Candidates agree immigration reform necessary, but stances very different

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ByJoe Torres via WABC logo
Monday, April 11, 2016
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Joe Torres has the story

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Immigration -- and some wild proposals -- are a big part of this year's presidential election and for the upcoming New York primary. That is especially true for New York City, where 3 million people were born in another country.

When it comes to immigration reform, the candidates certainly agree that something needs to be done. But the differences lie in how to make that reform happen. And the opinions are varied.

Donald Trump: "We are a country of laws, we need borders, we will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful."

Ted Cruz: "If I'm elected president, we will secure the border. We will triple the border patrol. We will build a wall that works, and I'll get Donald Trump to pay for it."

John Kasich: "I'm for sealing the border. I'm for a guest worker program. People can come in, work, and go back home. We haven't closed the border because special interests, I believe, blocked it."

Hillary Clinton, who wants to end family detentions and help eligible people become naturalized citizens, spoke about the issue Monday at a rally in Jackson Heights.

"I'm making a clear pledge, and I am going to do everything I can to pass immigration reform," she said.

Bernie Sanders takes a similar approach.

"I am supportive of comprehensive immigration reform and a path towards citizenship for 11 million people today who are living in the shadows," he said.

Immigration reform is of course a big issue for voters born outside of the United States, but will they cast their ballots based solely, or even mainly, on a presidential candidate's position on this complex and controversial issue?

Attorney Barbara Camacho specializes in immigration law.

"The person that is interested in immigration policy is also interested in education policy, tax reform," she said. "There are a variety of issues. The question is whether this issue will be the issus in determining how they vote, and that is yet to be determined."

As for the voters, many admit they still have some homework to do.

"To be honest, I really haven't given it much thought," voter Michael Mowla said. "I still need to do the research to be well-informed."

"Our country was founded on immigrants, so we shouldn't be limiting anybody to come in here," voter Roy Eng said. "But we should have some security measures of what is going on."

There's not much time left, with the New York primary slated for Tuesday, April 19.