immigration

Should the U.S. return to accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, as the Obama administration planned for fiscal 2017?

Yes

Yes, supports

These candidates agreed they would accept at least 110,000 refugees a year

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post. He co-sponsored the GRACE Act, which would guarantee that the United States would accept at least 95,000 refugees each fiscal year.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“We need to embrace the refugee families fleeing violence, torture, or certain death,” Bullock told The Post. “We should do our part to help with the global refugee crisis, by returning to the baselines established under the Obama administration.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Providing refuge for the world’s vulnerable and oppressed is a part of our nation’s heritage. It’s part of what makes our nation great,” Buttigieg told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“Yes, and we also can and should recognize that climate refugees will increasingly be a part of our world,” Castro told The Post. “I would expand out the refugee program to include folks displaced by natural disasters and our changing climate.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post. “We need to remember our history and be a welcoming country for those who want a better life for their families and who are seeking to be productive members of society,” his website says.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. Hickenlooper supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

“When other governors across the country gave in to fear and tried to turn away Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS, I declared that Washington state would continue to welcome them into our community,” Inslee told The Post. “My administration will reform the artificially low caps placed on refugees.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar thinks the United States should return to accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, her campaign told The Post. She co-sponsored the GRACE Act, which would guarantee that the United States would accept at least 95,000 refugees each fiscal year.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

Messam supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

“Yes. The U.S. should return to accepting refugees at Obama administration levels at least as the number of refugees worldwide has increased,” Moulton told The Post. “The United States should always be a beacon of hope and opportunity in the world; if we turn away all but 30,000 refugees, we are not living up to American values.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. We must never allow fear to be the driving force of our nation’s immigration policy,” Ryan told The Post. “It is misguided, and it does not lead to true and lasting improvement in our country.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The United States under President Trump has not lived up to our values and ideals. We must strengthen and expand our support for refugees fleeing war and violence and do our part in the international community to provide relief,” Sanders told The Post. “We must also pursue a foreign policy that does not destabilize large swaths of the globe, and mount an aggressive response to climate change to ensure the root causes of global migration both now and in the future are addressed.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “We have a responsibility — moral and legally — to take in, as we can, those in need,” Swalwell told The Post. “The Trump administration’s war on refugees is unconscionable. We must do our share to help, through a security-vetting process, the world’s neediest people.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Dramatically reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States is a failure of moral leadership,” Warren told The Post. In her immigration plan, Warren commits to accepting “125,000 refugees in my first year, and ramping up to at least 175,000 refugees per year by the end of my first term.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Some increase

Some increase

Others did not commit to a number of refugees

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“The America I see values basic human decency. Not snatching children from their parents or turning our back on refugees at our border. Americans know that's not right,” Biden said at a speech in February. His campaign had not returned answers.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris co-sponsored the GRACE Act, which would guarantee that the United States would accept at least 95,000 refugees each fiscal year. “The United States I know is a place where refugees are welcomed and encouraged to contribute to society,” she said when the bill was introduced.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I would support an increase from our current levels,” Yang told The Post. “The precise number would be determined by the specific situations and circumstances.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

De Blasio did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Hover for more information

Tap for more information

Background In the final years of his presidency, Obama raised the limit on the number of refugees the United States would accept each year from 70,000 in 2015 to 85,000 in 2016 and then 110,000 in 2017. Trump has reversed that pattern, reducing the number to 30,000 in 2019. Refugee status is available to people who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. In some cases, it can be granted to people who still reside in their home country.

The Post is sending detailed questionnaires to every Democratic candidate asking for their stances on various issues. See all the issues we’ve asked about so far.

See our other questions on immigration:

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.

Curious about where candidates stand on another policy? Fill out this suggestion form.