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Immigration Highlights from the Republican and Democratic Party Platforms

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12090541 (posted Sep. 5, 2012)"

In the past two weeks the Republican and Democratic Parties have released their official 2012 Party Platforms. Here we’ve compiled the major points of each Party’s platform that relate to immigration.

The Republican Party Platform on Immigration

  • Supports the rule of law and opposes any form of amnesty.
  • Top priority is security at borders and ports of entry to prevent drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and terrorism. Calls for completion of the double-layered fencing on the southern border
  • Supports “humane procedures to encourage illegal immigrants” to leave the U.S. Supports increased enforcement against overstays.
  • Opposes the current administration’s 2012 policy of granting deferred action to certain individuals who came to the U.S. as children.
  • Supports tougher penalties for ID theft, human trafficking and for those who deal in fraudulent documents.
  • Supports long-term detention of those who cannot be deported to their country of nationality.
  • Supports use of the 287(g) cooperation agreements with states and localities.
  • Opposes the Obama administration’s “assaults on state governments” on immigration. Opposes the ongoing Department of Justice litigation against state immigration laws.
  • Calls for denying federal funding to “sanctuary cities” and to universities that offer in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
  • Supports making E-verify mandatory nationwide. Supports state immigration enforcement efforts in the workplace.
  • Supports making the SAVE program mandatory. SAVE verifies the lawful presence of applicants for State or federal government entitlements or IRS refunds.
  • Calls for English as the nation’s official language.
  • Supports granting more visas to holders of advanced degrees in science technology, engineering and math fields.
  • Willing to consider a guest worker program to meet labor needs.


Democratic Party Platform on Immigration

  • Supports comprehensive immigration reform with the following components: bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and require them to get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship; and create a system for allocating visas that meets the nation’s economic needs, keeps families together, and enforces the law.
  • Supports the DREAM Act and continuing to provide deferred action to undocumented people who came to the U.S. as children.
  • Plans to hold employers accountable for whom they hire.
  • Prioritizes enforcement against criminals who endanger communities instead of immigrants who do not pose a safety threat.
  • Supports family reunification as a priority. Supports the current administration’s streamlining of the process of legal immigration for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and the enhanced opportunities for English-language learning and immigrant integration.
  • Supports continued litigation to oppose state enforcement laws that interfere with federal immigration law.
  • Supports inclusion of lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender relationships in the definition of family in immigration policy to protect bi-national families threatened with deportation.
  • 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.