There are seven Democratic names on the Tuesday primary ballot. They are Sen. William Brownsberger, Sen. Katherine Clark, Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, Martin Long, Paul Maisano, Rep. Carl Sciortino and Sen. Karen Spilka.
The three Republican names on the Tuesday primary ballot are Frank Addivinola, of Malden, Mike Stoppa, of Holliston, and Tom Tierney of Framingham.
Patch asked each of the candidates a series of questions. The answers to those questions have been published all week on Patch.
Long was the only candidate who did not respond to Patch's request.
Today's report focuses on immigration.
Patch asked: "Where do you stand on immigration reform?
Republican Addivinola: " All American laws, including immigration laws, should be enforced, and people who want to come to America permanently should follow the procedures. We can’t punish legal immigrants with high costs and lengthy waiting times while rewarding illegal immigrants with "shortcuts". I am opposed to amnesty because it rewards people that disregarded our immigration laws and places the people that are waiting for their chance to enter the USA at an unfair disadvantage.
We should welcome people who come legally to become Americans as our ancestors did. All people who legally become American residents and citizens should be encouraged to learn our language. Immigration is important for increasing our diversity of citizens and expand the population of honest, creative and hard-working people that seek opportunities in this great country as our ancestors did."
Republican Stoppa: "I am staunchly opposed to amnesty (or any form of legalization) for illegal aliens. If we do not summon the will to send - gradually and humanely if possible - illegal aliens back to their home countries then it makes no difference how large a fence we build on our southern border."
Republican Tierney: "I’m against the often-spoken “pathway to citizenship” except for children but I would support a “pathway to permanent residency (a green card)” for many of the undocumented; some should be deported. All non-citizens should carry a tamper-proof ID. The undocumented should be allowed to drive; it’s good all around [safety, ID and control]. Children with a significant history in Mass. schools should get in-state tuition for college. And, of course, border control must be stepped up."
Democrat Brownsberger: "Comprehensive immigration reform is essential both to the health of our economy and to ensure that we are treating all people living in this country fairly and with dignity. I support S. 744, the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in June, and particularly Title II, which creates a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and Title IV, which increases the cap on the number of visas available to skilled workers and increases U.S. worker protections.
I support the development of a path to citizenship, because I strongly believe it is not in anyone’s interest to have twelve million people living in this country without documentation. When people live here without legal documentation, they are unable to assert legal rights in many settings. In particular, they do not have employment protections available to them. Some employers may hire undocumented immigrants at less than minimum wage, without providing health and other benefits. Because this lack of protection makes undocumented immigrants less expensive to hire, some employers may hire them at the expense of workers of legal status. Creating a path to citizenship would allow better and more complete regulation of employment conditions and would set the stage for further steps such as increasing the minimum wage.
I support increasing the cap on H-1B visas, because our economy is in need of more temporary, skilled workers particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (“STEM”). It is equally important, though, that jobs in these fields not be given to foreign workers at the expense of equally qualified U.S. citizens. The Title IV requirement that employers place mandatory ads and perform other good faith recruitment efforts before hiring an H-1B worker will help address this issue. Stipulations increasing H-1B wage requirements and making it easier for H-1B workers to change employers will also help avoid any issues of employer exploitation of foreign workers who need to maintain employment to keep their visas."
Democrat Clark: "America is a nation of immigrants, and America needs a 21st century immigration system. Our economy is stronger – and our country is stronger – when new immigrants are welcomed to America and become valued members of our communities. I support comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and makes legal immigration easier to navigate."
Democrat Koutoujian: "Our country’s prosperity is built on our ability to attract the best and brightest global citizens from around the world. We should encourage those seeking opportunity to come to America, share their ideas, and help build our economy and our nation. I believe it is time to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which should include the following:
- Creation of a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants;
- An increase in the number of visas for temporary workers;
- Improvements to border security; and
- Creation of an employment verification system, to check eligibility of new workers and help support employers
- Our elected officials in Washington must seize this opportunity to enact meaningful immigration reform legislation."
Democrat Maisano: "We shall pass an immigration law once this budget mess is addressed. It's long overdue. Immigration reform makes financial, moral, security, and common sense."
Democrat Sciortino: "The current immigration debate is as much about racism as it is about anything else, and we need to call it out as such. Our out-of-date immigration policies must be overhauled. Comprehensive immigration reform with a real path to citizenship is the only meaningful way to address our immigration issues. The consequences of our broken immigration system are readily apparent in Massachusetts, where top students from other countries come to our fantastic colleges and universities to study, only to be denied the option to stay and work here and contribute to our communities when they have finished school. That is why we need a rational, progressive visa and guest worker policies. If America wants to continue to lead the world in innovation, we must be able to attract the world’s top talent and retain those individuals who we are taking the time to educate. Comprehensive immigration reform would include a path to citizenship for those already in the United States, a simplified citizenship process for those seeking to enter the country that ensures families are kept together, and strengthened labor laws to protect immigrants from exploitation in the workplace."
Democrat Spilka: "I would vote for the comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed by the Senate. It isn’t a perfect bill; there is far too much money going to wasteful expenditures to militarize the border and I have some concerns about the H-1B visa provisions -- they are needed for high tech workers, but can be abused in a way that discriminates against older American tech workers. However it is absolutely essential that we reform our broken immigration system and include a path to citizenship in order to provide hope for millions of immigrants and a needed boost to our economy. I am deeply frustrated by Congress’ failure to act and would support this legislation as a necessary compromise."