"I certainly stand by my opposition to Gun Control when it comes to taking guns from law-abiding citizens. You mention that the media describes the AR-15 as an 'assault rifle,' which is one example of the many distortions they use to sell their agenda. However, the AR-15 does not fall under this category. Gun-banners are unfortunately preoccupied with the AR-15, magazine capacity, grips, and other aesthetics, precisely because of its popularity.
To the Left every gun is an assault weapon.
Gun control does not reduce crime. It has consistently failed to stop violence. Americans are entitled to protect their families, their property and themselves."
Source: Fredy Riehl, "Donald Trump Talks: Gun Control, Assault Weapons, Gun Free Zones & Self Defense," ammoland.com, July 7, 2015
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed a PRO opinion on this question. Read Trump's former position on whether assault weapons should be banned.]
"So sad to see what is happening in New York where Governor Cuomo & Mayor DeBlasio are letting out 900 Criminals, some hardened & bad, onto the sidewalks of our rapidly declining, because of them, city. The Radical Left Dems are killing our cities. NYPD Commissioner is resigning!"
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Nov. 5, 2019
[Editor's Note: Trump tweeted the above in response to New York ending the cash bail system that released people accused of low-level offenses from jail as of Jan. 1, 2020.
Source: Joseph Spector, "President Trump Joins Critics of New York's End to Cash Bail, while will Free Inmates Jan. 1," democratandchronicle.com, Nov. 5, 2019]
"Today, I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the DEATH PENALTY - and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay."
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Aug. 5, 2019
[Editor's Note: On July 25, 2019, Attorney General William Barr announced that the federal government, under the Trump administration, would again begin carrying out the death penalty for the first time since 2003. ]
[Editor's Note: On Feb. 21, 2017, the Trump Administration rescinded an order from the Obama Administration that had directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to reduce the use of private prisons. A memo titled "Rescission of Memorandum on Use of Private Prisons," written by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and available at bop.gov, stated, "The memorandum changed long-standing policy and practice, and impaired the Bureau's ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system. Therefore, I direct the Bureau to return to its previous approach [of using private prisons]."]
Should Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases Be Made Law?
Q: “Your position on background checks.”
Trump: “So Congress is looking at it very strongly bipartisan. I put in certain parameters, which you somewhat know about. I’m also very very concerned with the Second Amendment. Moreso than most presidents would be. People don’t realize we have very strong background checks right now. You go in to buy a gun, you have to sign up. There are a lot of background checks that have been approved over the years. So I’ll have to see what it is. But Congress is meeting bipartisan. Lot of people want to see something happen. But just remember this big mental problem and we do have a lot of background checks right now.”
Q: “So you’re not willing to support universal background checks right now?”
Trump: “I’m not saying anything. I’m saying Congress is going to be reporting back to me with ideas. And they’ll come in from Democrats and Republicans and I’ll look at it very strongly. But just remember, we already have a lot of background checks.”
Source: Zack Ford, "Trump Drops Support for Enhanced Background Checks Two Weeks after Mass Shootings," thinkprogress.org, Aug. 19, 2019
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed a PRO opinion on this question. Read Trump's former positions on whether universal background checks should be made into law.]
Con Should the Federal Government Adopt Net Neutrality Rules?
"We just WON the big court case on Net Neutrality Rules [on Oct. 1, 2019 when a federal appeals court upheld the FCC repeal of net neutrality regulations]! A great win for the future and speed of the internet. Will lead to many big things including 5G. Congratulations to the FCC and its Chairman, Ajit Pai!"
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal Federally?
"Q: Thank you, President Trump. Many studies have shown that legal access to marijuana results in less opioid abuse and fewer overdose deaths. Many states have legalized marijuana. Do you think that it will happen federally during your presidency?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we're going to see what's going on. It's a very big subject. And right now we're in — we're allowing states to make that decision. And a lot of states are making that decision. But we're allowing the states to make that decision."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump before Marine One Departure," whitehouse.gov, Aug. 30, 2019
Pro Should the Government Regulate Social Media Sites to Prevent Fake News and Misinformation?
"[W]e [President Trump and his supporters] had a terrible bias [from social media companies]. We have censorship like nobody has any understanding or nobody can believe...
It’s a collusion between the Democrats and the media and social media and these platforms. It’s a disgraceful thing…
Two months ago, we created a new White House tool to report social media bias, censorship, and discrimination...
I’m directing my administration to explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free-speech rights of all Americans...
Big tech must not censor the voices of the American people… [T]his new technology is so powerful and so important, and it has to be used fairly."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at the Presidential Social Media Summit," whitehouse.gov, July 12, 2019
[Editor's Note: In Aug. 2019, President Trump drafted an executive order that would give the FCC legal oversight over social media platforms and a mandate to develop new rules about decisions to take down content.
Sources: Emily Birnbaum, "Barr Threatens Tech's Prized Legal Shield," thehill.com, Feb. 20, 2020
MIT Techology Review, "The White House Wants to Regulate Social Media Moderation," technologyreview.com, Aug. 12, 2019]
Con Should the Federal Government Provide Universal Childcare?
"In 2018, President Trump signed into law a $2.4 billion funding increase for the Child Care and Development Fund, providing a total of $8.1 billion to States to fund child care for low-income families....
Tax benefits reduce the price of child care for middle and higher income families....
Ultimately, how families balance work and child rearing is a deeply personal decision. It also has major societal implications in terms of employment and economic growth, and just as importantly, for the long-term outcomes of children. Thus, creating a system that maximizes opportunity without interfering with personal family decisions is a vitally important goal for the economy and society as a whole."
Source: Council of Economic Advisors, "Work and the Cost of Child Care," whitehouse.gov, Feb. 25, 2019
"Look, when I'm negotiating with the Democrats, I'm putting in... my optimum plan. It's going to be negotiated...
[W]hat I really want is lower on business, because business -- we're the highest taxed nation in the world. And I want lower in the middle class. The middle class in this country is getting decimated. I want -- and I will fight like hell for that.
And I'll tell you what the real concept is. Lower taxes for business, lower taxes for the middle class, lower taxes for everybody and then we're going to start negotiating.
So if I want to get lower taxes, which is very important for me, I'm not going to put in high taxes and I'm not even going to put in what I necessarily want. I'm going to put in lower than I want and we're going to negotiate."
Source: ABC News, "‘This Week’ Transcript: Donald Trump," abcnews.go.com, May 8, 2016
"The Administration opposes H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act...
Through its successful pro-growth economic agenda, the Administration has ensured that American workers are taking home bigger paychecks... This strong economy has prompted businesses to remain competitive by raising wages. Compensation is rising at near its fastest pace in a decade. Median household income has reached an all-time high. Wages are also rising faster for production and non-supervisory workers than for workers overall.
A $15.00 an hour minimum wage would reverse this economic progress and hurt workers."
Source: Office of Budget and Management, “Executive Office of the President, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 582 – Raise the Wage Act," whitehouse.gov, July 15, 2019
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed NOT CLEARLY PRO OR CON and PRO opinions on this question. Read Trump's former positions on whether the federal minimum wage should be raised.]
"This is truly an extraordinary time for America. Our economy is booming like never before, and our people are thriving...
[Y]ou have to vote for me; you have no choice. You’re not going to vote for [Elizabeth Warren], I can tell you that. You’re not going to vote for the wealth tax. 'Yeah, let's take 100 percent of your wealth away.' No, no. Even if you don't like me... And you're going to be my biggest supporters because you'll be out of business in about 15 minutes, if they get it. So I don't have to spend a lot of time on that."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019," whitehouse.gov, Dec. 8, 2019
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed a PRO opinion on this question. Read Trump's former positions on whether a wealth tax should be implemented.]
Pro Should For-Profit Charter Schools Receive Federal Funding?
"Charter schools empower families to pursue the right educational fit for their children...
Because of the success of and demand for public charter schools, each year since taking office, I have proposed to increase and improve funding for them as a key part of my Administration's ambitious efforts to expand every family's access to all types of high-quality education opportunities. In my fiscal year 2020 budget request, I called on the Congress to increase funding for the Federal Charter Schools Program to $500 million."
Source: Donald Trump, "Proclamation on National Charter Schools Week, 2019," whitehouse.gov, May 10, 2019
[Editor's Note: The Trump admininstration's 2020 budget would eliminate federal funding for charter schools but would allow states to fund charter schools with other federal funding. A report published by the Network for Public Education found 357 charter schools run by for-profit companies listed in the US Department of Education database of schools that received grants from the federal Charter Schools Program for which Trump previously increased funding.
Network for Public Education, "Still Asleep at the Wheel," networkforpubliceducation.org, Dec. 2019
Lauren Camera, "Trump Administration's Budget Would Eliminate Federal Funding for Charter Schools," usnews.com, Feb. 10, 2020]
Pro Should the Federal Funding to Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs) Be Increased?
"For more than 180 years, HBCUs have strengthened our country and called America to greatness. Your institutions have been pillars of excellence in higher education and the engines of advancement for African American citizens. They’ve been incredible, the job they’ve done.
I signed legislation to increase federal funding for HBCUs by a record 13 percent. That was the highest ever done...
In total, over the last two and a half years, through the Capital Financing Program, we have provided more than $500 million in loans to HBCUs."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference," whitehouse.gov, Nov. 22, 2019
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Student Loan Debt Be Forgiven?
"I am proud to announce that I am taking executive action to ensure that our wounded warriors are not saddled with mountains of student debt.
In a few moments, I will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Education to eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled. Incredible.
Nobody can complain about that, right? Nobody can complain about that. The debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased. It’ll be gone. And you’ll sleep well tonight.
Altogether, this action will wipe out an average of $30,000 in debt owed by more than 25,000 eligible veterans who have made immense sacrifices — the ultimate sacrifice, in many — in many ways, for our nation."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at the American Veterans (AMVETS) 75th National Convention | Louisville, KY," whitehouse.gov, Aug. 21, 2019
[Editor's Note: The Executive Office of the President wrote in its Aug. 15, 2018 "Statement of Administration Policy: Substitute Amendment to H.R. 6157 — Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019," available at whitehouse.gov: "The Administration opposes the wasteful $350 million funding level for a temporary benefit in the Federal Direct Student Loan program that expands Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) eligibility. In contrast, the Administration proposes to eliminate the PSLF program, which unfairly favors certain career choices over others, and instead focuses assistance on undergraduate student borrowers from all professions through a single income-based repayment plan."]
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Public College Be Tuition-Free?
"Well, there's no such thing as free education, because you know that ultimately somebody else is going to be paying for that education. And, so, as a, I can't believe I'm saying this as a politician, I'm not a politician, but as somebody that's now in politics, in the political world, I'd love to say 'free education!' but, again, if somebody gets free education, all of the people paying their rates are going to go up… You take a look at how college costs are rising and there's no reason for it. They are letting them go up and the problem is the students are getting crushed because, again, the government just keeps giving them more and more money and the students give them to the college. So it's not fair. We're going to really look into that because we have to keep it down. We have to keep it down. Some of the colleges do a good job. Many of them, I don't think they even care what the costs are because they get so much money. We're going to do something for the students. We're going to have something with extensions and lower interest rates and a lot of good things."
Source: Fox News Insider, "Trump: 'There's No Such Thing as Free Education,' Bernie," insider.foxnews.com, Apr. 3, 2016
"The brilliance of the Electoral College is that you must go to many States to win. With the Popular Vote, you go to just the large States - the Cities would end up running the Country. Smaller States & the entire Midwest would end up losing all power - & we can’t let that happen. I used to like the idea of the Popular Vote, but now realize the Electoral College is far better for the U.S.A."
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 19, 2019
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed a PRO opinion on this question. Read Trump's former position on whether the electoral college should be abolished.]
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Former Felons Be Allowed to Vote?
"They're [the state of Virginia] giving 200,000 people that have been convicted of heinous crimes, horrible crimes, the worst crimes, the right to vote because, you know what? They know they're gonna vote Democrat. They're gonna vote Democrat and that could be the swing [in the 2016 presidential election]. That's how disgusting and dishonest our political system is."
Source: Fox 10 Phoenix, "FULL: Trump Rally in Rhode Island - First Event Since Cruz-Kasich Strategy Announced - FNN," YouTube.com, Apr. 25, 2016
Should 2020 Presidential Election Candidates Accept Support from Super PACs?
"[T]here is one approved outside, non-campaign group, America First Action, which is run by allies of the President and is a trusted supporter of President Trump's policies and agendas."
Source: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., "Trump Campaign Statement on Dishonest Fundraising Groups," politico.com, May 7, 2019
[Editor's Note: The Trump campaign formally endorsed the Super PAC American First Action following reports that other groups were raising money from Trump supporters but not spending all of it on political activities. The Trump campaign encouraged authorities to investigate "alleged scam groups for potential illegal activities."
Trump previously expressed a CON opinion on this question. Read Trump's former position on whether candidates should accept support from Super PACs.]
"I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting... It shouldn’t be mail-in voting. It should be: You go to a booth and you proudly display yourself. You don’t send it in the mail where people pick up — all sorts of bad things can happen by the time they signed that, if they sign that — if they signed that by the time it gets in and is tabulated.
No, it shouldn’t be mailed in. You should vote at the booth. And you should have voter ID, because when you have voter ID, that’s the real deal."
Source: White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Apr. 3, 2020
Pro Should Voters Be Required to Show Photo Identification in Order to Vote?
"No debate on Election Security should go forward without first agreeing that Voter ID (Identification) must play a very strong part in any final agreement. Without Voter ID, it is all so meaningless!"
Pro Should the US Expand Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Land?
"The previous administration tried to put America's vast energy resources under lock and key. 'We don't want energy.' I don't know what they were thinking. And they tried to put energy producers out of business. But no more. It's a great business. It's a vital business for our country.
We're opening up ANWR in Alaska, one of the biggest sites anywhere in the world...
We're unlocking the full oil and gas potential of the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico...
Since I took office, the United States has increased oil production by over 3.2 million barrels per day. That's an incredible number...
Unfortunately, politicians in California, New York, and other states risk our economy and our national security by blocking vital energy resources from being developed and energy infrastructure, like this, from being built. These states could be ports for shipping energy to our friends and allies, but instead of helping our partners, they’re hurting America.
I have a simple message for these politicians that do such damage to our country: We should be producing energy at home, not enriching foreign adversaries abroad."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump on Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth | Hackberry, LA," whitehouse.gov, May 14, 2019
"The last administration tried to shut down Pennsylvania coal and Pennsylvania fracking. If they got in, your fracking is gone, your coal is gone, you guys — I don't know what the hell you're going to do... We have the greatest resources, which really came about over the last few years. Nobody knew this. Fracking made it possible. Other new technologies made it possible. And now we're the number-one — think of it, as I said — the number-one energy producer in the world."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump on American Energy and Manufacturing | Monaca, PA," whitehouse.gov, Aug. 13, 2019
[Editor's Note: In Dec. 2019, the Trump administration announced plans to open over one million acres of public land in California to fracking.]
Con Should the US Adopt a Climate Change Plan such as the Green New Deal?
"The United States does not have to sacrifice our own jobs to lead the world on the environment...
While we're focused on practical solutions, more than 100 Democrats in Congress now support the so-called Green New Deal. Their plan is estimated to cost our economy nearly $100 trillion — a number unthinkable; a number not affordable even in the best of times. If you go 150 years from now and we've had great success, that's not a number that’s even thought to be affordable. It'll kill millions of jobs, it'll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans, and disproportionately harm minority communities.
I will not stand for it. We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump on America's Environmental Leadership," whitehouse.gov, July 8, 2019
Pro Should the US Expand Its Use of Nuclear Power?
"Today, I am proudly announcing six brand-new initiatives to propel this new era of American energy dominance. First, we will begin to revive and expand our nuclear energy sector — which I’m so happy about — which produces clean, renewable and emissions-free energy. A complete review of U.S. nuclear energy policy will help us find new ways to revitalize this crucial energy resource."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at the Unleashing American Energy Event," whitehouse.gov, June 29, 2017
Con Should the US Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement?
"I withdrew the United States from the terrible, one-sided Paris Climate Accord. It was a total disaster for our country. And I thought when I did that, it would be very tough. And all I do is get applauded for that move, so much. It would've been so bad for our country. They were taking away our wealth. It was almost as though it was meant to hurt the competitiveness — really, competitiveness of the United States. So, we did away with that one.
The Paris Accord would've been a giant transfer of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the world’s pollution. Our air right now and our water right now is as clean as it's been in decades. The Paris Accord would've been shutting down American producers with excessive regulatory restrictions like you would not believe, while allowing foreign producers to pollute with impunity. They were allowed to do what they were doing."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at 9th Annual Shale Insight Conference | Pittsburgh, PA," whitehouse.gov, Oct. 23, 2019
Pro Should the Tariffs Imposed on China by President Trump Be Maintained?
"China has already started buying. They want to buy. They want to make a deal. They really have to make a deal. Their economy has been hurt very badly by what we’ve done and by the tariffs that we’ve charged.
And we’ve taken in tremendous amounts of tariffs. A small portion of them we’ve given to the farmer, which — the farmers — which has more than made up for what they’ve lost...
And because of the newfound economic power of the United States, because of the fact that we’ve made so many trillions — many, many trillions of dollars in worth of the United States — I call it the 'newfound economic power' — if my opponent would’ve won, China would right now be the most powerful nation, economically, in the world. And, right now, they’re not even close."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump and President Mattarella of the Italian Republic before Bilateral Meeting," whitehouse.gov, Oct. 16, 2019
Con Should the US Re-Enter a Nuclear Deal with Iran?
"The Iran Deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world's leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world's most dangerous weapons. At the heart of the Iran Deal is a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. We will not allow a regime that chants 'Death to America' to gain access to the most deadly weapons on earth."
Pro Does the US Need to Increase the Military Budget to Improve National Security?
"Before I came into office, the military endured deep and devastating budget cuts. Our military, quite frankly, was very depleted.
As a candidate for President, I promised to reverse these crippling cuts, and to ensure our military remains unchallenged and unrivaled anywhere in the world...
The law I am signing today provides $738 billion — that's with a 'B.' Seven hundred and thirty-eight billion dollars in defense funding for the 2020. That's an all-time record. In the history of our country, that's the highest amount we've ever spent on our military."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at Signing Ceremony for S.1790, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020," whitehouse.gov, Dec. 20, 2019
Pro Should the US Withdraw Troops from the Middle East?
"The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE.....
....IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE! Now we are slowly & carefully bringing our great soldiers & military home. Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!"
Pro Should the US Have Withdrawn Troops from Northern Syria in Oct. 2019?
"After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land. I said to my Generals, why should we be fighting for Syria....
....and Assad to protect the land of our enemy? Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!
Some people want the United States to protect the 7,000 mile away Border of Syria, presided over by Bashar al-Assad, our enemy. At the same time, Syria and whoever they chose to help, wants naturally to protect the Kurds....
....I would much rather focus on our Southern Border which abuts and is part of the United States of America."
"As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan. We have come very far in the last two years with 105 wonderful new Federal Judges (many more to come), two great new Supreme Court Justices, the Mexico City Policy, and a whole new & positive attitude about the Right to Life. The Radical Left, with late term abortion (and worse), is imploding on this issue. We must stick together and Win for Life in 2020. If we are foolish and do not stay UNITED as one, all of our hard fought gains for Life can, and will, rapidly disappear!"
Source: Donald Trump, twitter.com, May 18, 2019
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed NOT CLEARLY PRO OR CON and PRO opinions on this question. Read Trump's former positions on whether abortion should be legal.]
Pro Should Americans Be Able to Import Prescription Drugs?
".@SecAzar and I will soon release a plan to let Florida and other States import prescription drugs that are MUCH CHEAPER than what we have now! Hard-working Americans don’t deserve to pay such high prices for the drugs they need. We are fighting DAILY to make sure this HAPPENS...
...While we had the first prescription drug price decrease in 50 years, Americans still pay far too much for drugs – other countries pay far less – that is WRONG! We will soon be putting more options on the table..."
Con Should the US Switch to a Medicare-for-All Healthcare System?
"Dishonestly called 'Medicare for All,' the Democratic proposal would establish a government-run, single-payer health care system that eliminates all private and employer-based health care plans and would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years...
I also made a solemn promise to our great seniors to protect Medicare. That is why I am fighting so hard against the Democrats' plan that would eviscerate Medicare...
The Democrats' plan means that after a life of hard work and sacrifice, seniors would no longer be able to depend on the benefits they were promised. By eliminating Medicare as a program for seniors, and outlawing the ability of Americans to enroll in private and employer-based plans, the Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care."
Source: Donald Trump, "Donald Trump: Democrats 'Medicare for All' Plan Will Demolish Promises to Seniors," usatoday.com, Oct. 10, 2018
Pro Should the Federal Government Intervene to Lower Prescription Drugs Costs?
"While we had the first prescription drug price decrease in 50 years, Americans still pay far too much for drugs – other countries pay far less – that is WRONG! We will soon be putting more options on the table."
Pro Should the US Continue to Build a Border Wall at the US/Mexico Border?
"My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers and human traffickers. It's a tremendous problem...
[A]s part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.
The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year — vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico...
Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes? They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside."
Source: Donald Trump, "President Donald J. Trump’s Address to the Nation on the Crisis at the Border," whitehouse.gov, Jan. 8, 2019
Pro Should the US End the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Policy?
"In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers, and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36. The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their twenties. Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time...
The temporary implementation of DACA by the Obama Administration, after Congress repeatedly rejected this amnesty-first approach, also helped spur a humanitarian crisis – the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13...
Therefore, in the best interests of our country, and in keeping with the obligations of my office, the Department of Homeland Security will begin an orderly transition and wind-down of DACA...
As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion – but through the lawful Democratic process – while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve."
Source: Donald Trump, "Statement from President Donald J. Trump," whitehouse.gov, Sep. 5, 2017
Con Should the US Decriminalize Illegal Border Crossings?
"It is the policy of this Administration to rigorously enforce our immigration laws. Under our laws, the only legal way for an alien to enter this country is at a designated port of entry at an appropriate time. When an alien enters or attempts to enter the country anywhere else, that alien has committed at least the crime of improper entry and is subject to a fine or imprisonment under section 1325(a) of title 8, United States Code. This Administration will initiate proceedings to enforce this and other criminal provisions of the INA [Immigration and Nationality Act] until and unless Congress directs otherwise."
Source: Donald Trump, "Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation [Executive Order 13841]," whitehouse.gov, June 20, 2018
Pro Should Immigrants Who Entered the US Illegally Be Denied a Path to Citizenship?
"We've issued 40 million green cards since 1970, which means the permanent residency and a path to citizenship for many, many people. But we will not allow our generosity to be abused by those who would break our laws, defy our rules, violate our borders, break into our country illegally. We won't allow it.
Mass, uncontrolled immigration is especially unfair to the many wonderful, law-abiding immigrants already living here who followed the rules and waited their turn. Some have been waiting for many years. Some have been waiting for a long time. They've done everything perfectly. And they're going to come in. At some point, they're going to come in. In many cases, very soon. We need them to come in, because we have companies coming into our country; they need workers. But they have to come in on a merit basis, and they will come in on a merit basis."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump on the Illegal Immigration Crisis and Border Security," whitehouse.gov, Nov. 1, 2018
Con Should LGBTQ+ People Have Protection from Being Fired for Being LGBTQ+?
"We've taken action to defend the religious conscience of doctors, nurses, teachers, students, preachers, faith groups, and religious employers."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at Dinner with Evangelical Leaders," whitehouse.gov, Aug. 27, 2018
[Editor's Note: The above quote references the Trump administration's support for religious organizations being allowed to make employment decisions that are in line with their religious beliefs. We were unable to find a direct statement from President Trump on the issue of firing protections. However, since Trump has been in office, his administration has sought to limit protections for LGBTQ employees, as shown by proposed rules, amicus briefs, and other statements and actions taken by the Department of Labor and Department of Justice.]