Voting Information Guide: Immigration Policy

By Jenna Benoit, Anthony Fichtner, and Elizabeth Costello

The United States’ Immigration Policy provides ground rules for anyone who wants to enter our country. Immigration is allowed based on certain criteria, such as unifying families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable to our economy, protecting refugees, and promoting diversity. There are several categories through which immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers may be admitted into our country.

One category is the immediate relatives category, which allows families to stay together upon entering the United States. Another is the work visa policy, which allows people with valuable skills to enter the United States with the intention of earning money and paying taxes. Temporary Protected Status is another category for those who are already in the US but cannot return due to “extraordinary temporary conditions.” Deferred Enforced Departure is a policy that provides protection from deportation for those that cannot return to their unstable home countries.

Refugees are allowed to settle in our country when they are unable to return to their countries because of a “well-founded fear of persecution.” Much like refugees, asylum-seekers are granted citizenship based on the same criteria, except that the asylum seekers are already living in the United States before being granted citizenship. Lastly, The Diversity Visa lottery is a path for citizenship for immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration.

There are only certain numbers of each of the above groups allowed in our country, and these numbers ensure that no one country’s immigrants/refugees/asylum-seekers can exceed more than 7% of the population of immigrants as a whole.

Worcester is a sanctuary city, and according to various immigration/asylum seeker assistance programs in Worcester, between 2007 and 2012, around 2,200 refugees from various origins have found homes in our city. This immigrant population  makes up 1.2% of Worcester’s population.

Are you dissatisfied with the way immigration is handled in this country? Do you think it could be done differently, or better? Take the quiz below to match your views to one of the four 2016 presidential candidates. Write down your answers – you’ll need them at the end!


Should we allow immigrants into our country at this time?

A.) Yes, but we should make legislation that assures Americans needs are met first

B.) Yes, but no one with a criminal record.

C.) Yes, more than we are now with no regards to criminal record.

D.) Yes, the proposed amount- in fact, open the borders so that more taxpayers can enter the country.

Should immigrants that live here be able to support themselves or have the opportunity to receive help from our government with programs such as welfare, in-state tuition rates at public colleges, and healthcare?

A.) If immigrants want to live here they must first be able to to support themselves without help from our government and pay for public college as an out of state student.

B.) Yes, they should be treated with the same rights as if they are American citizens.

C.) Yes, granting them citizenship should be the next step.

D.) Yes, they should be granted the same help all Americans in their financial status receive.

Should the United States be helping immigrants find jobs?

A.) Yes, but hire Americans first, immigrants second.

B.) Yes, they are essential to our economy.

C.) Yes, we should help them in any way we can to integrate with our society beyond this.

D.) Yes, it is important for immigrants to have jobs, more workers equals more taxpayers.

What do you think should be done to stop Mexican immigrants from crossing the border?

A.) We should triple the amount of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers.

B.) Nothing, we should be making it easier.

C.) We need to create a better system to allow Mexican immigrants to enter the country legally, and help them find jobs.

D.) We should be focusing on controlling criminals in our own country before we worry about stopping Mexican immigrants from crossing the border- we need to control our own citizens first.

Should Muslim immigrants be banned from our country?

A.) No, we shouldn’t ban all Muslim immigrants, but we should deny those from high risk countries.

B.) No, that is unconstitutional.

C.) No, we need to accept all of those in need & create more programs to assist them.

D.) No, we should take our fair share but that is all, no more than what is needed.

Should all undocumented immigrants living in the US, who do not currently have a criminal record, be given citizenship?

A.) No, illegal immigrants should be detained by federal authorities and deported.

B.) Yes, with little (if any) screening.

C.) Yes, after extensive screening.

D.) No, but they should be granted a two year work visa and a one strike rule if they commit any crimes.

Should we take in those seeking refuge from Syria?

A.) No we shouldn’t and we should send all of the refugees back to Syria.

B.) Yes, 60,000 instead of the proposed 10,000. Abolish all national borders.

C.) Yes, I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in.

D.) Yes, however not more than our fair share, we should not be taking in any more than we have to.

Should the children of undocumented immigrants be granted citizenship for being born in America?

A.) No, we should end birthright citizenship.

B.) Yes, immigrants are essential to our economy.

C.) Yes, this law should not be changed.

D.) Yes, they were born in America, therefore they are American.

Should we increase the amount of border patrol on the Mexican Border?

A.) Yes, we should triple the amount of ICE agents

B.) No, we have enough.

C.) No, we need to allow immigrants to enter the country legally and help them find jobs.

D.) No, we should open the border to those who want to be hard working Americans

Should we wait until there is a better background screening method to let more Muslim immigrants/refugees into our country?

A.) No, but we should not let them enter from high-risk countries.

B.) No, there shouldn’t be extensive screening.

C.) No, we need to let them in now under our current screening methods.

D.) No, but we should make sure they don’t pose a threat to the country.

Should local authorities be allowed to detain immigrants for minor crimes & transfer them to federal immigration authorities?

A.) Yes, all criminal immigrants should be transferred to immigration and deported.

B.) No, too many immigrants are being detained and deported.

C.) Yes, but only if they are convicted of a violent crime.

D.) No, a minor crime isn’t enough to kick someone out of the country.

Should the U.S. increase restrictions on its current border security policy?

A.) Yes, the restrictions we have now are not effective.

B.) No, we should have less restrictions.*

C.) No, just enforce the current border security policy.

D.) No, we should allow immigrants into the country so they can become hard working taxpayers.

Did you answer mostly A’s? You share the views of Republican Donald Trump.

Did you answer mostly B’s? You share the views of the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

Did you answer mostly C’s? You share the views of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Did you answer mostly D’s? You share the views of Libertarian Gary Johnson.

*This quiz is intended to be fun & educational, and may help increase your awareness of each of the candidates’ views on this particular issue. We encourage you to explore the various issues involved in the election & make an informed decision when voting for our next president.V

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