The Sanctuary, a pro-migrant and civil liberties group, recently asked presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to complete a questionnaire, which included a number of immigration-related questions. Senator McCain has not responded to The Sanctuary's request, but Senator Obama has provided some detailed answers that provide a deeper look into his plans for immigration reform.
Some of the highlights of Obama's responses:
- On Raids: Obama doesn't provide a direct answer when asked if he would support a immediate moratorium on immigration raids, although he does admit that these raids are not a long-term solution. Additionally, in a subsequent question he states that he will ensure immigration enforcement is better executed and detainees will receive safe, humane treatment. These answers give us the impression that immigration raids will likely continue.
- On the Border Fence: Obama supports physical fencing along the border in addition to sensor technology and additional personnel, and he will work with local communities to ensure additional fencing is not economically or environmentally destructive. We do not know what, if any, review would take place of fencing already in place.
- On Visa Caps: Obama supports an increase in the cap of low-skilled employment-based green cards. He does not directly answer the question about raising the H-1B temporary work visa cap, but instead says he would "consider multiple proposals for increasing access" to people to work in the U.S.
- On a Guest Worker Program: Guest workers would fill worker shortages in some sectors of the economy and the program would include a path to citizenship.
- On Green Cards for Same-Sex Partners: Obama supports the United American Families Act which would allow same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain permanent residency.
The question here is why hasn't Senator McCain responded to the survey? Did he feel that The Sanctuary wasn't high-profile enough to warrant a response? Is he too afraid of risking the votes of certain community groups if he delves too deeply into his immigration reform plan right before the election? We'll see if McCain's response suddenly surfaces now that Obama's responses have been published.
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