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Urban Issues: Immigration

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Feb 23, 2004

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John Edwards

Edwards supports reform of current immigration policy to create “a clear road map to legalization and citizenship for undocumented immigrants who work hard and follow the law.” He supports increased security on the U.S./Mexico border to protect against illegal immigration. He supports an earned legalization program to help working immigrants gain citizenship more quickly.

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John Kerry

Kerry supports reform of current immigration policy. He supports efforts to restore benefits to legal immigrants and legislation for undocumented young people have grown up and graduated from high school in the U.S. He believes the naturalization process for legal permanent residents serving in the Armed Forces should be expedited. Kerry supports a proposal that will allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their status if they have been in the United States for a certain amount of time, have been working, and can pass a background check. He also calls for increased funding for border enforcement to ensure that only legal immigrants can enter the country.

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Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich promises to legalize the status of tax-paying undocumented workers in the U.S. He supports a partnership with Mexico to control the flow of immigrants into the country.

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Al Sharpton

Sharpton would relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from taking part in programs like public housing and food stamps.

George W. Bush

In January 2004, Bush outlined a new policy that would give a temporary 3-year work visas to immigrants who are willing to take a job that no American wants. The proposal would require employers to sponsor a worker and the visa would have to be renewed. Bush's policy comes after several years of more stringent immigration regulations, including requiring visitors from certain countries to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Many immigrant advocates in New York criticized Bush's new plan, saying it would give too much power to employers and could potentially deport people after they have already worked for years.

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• Urban Agenda: Immigration
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