immigration

Do you support increased border security funding, including new screening equipment at ports of entry and additional resources to process the recent increase of asylum seekers?

Yes

Yes, supports

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet supports increased border security funding, he told The Post.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Yes,” Bullock told The Post. “Right now, there are only about 400 judges hearing nearly 800,000 immigration cases — they need more help to streamline the process and reduce the backlog. We should also give our Customs inspectors and Border Patrol agents the resources they need to respond to the challenges they’re facing, while making sure that those apprehended at the border are treated with decency and afforded the basic human dignity that this administration has denied them.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I support investments that actually improve our border security,” Buttigieg told The Post. “At the same time, we need to ensure that funding for our immigration system addresses more than just security and enforcement efforts. A more balanced and well-functioning system would not only grant protection where warranted and provide certainty on immigration decisions, but also pay security dividends by further reducing the incentive to file frivolous asylum claims.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“My immigration plan would modernize our ports of entry to facilitate more streamlined trade with our Canadian and Mexican partners, and screen for illicit drug trafficking, human trafficking and other criminal actions,” Castro told The Post. “I also support an adequately resourced independent immigration judicial system to help process claims faster.”

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Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I would support increased funding for border security and immigration enforcement that is negotiated on a bipartisan basis,” Delaney told The Post.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard supports increased border funding, she told The Post.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

“Let's look at the fact that the folks who are working on border security on the ground know that they need upgraded infrastructure around things like drones, and they need cameras,” Harris said at a CNN town hall event.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. Hickenlooper supports increased border funding, he told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. Inslee immigration plan calls on the U.S. “invest in border infrastructure that supports trade and human transit.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports increased funding for border security and enforcement, her campaign told The Post.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“Concurrent to passing comprehensive immigration reform, the legislation should also include the necessary funding to provide border security, including technology, CBP agents and facilities to humanely detain individuals who have entered the country illegally and/or seeking asylum,” Messam told The Post.

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Wayne Messam
Messam

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. “I support it,” Moulton told The Post. “There are more than 800,000 cases pending for asylum seekers, so we need more judges to expedite the process. And Trump keeps claiming that a wall is going to stop drugs from coming into our country, but that’s not true: Drugs come through ports of entry, and that’s where we need to invest.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“Let’s ensure our security not through walls and militarization, but by investing in our ports of entry where the vast majority of everything and everyone that ever comes into this country first enters, supporting the women and men of the CBP and treating one another — regardless of our status or how many generations, or days, we’ve been in this country — with dignity and respect,” his campaign website says.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan supports increased funding for border security and enforcement, his campaign told The Post. “I support better utilizing existing resources when it comes to immigration reform and improved screening equipment that can better assist our border security agents, law enforcement and personnel at the border,” he said. “I support resources that can better equip those serving and processing immigrants at the border with the tools necessary to not only prioritize national security but also treat migrants and asylum seekers with the care and respect they deserve. And I strongly believe we must prioritize keeping families together.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“I have always said that I support funding for border security, and I support fully funding our overburdened immigration court system to swiftly, fairly and humanely process asylum claims,” Sanders told The Post.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak supports increased funding for border security and enforcement, he told The Post.

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support more funding to train, hire and retain border personnel, deploy the best technology at ports of entry, and provide additional immigration court resources to give asylum seekers the fair justice they deserve,” Swalwell told The Post.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren supports increased funding for border security, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“The best way to provide security is not more or fewer walls, but efficient, effective border security driven by technology, particularly at points of entry,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“We need to increase funding to efforts to secure the southern border. While their current focus is not one I agree with, it is important that we have men and women securing the border,” Yang told The Post. “We also need to use modern technology to monitor the border (while being aware of Fourth Amendment issues for those who live nearby). The asylum courts desperately need an increase in resources so they can process the ridiculous backlog that has developed and handle the surge in applicants.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

No

No, opposes

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I believe we should better utilize and prioritize existing funds,” Booker told The Post. “We can enforce our international borders and keep our country safe without sacrificing our values, our moral leadership and billions of dollars in taxpayer money.”

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Cory Booker
Booker

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

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Background Democrats in Congress have generally been more receptive to requests for increased funding for border security efforts that do not include new barriers. A bipartisan deal reached in February allowed the Trump administration to hire as many as 1,200 more Border Patrol officers, while allocating $112 million for aircraft and sensor systems and $100 million for other technology between border crossings. An additional $564 million was approved for increasing scanning capabilities at ports of entry, where law enforcement officials say the majority of drug smuggling occurs.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. immigration and border security policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports. See something we missed? Let us know.

We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president or an exploratory committee. The Post will contact additional candidates as they enter the race and include them here.

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