Andrew Yang on Immigration

Democratic Presidential Challenger & Tech CEO


All agencies must make language access a top priority

All City agencies are required to update their language access plans. But many immigrant communities who speak languages other than English find it very difficult to get services in their preferred language. A Yang administration will ensure that all City agencies and contracted providers make language access a top priority with a real-time translator provided by the NYC App to serve New Yorkers seeking services in the language that is most comfortable for them.
Source: Mayoral campaign website YangForNY.com , Mar 25, 2021

America has been magnet for human capital for generations

Q: Are you willing to raise the number of legal immigrants from 1 million to 2 million per year?

YANG: My father grew up on a peanut farm in Asia with no floor and now his son is running for president. That is the immigration story that we have to be able to share with the American people.

If you look at our history, almost half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by either immigrants or children of immigrants. And rates of business formation are much higher in immigrant communities. We have to say to the American people, immigrants are positive for our economic and social dynamism, and I would return the level of legal immigration to the point it was under the Obama-Biden administration.

This country has been a magnet for human capital for generations. If we lose that, we lose something integral to our continued success. And that is where I would lead as president.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

Compete for talent from abroad, but not a merit system

Q: Should there be a merit system for immigrants, as President Trump wants?

YANG: I think we have to compete for talent and I am the opposite of Donald Trump in many ways. He says, "build a wall." I'm going to say to immigrants, "come to America, because if you come here, your son our daughter can run for president." My father grew up on a peanut farm in Asia with no floor and now his son is running for president. "And this is where you want to build a company, build a family, and build a life."

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

Immigrants are being scapegoated; blame the machines

I'm the son of immigrants myself. My father immigrated here as a graduate student and generated over 65 U.S. patents for G.E. and IBM. I think that's a pretty good deal for the United States. That's the immigration story we need to be telling. If you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall-to-wall immigrants; you will find wall-to-wall robots and machines. Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

12M illegal immigrants is a major problem

Q: Do you think illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States?

A: "We have over 12 million undocumented immigrants here in America and that is a major problem."

Q: When did your family first arrive in the United States, and how?

A: "My parents immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. They were both students."

Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com) , Jun 18, 2019

Immigrants make US stronger and more dynamic

We have well over 12 million undocumented immigrants. The most logical and humane path forward is to create a pathway to citizenship for people who are here and undocumented, particularly for the Dreamers who've really known no other home but the US. I'm the son of immigrants. I believe that immigrants make our country stronger and more dynamic. There are many, many people who are here and undocumented that we should integrate into our formal economy and to society, if we can.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2019

Need more case workers & judges at southern border

We have a migrant crisis on the southern border. And it's in part because the composition of the people who are showing up at the border is changing, where now it's people who are applying for asylum, and unfortunately we don't have the resources to process them in any kind of effective punctual or effective way, and so the waiting period is literally over a year in some cases. We need to put more resources to work on our southern border. We need more facilities, case workers, asylum judges.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2019

Come out of shadows with long-term permanent residency

Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

Deporting 11 million is impossible and inhumane

We have to face facts that there are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. Millions of them pay taxes and have American children. Deporting them is impossible and inhumane. Having them continue to live in the shadows brings with it many problems and drawbacks. The best path forward is to provide a pathway to citizenship for those who are here illegally. We need to bring them into the formal economy out of the shadows.
Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

Boost funding for U.S. ports of entry

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 19, 2019

Supports the DREAM Act

Yang has conceded that the Southern border needs more security but has offered no specific alternatives to the president's border wall. Supports the DREAM Act.
Source: Townhall.com: 2020 Democratic primary "Candidate profiles" , Feb 6, 2019

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
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Other big-city mayors on Immigration: Andrew Yang on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 07, 2022