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Pete Buttigieg on Immigration

Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor

 


Crossing the border illegally should still be illegal

Q: You're in favor of getting rid of the law that makes it a crime to come across the border illegally. Why won't that just encourage more illegal immigration?

BUTTIGIEG: When I am president, illegally crossing the border will still be illegal. We can argue over the finer points of which parts of this ought to be handled by civil law and which parts ought to be handled by criminal law. But we've got a crisis on our hands. Americans want comprehensive immigration reform. We've been talking about the same framework for my entire adult lifetime, protections for DREAMers; making sure that we have a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented; cleaning up lawful immigration. We know what to do. The problem is we haven't had the will to get it done in Washington.

Q: But didn't you raise your hand in the last debate, to decriminalize crossing the border illegally?

BUTTIGIEG: If fraud is involved, then that's suitable for the criminal statute. If not, then it should be handled under civil law.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) , Jul 30, 2019

Decriminalizing border-crossing ends child separation

Q: Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation?

[8 out of 10 debate participants would decriminalize unauthorized border crossings. Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, and Eric Swalwell raised their hands, indicating their first public support of the proposal. Julian Castro called out Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), who has argued the law should remain on the books. The only candidate to flatly reject the idea was Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Joe Biden took a mixed position.

Buttigieg: That criminalization is the basis for family separation. You do away with that, it's no longer possible. The Republican Party likes to cloak itself in the language of religion. For a party that associates itself with Christianity, to say that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages, has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Policies make things worse instead of solving problems

We have got a president who got elected on a promise to fix immigration. And issues at the border, including a humanitarian crisis, created by this president through cruel policies, like family separation, are only getting worse. Meanwhile, the one thing that would really help the issue of increased migration flows. under this president, seeing a threat to take funds away from stabilizing those Central American countries. We have got this completely upside down.
Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 interview , Jun 16, 2019

Most Americans are immigrants or their descendants

Buttigieg thinks the country needs comprehensive immigration reform, but hasn't said what that will entail. He thinks current policy at the southern border, including building the wall and˙separating families is bad policy.˙ "I'm here because of immigration," he said in a Scripps College town hall. "My father immigrated to this country and that's why I'm here. And most of us, unless we're descended from the first nations have that in our story, either came here or were brought here."
Source: Indianapolis Star on 2020 presidential hopefuls , May 6, 2019

There's a consensus on immigration if we have the will

I think the reason that the Dreamer story is so powerful is that it reflects the experiences of people who are Americans. They're not U.S. citizens, but in many cases this is the only country they can even remember. There are over 10 million people who are undocumented immigrants in this country who don't fall into that category. And the reality is, we can't have comprehensive immigration reform that works unless it addresses the status for those 11-some million undocumented immigrants. What we need to do is make sure there's a pathway to citizenship for them, too.

We know the outlines of a comprehensive immigration reform -- a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people in this country; a level of protection for DREAMers; a set of reforms to clear up the bureaucracy and the backlogs in the lawful immigration system, which is how my father became a U.S. citizen; and reasonable measures on border security.

Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 22, 2019

Problem isn't ICE; it's what they're ordered to do

We have worked very hard to be a welcoming city. People who are really important parts of our community are being torn apart from their families. This is not making us safer. When it comes to ICE, I don't care what the agency is called. I care what it does. As long as you have an agency being ordered to tear families apart from one another or being ordered to make it harder to get on a path to citizenship, you're going to continue to have heartbreaking stories that are not helping anybody.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 7, 2019

Supports DACA and easing deportation policies

Buttigieg supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and would like to see Congress pass a law creating pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. He also opposes the Trump administration's aggressive deportation policies,.
Source: PBS Newshour on 2020 Democratic primary , Feb 15, 2019

Other candidates on Immigration: Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Larry Hogan (D-MD)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
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Page last updated: Aug 02, 2019