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

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “Reverse Trump’s detrimental asylum policies and raise our target for refugee admissions to a level commensurate with our responsibility and unprecedented global need,” Biden's campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

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

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Mike Bloomberg (Dropped out)

Former New York mayor

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

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Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. 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.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg (Dropped out)

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg is no longer running for president. “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.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. 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.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

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

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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.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is no longer running for president. 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.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. O'Rourke supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, his campaign told The Post.

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

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

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

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

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer (Dropped out)

Billionaire activist

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

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Tom Steyer
Steyer

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.”

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

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

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Some increase

Some increase

Others did not commit to a number of refugees

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. 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.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. “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.”

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Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

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.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Hawaii

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

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

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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.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ 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. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

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Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.