What the Candidates Think  

Barack Obama has supported the bipartisan DREAM Act, which has not been passed in Congress but would grant conditional permanent residency to certain undocumented residents who arrived in the U.S. as minors, graduate from U.S. high schools and lived in the country continuously for at least 5 years prior to the bill's enactment. Additional residency time can be obtained for military service and college education.

Obama has added border patrol officers in the South and raised deportation figures from the previous administration, but those figures have been challenged by Republicans. 

Mitt Romney promises permanent immigration reform. He says he will “pursue a permanent solution that will not incentivize further illegal immigration, will be fair to those immigrants who entered the country legally and waited in line and will be consistent with his efforts to strengthen our legal immigration system.” Romney has called for giving young people the chance to become permanent residents, and eventually U.S. citizens, by serving in the military.

Scott Brown is calling for tighter immigration policy. He supports the current legal citizenship application process. He does not support the DREAM Act, calling it “a form of back-door amnesty."

Elizabeth Warren supports the DREAM Act, along with comprehensive immigration reform.

Currently, 66% of Americans say immigration is a "good thing" for the U.S. today, up from 59% in 2011 and one percentage point off the high of 67% in 2006. (Gallup, June 2012)

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