Green Party presidential nominee; Former Challenger for MA Governor
H1-B Visa program is ok, but help global economy abroad
Q: What is your opinion of recent controversy over employment and the H1-B Visa program?
JILL STEIN: We support the H1-B Visa program. However, we must look at it in the context of overall immigration policy, trade, economic and military policies.
In the big picture, we are concerned about a global economy in which people have to leave their home countries to find decent jobs. We support more just international development and demilitarization, so that people don't have to go half way
around the world to find just employment.
DONALD TRUMP: We cannot allow companies to abuse this system. When we have American citizens and those living in the United States legally being pushed out of high paying jobs so that they can be
replaced with "cheaper" labor, something is wrong. The H1-B system should be employed only when jobs cannot be filled with qualified Americans and legal residents.
Trump said during the debate, "I was endorsed by˙ICE. They've never endorsed anybody before -- on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE. We're losing our jobs, people are pouring into our country. The other day we were deporting eight hundred people,
but these people that we were going to deport, for good reason, ended up becoming citizens. And it was 800 and now it turns out it might be 1800 and they don't even know."
Jill Stein responded, "Immigrants are among the most law-abiding groups out there. It is false for Trump to be fear-mongering that immigrants are a community of violence."
Gary Johnson proposed a reformed immigration system that would "eliminate
categories and quotas" and offer undocumented immigrants with an otherwise unblemished track record in the U.S. a path to legal status. Johnson wrote that border enforcement would be focused on "keeping out real criminals and would-be terrorists."
FactCheck: 2.5M deportations counts removals, not returns
Jill Stein asserted that Obama deported "a record 2.5 million immigrants, more than any past president." Is that true? And why do Republicans claim Obama's deportation numbers are falling? Here's the relevant DHS Yearbook data:
Reagan 1st term
Clinton 1st term
Bush Jr 1st term
Stein's claim only looks at "removals": that means criminal deportations and people caught at the border. Stein is correct that Obama will reach 2.5M this
year. The GOP is also "correct" because they look at the total including non-criminal "returns". Why cite one figure or another? Because Stein wants to demonstrate Obama's over-strictness, while the GOP wants to demonstrate his under-strictness!
We're deporting more immigrants than ever, 2.5M under Obama
The immigration crisis also needs an immediate remedy. In addition to deporting a record 2.5 million immigrants, more than any past president, Obama's recent night raids and deportations of Central American families and children are inhumane and morally
reprehensible. These families came here as refugees from violence, poverty and chaos created by US policies like NAFTA, the war on drugs, and political and military interventions. It's no coincidence that the three most violent countries in
Central America--El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala--are failed states resulting from US interventions that overthrew democratically elected progressive governments.
OnTheIssues Note: See related FactCheck; this
2.5M figure only includes "removals," not "returns". Counting "returns" as well, Obama deported fewer total immigrants than George Bush Jr or Ronald Reagan, but more than Bill Clinton.
Deportation of vulnerable refugees is morally abhorrent
Obama's recent night raids and deportations of Central American families and children are inhumane and morally reprehensible. Deportation of these vulnerable, abused refugees is morally abhorrent. We are all immigrants in this country--with the exception
of native Americans. The diversity of multicultural immigrant America has always been the core strength of our nation. Our 12 million undocumented immigrants are hardworking, tax-paying community residents who take the hardest and worst paid jobs.
They should be celebrated, not intimidated with the threat of deportation. It's time to create a welcoming path to citizenship and put an immediate end to the shameful era of deportations and detentions. Fundamentally, the immigration crisis
must be resolved by ending the harmful US policies (including drug wars, predatory trade agreements, and political and military interventions) that are turning whole populations into refugees to start with.
Undocumented immigration massively spiked after NAFTA
GOODE: These agreements that have cost so many American jobs--they need to be renegotiated, with the emphasis on bringing jobs to this country instead of sending them overseas. [And on immigration], we need to preserve U.S. college admissions for U.S.
STEIN: First, let's be clear that our jobs took a nosedive because Wall Street crashed the economy, because of Wall Street waste, fraud and abuse. And our jobs went overseas due to NAFTA and other free trade agreements, which Barack
Obama has expanded. So, in fact, you know, it's not immigrants that have caused problems in our economy; it's, rather, this predatory economic policies fostered by an economic and political elite. In fact, immigrants did not come to this country lured
by jobs. The spike in undocumented immigrants occurred, massively spiked, after NAFTA basically put millions of small farmers out of business, and people were forced to migrate here as economic refugees in order to feed their families.
OBAMA: Young people who come here, brought here oftentimes by their parents, have gone to school here, understand themselves as Americans in every way except having papers, then we should make sure that we give them a pathway to citizenship.
Now, Governor Romney just said that he wants to help those young people, too. But during the Republican primary, he said, "I will veto the DREAM Act,"
STEIN: We actually want to provide a welcoming and legal path to the immigrants who have always been
the backbone of our economy, the backbone of the diversity that makes this country great. And while the president took a very small step forward, this is a very inadequate step to simply provide two-year worker permits to the DREAMers, and basically they
run into a brick wall at age 30. We need to actually provide a welcoming path and legal path to citizenship for the undocumented Americans, who are critical parts of our economy and of our communities.
Provide a legal path to citizenship for immigrant residents
Redirect the trillions wasted on Wall Street, war & tax subsidies for the wealthy to...
Provide a legal path to citizenship for the immigrant residents that keep our economy going. Stop deportations that tear immigrant families apart.
End unemployment by investing in green jobs.
Obama's 2011 jobs plan is even smaller than in 2008--which hardly touched the problem! Jill's proposal creates eight times more jobs and ends the Bush/Obama recession.
Forgive student debt.
Create tuition-free higher education. Obama's plan merely adjusts payment plans for 4% of students and allows the student debt crisis to grow worse. It leaves college as unaffordable as ever.
Create health care as a human right through a Medicare for all system that provides quality comprehensive care, preserves patient choice and puts people before profits.
End the war on immigrants; end "secure communities" cruelty
Over the past thirty years, courts [cited] a doctrine known as "field preemption." We have seen public safety, food labeling, human rights, immigrant rights, drug policy, and other reforms "preempted."
The Green New Deal will end the war on
immigrants--including the cruel, so-called "secure communities" program-- which is terrorizing millions of Americans, both citizens and non-citizen immigrants, on no basis other than their perceived immigration status.
Source: Green Party 2012 People's State of the Union speech
, Jan 25, 2012
Undocumented immigrants are critical component of economy
Q: What about a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?
A: We are a nation of immigrants--and immigrants are a critical component of our economy.
In Alabama, their tomato industry collapsed to the tune of billions of dollars when they passed very harsh anti-immigrant laws and the immigrants left town. That state learned the hard way how valuable the immigrant sector was to their economy.
And that's true nationally. The real solution is:
A) Fix the economic problems that are driving waves of immigrants into this country, initiated by our own trade policies.
Then, yes, providing a legal pathway to citizenship to the immigrants who are an integral part of our economy and our culture.
No pathway to citizenship for criminals; open to all others
Q: You advocate a pathway to citizenshwip for undocumented immigrants; what should the rules be, regarding who is eligible? Everyone?
A: I don't want to have a pathway to citizenship for drug dealers or criminals, of course.
But we should fight for human rights for all immigrants. The Canadian border is a reasonable model for what our border should look like -- at least, the Canadian border before the modern [post-9-11] era.
Source: 2011 AmericansElect interview questionnaire with Jill Stein
, Dec 21, 2011