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Key Immigration Resources Ahead of Tonight’s First Presidential Debate

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Our Take on the Key Immigration Questions and Background – and How to Follow Along with America’s Voice

Join with the America’s Voice team to preview and follow along during tonight’s presidential debate – http://americasvoice.org/debate/ 

Google Hangout TODAY, September 26 from 8-8:30 PM:

Join Frank Sharry and Juan Escalante ahead of the debate to discuss what is at stake for undocumented immigrants across the country, specifically the threat of DACA being revoked on day one of a Donald Trump presidency. The event will be live streamed via the AV site: http://americasvoice.org/debate/

State debate watch parties with America’s Voice staff and friends (click through link for details):

Asheboro, North Carolina – 825 W Dixie Dr.
Cleveland, Ohio  – Moncho’s Bar & Grill 2317 Denison Ave
Columbus, Ohio – Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op 1069 W Broad St
Durham, North Carolina (joint phone bank and debate watch party)
Homestead, Florida – Sak Pase Caribbean Restaurant Bar & Lounge 27156 S. Dixie Highway
Las Vegas, Nevada – 4120 N. Martin L. King Blvd.
Miami, Florida – 8330 Biscayne Blvd.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin   – Candelas Banquet Hall 2537 W National Ave
Pompano Beach, Florida – Feijao com Arroz Restaurant 559 East Sample Road
Tampa, Florida – Wings and Bucks Restaurant and Sports Bar 7507 N Armenia Ave
Washington, DC – Stoney’s on L  2101 L St NW
Woodbridge, VA – Palace Nightclub 13989 Jefferson Davis Highway

Key Questions for Donald Trump on Immigration: 

1) You have said you will immediately end President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including the DACA program that currently protects 750,000 young people commonly referred to as DREAMers from deportation. Would they be subject to deportation under a President Trump?  

2) Polls consistently show that by a 3-1 margin Americans believe undocumented immigrants should be able to gain legal status by meeting certain criteria, rather than be deported. Why do you support the deportation of most of these people, especially given multiple reports that doing so would cause significant damage to the economy and impose significant costs on the federal government? 

Key Questions for Hillary Clinton on Immigration:

1) President Obama promised early action on immigration reform during his first year in office and again after his re-election. You have done the same. He didn’t get legislation passed. How will your administration be different?

2) President Obama has emphasized deterrence and detention with respect to Central Americans fleeing widespread violence in the northern triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. How will a Hillary Clinton Administration be different?

Background Resources:

New Studies: Immigrants and Immigration Benefit America: A massive new immigration study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds that immigration creates strong economic growth for the nation as a whole. As the chair of the NAS Panel, Dr. Francine D. Blau noted, “The panel’s comprehensive examination revealed many important benefits of immigration — including on economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship — with little to no negative effects on the overall wages or employment of native-born workers in the long term.” Additionally, new immigration studies from the Center for American Progress and Pew Research both demonstrate the incredible costs that America would incur by following Trump’s mass deportation vision.

Immigration Polling: The American people are overwhelmingly – and increasingly – in favor of citizenship for undocumented immigrants – see this polling overview. Immigration may be a point of contention between Trump and Clinton, but Americans have already decided – overwhelming support for legalization and a path to citizenship. More than 72% of Americans back either citizenship or legalization for undocumented immigrants instead of deportation in recent polls from In New York Times/CBS, Quinnipiac, Washington Post/ABC News, CNN, and Gallup. In fact, as the Washington Post highlighted, Donald Trump’s overt nativism actually is “increasing sympathy for immigrants and depressing support for his harsh enforcement techniques.”

Immigrants and Crime: Trump engages in blatant falsehoods regarding immigrants and criminality – see this American Immigration Council overviewon how and why immigration is associated with less crime and safer communities

Key Reminders and Takeaways

Donald Trump has pledged to immediately end President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for DREAMers – a real threat to a real program that is a real benefit for approximately 750,000 DACA recipients (read the new Medium post from DACA recipient and America’s Voice staffer Juan Escalante, who writes that, “My ability to remain in the United States hinges on the 2016 general election”). Recently, Donald Trump, Jr. said that his father likely would seek to deport prominent DREAMer Astrid Silva (who herself penned a recent op-ed making the case for why DACA should matter to 2016 voters and affect races up and down the ballot).

Stop the charade: Trump hasn’t “softened” on immigration: While the Trump campaign’s recent and continued word blizzard around immigration is designed to sow confusion and misinformation, the policy thrust remains consistent and disturbing – Trump certainly has not “softened” on immigration. America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry called Trump’s approach “the most radical immigration policy of any nominee in modern American politics. The intended outcome of Trump’s policy is to drive all but a handful of undocumented immigrants out of the country. That’s 11 million people who live and work and are settled throughout America. If implemented, it would be one of the most shameful chapters in American history.”

The two parties have never had a sharper contrast on immigration. As the Trump-led nativist backlash on the right pulls the Republican Party in the wrong direction on immigration, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are leaning into pro-immigrant policies like never before: pledging to make reform with a path to citizenship a top legislative priority; maintaining the DACA program for DREAMers; promising to go further on executive action than President Obama, and promising to “end family detention, close private detention facilities, and stop the raids and round ups,” as Clinton stated at the recent CHCI gala.