Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals
McSally supports extending protections to DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, but does not support a path to citizenship. McSally has said
she would support a DACA bill only if it was tied to providing funding for a border wall and more border security and closing “loopholes” for asylum-seeking families. This is a reversal
from previous stance when McSally did support a citizenship option and opposed defunding DACA in 2015. She voted
for the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 which would have allowed DACA children to be eligible to apply for a green card after 6 years of temporary legal status.
The majority of Mark Kelly's comments about immigration focus on his call to support protection for DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers. He has said
that any bill providing a pathway to citizenship to "Dreamers" should not be contingent on border security measures. Kelly supports
a path to citizenship and supports passing the DREAM Act. He states that "Even as the DACA program continues, it is well past time for Congress to do its part and pass an earned pathway to citizenship." Kelly held a town hall
to discuss DACA in June 2020.
Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Senator McSally voted
for the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 which would enable asylum seeker families to be held together indefinitely in border detention facilities rather than being released after 20 days. This bill would have also repealed the Diversity Visa Lottery program and required DNA testing as evidence to establish family connections for families seeking entry at the border. After President Trump's first Executive Order intended to stop refugee resettlement, McSally signed
a letter asking for an exemption for refugees who supported the US military and for children with extreme medical needs.
Mark Kelly has called the influx of asylum seekers at the southern border a "crisis"
and wants to improve the system that prevents illegal border crossings, while simultaneously improving the process for those seeking asylum. This would ensure that their cases are handled "fairly and expeditiously
." Kelly does not support abolishing ICE, rather calling for more immigration judges at the border to speed up the processing of asylum applications. He is against
the separation of children and parents in ICE custody, stating "we can't be taking children away from their parents and locking them in cages" and demanding more action from the Federal government to handle immigration issues.
Senator McSally is against
sanctuary cities and introduced
legislation to crack down on sanctuary cities by withholding funding for law enforcement and allowing individuals to sue sanctuary cities. McSally also voted
to pass a bill prohibiting funding to any state or local government that restricts law enforcement from being able to request an individual's immigration status.
Mark Kelly did not support
an initiative to make Tucson a sanctuary city in July 2019. Kelly stated that cities and states should follow federal laws, and this measure would go against federal laws. Kelly also stated he would not support extending healthcare coverage to undocumented immigrants.
Senator McSally supports President Trump's wall between Mexico and the United States as part of a solution for managing immigration across the southern border. McSally has called
for increased funding for a physical barrier, and increasing surveillance technology and CBP staffing. McSally supported
deploying troops to secure the border in 2018. She also introduced legislation to detect and deter illegal entry into the US through "BITMAP
," a program used by ICE to share data with law enforcement officers in other countries.
Mark Kelly supports
a southern border wall in some areas including Yuma, Nogales, and Douglas, while other parts of the border need more technology
and staffing, infrastructure improvements to ports of entry and securing border crossings from trafficking. Kelly is not in favor of decriminalizing
unauthorized border crossings. Kelly does not support stationing active-duty military
personnel. He also believes modernizing ports of entry will create jobs in Southern Arizona and ensure that workers from Mexico can continue coming to Arizona to work in the agricultural sector on H-2A visas