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Congressional Candidates Discuss ​Immigration

To help readers make a choice in the ​congressional election on Tuesday, Patch asked the candidates where they stand on ​immigration.

To help readers make a choice in the ​congressional election on Tuesday, Patch asked the candidates where they stand on ​immigration.
To help readers make a choice in the ​congressional election on Tuesday, Patch asked the candidates where they stand on ​immigration.
In less than a week, voters in the 5th Congressional District will decide which ​individual will be the district's newest U.S. Representative. ​The person will replace former representative Sen. Ed Markey.

Patch asked each of the candidates a series of questions. The answers to those questions will be published now through Sunday, ​Dec. 8. Candidates who responded to the questions were Democratic candidate Katherine Clark, a state senator who lives in Melrose, Republican candidate Frank Addivinola ​, a Boston lawyer and Independent candidate, James Hall, an attorney from Arlington.

Today's report focuses on ​immigration.

​The White House says ​"America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.​"​

The President​ proposed a plan in 2013 the White House says "builds a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders and cracks down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It’s a plan that requires anyone who’s undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English, and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible to earn citizenship. It requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules.​"​

​The plan calls for:​

Tuesday, a federal immigration judge allowed President Obama’s uncle, Onyango “Omar” Obama, to remain in the United States instead of being deported to Kenya.​ Onyango Obama had been in the country illegally for decades, when his visa expired. 

Onyango Obama, who lives and works in Framingham, was arrested for drunken driving in 2011 in Framingham. In March 2012, Obama admitted sufficient facts in that case.​ That arrest renewed focus in his immigration status. 

The judge in Tuesday's deportation hearing was the same judge that granted asylum to President Obama's sister.​

Patch asked each candidate: "Where do you stand on ​immigration?"

Clark: "America is a nation of immigrants, and America needs a 21st century immigration system. Our economy is stronger – and our country is stronger – when new immigrants are welcomed to America and become valued members of our communities.  I support comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and makes legal immigration easier to navigate."

Addivinola: "All American laws, including immigration laws, should be enforced, and people who want to come to America permanently should follow the procedures.  We can’t punish legal immigrants with high costs and lengthy waiting times while rewarding illegal immigrants with "shortcuts".  

"I am opposed to amnesty because it rewards people that disregarded our immigration laws and places the people that are waiting for their chance to enter the USA at an unfair disadvantage.

"We should welcome people who come legally to become Americans as our ancestors did. All people who legally become American residents and citizens should be encouraged to learn our language.  Immigration is important for increasing our diversity of citizens and expand the population of honest, creative and hard-working people that seek opportunities in this great country as our ancestors did."

Hall: "I am in favor of the bipartisan immigration reform bill that was passed by the Senate this summer.  We need to control our borders and prevent illegal entry into our country, but at the same time we, as we always have been, should be generous and welcoming with regard to allowing legal immigration.  As the bipartisan bill provided, we should also afford a path to citizenship for those qualifying immigrants already in our country.  Our nation has always benefitted from people who have come here from other countries and cultures. "

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