interesting, Karen, my dad was born in Poland. I know a little bit about the immigrant experience. Nobody has ever asked me for my birth certificate. Maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin. [applause]

[source] Well, you have guestworker programs that have been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the important institutions in this country who studies these issues, as guestworkers programs akin to slavery, where people came in. They were cheated. They were abused. They were humiliated. And if they stood up for their rights, they would be thrown out of the country. Of course, that type of [inaudible] leads to a race to the bottom for all of our people. And I worked very hard on that issue. And of course, I supported the 2013 immigration reform bill. And what I believe right now is not only that we need comprehensive immigration reform, if the Congress does not do its job, as president of the United States I will use the executive powers of that office to do what has to be done, to do what President Obama did, and expand on that.

[source] Well, when we talk about efforts to assist immigrants, Secretary Clinton prevailed upon the governor of New York, Elliot Spitzer, who wanted to do the right thing and provide driver's license to these who were undocumented, she said don't do it, and New York State still does not do it. In Vermont, by the way, I worked with officials and undocumented people in Vermont do have the ability to get driver's license. [applause] When we talk about immigration, the secretary will remember that one of the great tragedies, human tragedies of recent years is children came from Honduras where there's probably more violence than almost any place in this country, and they came into this country. And I said welcome those children into this country, Secretary Clinton said send them back. That's a difference.

[source] You know, Ted Kennedy was a very close friend of mine, and I served on the committee he chaired, the Health, Education, Labor Committee. And Ted Kennedy was kind enough to allow me to hold a hearing in 2008, I believe, in Congress, dealing with the plight of undocumented tomato pickers in Immokalee, Florida. [applause] And I went there on my own. Wasn't an issue really for the state of Vermont to expose the horrendous working conditions and the semi slavery, if you like, that those workers lived under. And the result of that hearing and the work that many, many people did was to significantly improve the wages and working conditions of those workers. [applause]

[source] Let me just say this. I don't think that the secretary fully answered your question, and I think the proof may be in the pudding. Honduras and that region of the world may be the most violent region in our hemisphere. Gang lords, vicious people torturing people, doing horrible things to families. Children fled that part of the world to try, try, try, try, maybe, to meet up with their family members in this country, taking a route that was horrific, trying to start a new life. Secretary Clinton did not support those children coming into this country. I did. Now I happen to agree with President Obama on many, many issues. I think he has done a great job as president of the United States. He is wrong on this issue of deportation. I disagree with him on that. [applause] So to answer your question, no, I will not deport children from the United States of America.

[source] Let me just answer, I want to get back to this 2007 immigration bill. It's true, Ted Kennedy, a good friend of mine, and I think of the secretary's, did work very hard on that bill. But does anyone really believe that if that bill was all so good, as the secretary is touting, that LULAC and other major Latino organizations, the largest Latino organizations in this country said no to that bill. And I worked very hard in improving the guest worker provisions so that in 2013 a bill I strongly supported, people who were in the guest worker program in America would not be treated like slaves. [applause]

[source] I think the secretary and I mostly, I think, agree on this issue. Look, in this country, immigration reform is a very hot debate. It's divided the country. But I would hope very much, that as we have that debate, we do not, as Donald Trump and others have done, resort to racism and xenophobia and bigotry. [applause] This idea of suddenly, one day or maybe a night, rounding up 11 million people and taking them outside of this country is a vulgar, absurd idea that I would hope very few people in America support.

[source] Well, I absolutely support that. At the heart of my immigration policy and I should say that the New York times editorial board called my immigration policy the most progressive and the strongest of any candidate running. But to answer your question, the essence of what we are trying to do is to unite families, not to divide families. [applause] The idea that a mother is living here and her children are on the other side of the border is wrong and immoral. A number of months ago, I talked to a young man who was serving in the United States military and while he was serving in the military, his wife was deported. That is beyond comprehension and policies that should not be allowed to exist. So, ma'am, I will do everything that I can to unite your family. Your children deserve to be with their mother. [applause]


[source] Thank you. You know, people are disgusted with the way that money has corrupted our political process, intimidating incumbents and empowering Wall Street every day, the turnstile government that we see, and also the power of the financial sector in both parties. They're looking for a leader who understands how the system works, who has not been coopted by it, and also has a proven record of accomplishing different things. I have a record of working across the political aisle. I've also spent more than half of my professional life away from politics in the independent world of being an author, a journalist, and a sole proprietor. In government service, I've fought and bled for our country in Vietnam as a Marine. I spent years as Assistant Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy — in the Reagan administration. In the senate, I spoke about economic fairness and social justice from day one. I also wrote and passed the best piece of veterans education legislation in history, the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. I brought criminal justice reform out of the political shadows and into the national discussion. I led what later became called the Strategic Pivot to Asia two years before President Obama was elected. I know where my loyalties are. My mother grew up in the poverty of east Arkansas chopping cotton, picking strawberries. Three of her seven siblings died in childhood. My wife, Hong, came to this country as a refugee from war torn Vietnam — learned English, a language that was not spoken at home, and earned her way into Cornell Law School. I have five daughters. Amy works with disabled veterans, Sarah is an emergency room nurse, Julia is a massage therapist, Emily and Georgia are still in school. My son Jim fought as an infantry Marine on the bloody streets of Ramadi. You may be sure that in a Webb administration, the highest priority will be the working people who every day go out and make this country stronger at home, and who give us the right reputation and security overseas under a common sense foreign policy. [cheering and applause]

[source] I wouldn't have a problem with that. Let me start by saying my wife is an immigrant. She was a refugee, her family escaped from Vietnam on a boat-- her entire extended family, after the communists took over, when hundreds of thousands of people were out there and thousands of them were dying. Went to two refugee camps, she never spoke English in her home, and she ended, as I said, graduating from Cornell Law School. That's not only American dream, that's a value that we have with a good immigration system in place. No country has — is a country without defining its borders. We need to resolve this issue. I actually introduced an amendment in the 2007 immigration bill.

[source] Giving a pathway to citizenship to those people who had come here, and put down their roots, and met as a series of standards. ..

[source] . .. lost (ph) — I introduced that in 2007 — We need a comprehensive reform, and we need to be able to define our borders.

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