Republican Presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama may not see eye-to-eye on a majority of the issues; however, on the issue of immigration, they share more similarities than differences.
Securing our borders is the first priority in both a McCain and Obama administration. Senator Obama and Senator McCain want to preserve the integrity of our borders. Both candidates believe in setting clear guidelines and objectives for securing the border through physical and virtual barriers.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform is another priority both senators intend to carry out in their administrations. They believe in fixing the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy, keeping immigrant families together, and meeting the demand for jobs with foreign workers and U.S. workers. Both candidates have considered raising the cap on the number of H-1B visas issued annually. They also plan to crack down on employers that abuse the immigration system, specifically; McCain stated that he would aggressively prosecute employers that continue to hire illegal immigrants. Both candidates emphasized the use of the E-Verify system which is already in use by the Bush administration, but not a mandatory tool at this time. They also plan to clear out the backlog of individuals that have been waiting legally outside the country for years for their green card number to become available.
As a third priority, both candidates plan to address the millions of undocumented workers in the United States. Senator Obama and Senator McCain have envisioned a path to citizenship for these illegal workers. The plan will allow undocumented immigrants in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens. In a McCain administration, there will be measures in place to ensure that all undocumented workers either leave the United States or follow the path to legal residence. McCain believes that America cannot permit a permanent category of individuals that do not have recognized status – a permanent second class.
Another priority for the Obama administration is to effectively work with Mexico. Senator Obama plans to promote economic development in Mexico by modifying trade agreements, and creating other agreements to ultimately decrease illegal immigration to the United States, along with other measures.
One thing is for sure, Senator Obama and Senator McCain believe that change is needed in our current immigration system.