More than a year into her campaign, the only tough immigration-related questions Hillary Clinton has had to face have come from the left. For the most part, she's been able to get by spinning platitudes about stopping deportations, opposing Trump's wall, and promising to bring "millions of workers out of the shadows" (easily the most hackneyed catchphrase of the 21st Century). She hasn't held a press conference in more than 200 days, and will likely get softballs at the upcoming debates, but here's hoping someone (anyone!) will ask her these questions:
Your website says "Immigrants have spurred economic growth, fueled innovation, defended us abroad and added to the unique character of our nation." And during the campaign, you have never referred to any potentially negative impacts of immigration. So why not open our borders and let everyone in?
If you believe there should be some limits to legal immigration, what should those limits be?
The word "visa" doesn't appear anywhere on your website. Do you support increasing guestworker visas like the H-1B and H-2B visas? If not, why not?
Wage stagnation is one of the most serious problems facing American workers, particularly for less-skilled workers. What impact, if any, do you believe legal immigration and guestworkers have had on this trend?
If millions of workers who are currently confined to gray economy jobs are legalized and enter the mainstream labor force, how will this impact wages and the unemployment rate for Americans?
Do you support affirmative action for recently arrived immigrants, legal or illegal?
You're calling for comprehensive immigration reform that, according to your website, provides, "a full and equal path to citizenship". But you make no mention of what sort of crimes might disqualify someone from receiving this amnesty. Would someone with DWI convictions or petty theft, for example, qualify?
You state on your website that you support comprehensive immigration reform that "upholds the rule of law". How would granting an amnesty that would allow those who broke the law to stay help "uphold the rule of law"?
Under current law, legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens can petition to bring immediate relatives (spouse, fiancé, parents, children, siblings) to the United States. Under your amnesty plan, would you allow those in the country illegally to naturalize and then petition for their relatives to join them here or would they have a special legal status that wouldn't allow them to petition for family members to join them?
The comprehensive immigration plans you supported while a member of the Senate called for illegal immigrants to pay back taxes, among other things, in order to qualify for amnesty. Do you still support this provision? And if so, how would the IRS determine how much each illegal immigrant worked and now owes?
The (Reagan) immigration amnesty of 1986 spurred a huge new wave of illegal immigration. Tell us why the one you propose wouldn't do the same?
You refer to protecting our borders just once on your website and have no information about how you would do that. You oppose the wall, so please tell us if you think border security needs to be strengthened and, if so, how you'd do that as president?
You refer repeatedly on your website to immigrant "integration." What is the difference between integration and assimilation, and please define how you would help immigrants "integrate?"
Roughly half of our illegal alien population are visa overstayers. How, if at all, would you address the visa overstay problem?
A huge number of foreign businesspersons, foreign governments, and other foreign interests have paid you or your husband for speeches and have made substantial donations to your foundation. Have any of these individuals sought and/or received your assistance in obtaining visas for friends, family members, or business associates?
What actions have you taken in your career in politics to enhance border security and/or strengthen the security of our visa system?
Why do you think the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business interests spend millions to lobby for more open borders?
Do you support continuing the green card lottery? How about adding countries to the Visa Waiver Program so citizens from those places can come to the United States without visas?
Do you support mandatory E-Verify for U.S. employers or any other measures to combat the hiring of illegal labor?
Immigration officials have had to release thousands of convicted criminals because many foreign countries refuse to allow repatriation of their citizens who commit felonies in the United States. What, if anything, would do as president to get these countries to take back their criminals we want to deport?
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985.
It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic,
fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.