John Kasich and US Immigration
Politics – The Current Presidential Election
As we continue this heated election season here in the United States, we have been providing you with the immigration platform of every major presidential candidate – no matter their political leanings. In the previous months we have researched and contextualized the platforms of Mr. Donald Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Ted Cruz, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. For this month’s issue, we will round out the group with the final presidential hopeful, Governor John Kasich of Ohio.
In writing about the presidential candidates, our goal is to provide you with some context as to how the political system in the United States can effect our nation’s Immigration Laws and more importantly, affect your plans to immigrate to the United States.
Governor John Kasich
According to Governor John Kasich’s website, he does not have a specific enumerated immigration plan. However, the Governor has made several statements in both debates and in the press that provide us with a snapshot of his Immigration Plan if he were to be elected President of the United States.
In regards to illegal immigration, Kasich is against a mass deportation initiative but rather, supports an amnesty plan for the 12 million undocumented immigrants that currently reside in the United States. In the Republican debates, the Governor has drawn a stark contrast on his platform on illegal immigration to his republican rivals. In an article from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (“FAIR”), Kasich has made statements such as recognizing the contributions undocumented immigrants have made to the United States, and its economy. Additionally, the Governor emphasizes his view against mass deportation by bringing to light the harsh reality of separating families from one another.
According to the Huffington Post, the state of Ohio has participated in a lawsuit along with 23 other states against President Obama’s Deferred Action Plan. President Obama’s Deferred Action Plan was enacted through executive action in November 2014. The plan granted undocumented immigrants who met certain requirements to pay a fine, and receive work authorization and an exemption from deportation. Essentially, President Obama’s actions allowed millions of undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows.
The lawsuit against the Deferred Action Plan, which Kasich’s home state of Ohio has participated in, is essentially an attempt by many states to prevent the implementation of the deferred action laws. If the deferred action laws are not implemented, 12 million undocumented immigrants could face deportation. This is something that the Governor has already expressed extreme opposition towards. It is important to note that during the election season the Governor backed away from his state’s support of this lawsuit, stating that it was not his decision to join the litigation.
Based on the Governor’s statements to the media – which have been made during debates and one-on-one interviews – his plan for legal immigration is sparse. In response to questions pressing the issue of legal immigration the Governor, during a CNN Republican debate, stated, “I think we ought to have a Guest Worker Program where people come in, work and go home.” Based on this statement it is clear that the Governor has a favorable view of legal Immigration, as he wants foreign workers to come into the country but on a temporary basis.
While it is unclear what the Guest Worker Program actually means, many have made the connection with the H-1B visas, which allow individuals to temporarily work in the United States. Thus, it is possible that the Governor is alluding to a possible expansion of the H-1B visa.
What to Expect
While Governor Kasich is currently not the front runner in the race for the Republication nomination, it is important to note the contrast in his general immigration policy to others running running for the presidency. The Governor has no interest in deporting millions of undocumented immigrations. Rather, he has a more amicable approach to immigration than his fellow running mates in his party.
At present, Governor Kasich is performing far behind his rivals Mr. Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, and thus his chances of winning the nomination based on votes is markedly lower than that of the other candidates, however, as a possibility – however slim – of being the next United States President, it is certainly worthwhile to understand his views.
We do not endorse any candidates, and look forward to providing more information in our next issue on how the political climate will affect US Immigration.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
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