immigration

Do you support extending the existing physical barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border?

No

No, does not support

These candidates said they would not support adding any more wall along the Southern border

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“I do not support adding to existing physical barriers along the border and would immediately halt any use of taxpayer dollars for President Trump’s wasteful and ineffective border wall,” Sanders told The Post. He pledged in his Nov. 2019 immigration plan to stop "all construction of the racist and ineffective wall on the U.S.-Mexico Border and instead rely on cost-effective and innovative methods to counter the real threats of drug importation and human trafficking, not manufactured ones targeting the most vulnerable."

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer does not support extending the physical barriers, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I do not support building a wall,” Warren told The Post.

Mar. 18: “The border wall isn’t about security, or making America safer. It’s a monument to hate and division, and I won’t support it. We are a better country than that. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. “I do not believe that building more physical security barriers is in our national best interest or makes us safer,” Booker told The Post.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. “We need to assess how new technologies and practices can provide alternatives to a barrier, which can at times be costly and environmentally intrusive,” Castro told The Post. “My ‘People First’ immigration plan would pursue an evidence-based approach to determining what investments we will make at the border to combat criminal actions like human and drug trafficking.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio does not support extending the physical barriers, his campaign told The Post.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “Let me be very clear. I'm not going to vote for a wall under any circumstances. And I do support border security. And if we want to talk about that, let's do that,” Harris said at a CNN town hall event. “The idea that we're going to sell this thing to the American public and require the taxpayers of our country to pay $5 billion for something that will not deliver what [President Trump] is suggesting we need is ridiculous and I will not support it.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. Hickenlooper does not support extending the U.S.-Mexico border barrier, his campaign told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. “As a member of Congress, I consistently voted against draconian border barriers, and against utilizing local police to enforce our immigration laws,” Inslee told The Post. “I will end Trump’s vain pursuit of a wall.”

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. “We need secure borders but building a medieval border wall isn’t how we get there; instead, we need sensors, surveillance drones and next-generation security technology to strengthen the border where it’s needed most,” Moulton told The Post.

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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 told MSNBC that he would "absolutely" take down parts of the wall near El Paso, but said, “I think there are in some places a need for a physical barrier,” he said in February. “I would work with local stakeholders, the property owners, the communities, those who actually live there, to determine the best security solution.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. Ryan does not support extending the U.S.-Mexico border barrier, his campaign told The Post. “I support smarter, more efficient and effective security at the border that makes better use of our country’s available technologies, border security personnel and other resources,” he said.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Only if experts recommend it

Only if experts recommend it

Others said they would consider the input of experts and local communities before ruling it out

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet only supports extending the physical barrier if experts recommend it, he told The Post.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Secure borders and a well-managed immigration system are critical to national security,” Buttigieg told The Post. “We shouldn't fall into the trap of defining border security by a 'wall' or security barriers alone, but by a more complete set of tools and evolving technology to meet the threats not only of today, but what we may face tomorrow.”

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I support investing in smart border security as part of comprehensive immigration reform, which can include technology, personnel and physical barriers where experts deem necessary,” Delaney told The Post.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard only supports extending the physical barrier if experts recommend it, her campaign told The Post.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“Walls generally aren’t an effective way of stopping illegal border crossings,” Yang told The Post. “I don’t think it’s worth it to tear down existing barriers, but I wouldn’t support adding more unless their utility could be demonstrated in a particular part of the border.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “If experts say that placing barriers in certain areas will serve that purpose, then I’d be in favor of giving them what they needed”, Bullock told The Post. “I also believe there are many modern technologies that can be deployed effectively. However, I strongly oppose building a wall for its own sake.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak only supports extending the physical barrier if experts recommend it, 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. “Unless evidence and experts suggest we need new fencing, I will not support additional fencing. We should always be assessing this, but Trump’s promise to build a wall all the way along the border is too costly, ineffective and absurd,” Swalwell told The Post.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. “We need border security. 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. “I do not support open borders; I do support open hearts so people are treated humanely. Most unauthorized immigrants enter the United States legally, then simply overstay their visas. No increase in border security, including walls, will impact this most common route into our nation.”

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Candidates who do not appear to have addressed the question, or who have not returned responses.

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden said in 2018 that he was "inclined" to support a hypothetical deal with President Trump to add to current southern border barriers, if they added to national security and it was part of a deal to give a path to citizenship to immigrants who had arrived in the country as children. "I don't care about his political victory," Biden said of Trump. He did not provide an answer to this question.

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Joe Biden
Biden

Mike Bloomberg

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

“I support smart security at our borders and oppose the Administration’s proposal to build a wall across our entire southern border,” Klobuchar's Senate website says. Klobuchar told ABC's George Stephanopolous that “we have tried to negotiate with [President Trump], but he won't take yes for an answer,” in response to a question about border wall funding.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Deval Patrick

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick did not answer this question by publication.

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. “I’d have to ask folks in that part of the country to see whether the fencing that exists today is helpful or unhelpful,” Gillibrand told Fox News Channel when asked whether she would consider removing parts of the wall. She had not clarified her position on adding physical barriers.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

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ShowHide former candidates

Background Democrats oppose President Trump’s plans for a new “big, beautiful” border wall, but there is disagreement among candidates about whether more border barriers may be appropriate. Current federal statutes allow for the Department of Homeland Security to put barriers along “at least 700 miles” of the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border. As of 2015, 654 miles of barrier were in place, including about 350 miles to deter pedestrians and about 300 miles to deter vehicles. Congress approved 55 miles of new barrier construction this year, and 33 miles of new construction in 2018.

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.