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As the country continues through the 2020 presidential election cycle, with Super Tuesday primaries taking place today, we at National Crittenton feel it is imperative to highlight the many ways in which girls and gender-expansive young people are impacted by the positions and policies many of the candidates build their campaigns on. That’s why we’ve decided to issue a special series of the Centering Girls in Systems Change newsletter – a newsletter a week covering juvenile justice, gender-based violence, health and reproductive justice, education, child welfare and youth homelessness, and immigration. We will focus on the 6 candidates (5 Democrats and one Republican, not including the President) running for office, taking a closer look at their stances and track records on issues that impact the health and livelihood of girls and gender-expansive young people across our country.

Catch up on the previous editions on juvenile justicegender-based violenceeducation justice, and health care.


Joe Biden, Former Vice President

Current Policies/Positions: Biden’s immigration plan includes reversing Trump administration policies that separate children from their families, restoring asylum laws so they protect those fleeing violence and persecution, ending the policy of “metering” asylum applications, increasing U.S. government resources to support migrant families while they wait for their asylum claims to be processed, seeking community-based alternatives to detention for migrant children, codifying protections to safeguard children, reversing the public charge rule, reinstating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and exploring “all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation,” ordering a review of Temporary Protected Status to ensure that vulnerable people are not sent back to unsafe environments, protecting sensitive locations from immigration enforcement actions, improving oversight and accountability for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers, creating a path to citizenship, increasing visas for domestic violence survivors, ending for-profit detention centers, and addressing the root causes of migration.

Track Record: Biden’s track record includes “championing” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as Vice President, criticism for his role in the Obama administration’s deportation practices–although he has acknowledged that he would do “a lot” differently, stated opposition to driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, voting for the 2002 Homeland Security Actvoting in favor of a 1995 amendment that deleted bill provisions restricting naturalized citizens from receiving welfare benefits, voting against a 1996 amendment that would make legal immigrants eligible to receive some forms of assistance, voting in favor of a comprehensive immigration reform plan in 2007, former opposition to sanctuary cities, and co-sponsoring the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2007.

Michael Bloomberg, Former Mayor of New York City

Current Policies/Positions: Bloomberg’s immigration plan includes creating a pathway to citizenship, reinstating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program, expediting pathways to citizenship for DACA recipients, protecting individuals with Temporary Protected Status, ensuring oversight and accountability for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol, ending raids at sensitive locations, preserving family and diversity immigration, ending the separation of families, prioritizing reunification, placing children in community-based alternatives to detention, abiding by the Flores Agreement, prioritizing placement of youth aging out of Office of Refugee Resettlement custody, mandating the presence of state-licensed child welfare and health care professionals at all sites receiving children, requiring child welfare and medical screenings, guaranteeing legal counsel for minors, protecting Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status for young people under 21 who have been abandoned or neglected, restoring the Central American Minors (CAM) program, ensuring children are never subjected to asylum metering, ending for-profit detention, protecting individuals fleeing violence and persecution, and reversing the public charge rule.

Track Record: Bloomberg’s track record includes launching new programs to help immigrant entrepreneurs start and grow businesses and connect immigrants to legal assistance and social services as Mayor of New York, ensuring confidentiality of immigration status for all people who interacted with the City’s government, and forming the pro-immigration organization New American Economy, according to his campaign site.

Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman from Hawai’i

Current Policies/Positions: Congresswoman Gabbard’s campaign site includes a section on immigration reform that says Gabbard would “balance border security, have an asylum process that reflects our values as a nation of immigrants, and include a path to legal status for DREAMers.”

Track Record: Gabbard’s track record includes supporting the DREAM ActDreamer Information Protection Act, Bridge Act, HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act of 2017, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization ActREUNITE Act, and Keep Families Together Act

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont

Current Policies/Positions: Senator Sanders’ immigration plan includes putting an end to deportations until a thorough review of current and past practices is complete, ending the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico Policyasylum metering, and Safe Third Country policy; reversing attempts to end the Temporary Protected Status program and extend the status of holders, ending the zero-tolerance policy and Operation Streamline, ending for-profit detention, reversing the Department of Justice guidance that allows the denial of asylum claims for those fleeing domestic or gang violence and persecution for their sexual orientation or gender identity, reversing the public charge rule, prioritizing reunification of families, reinstating and expanding DACA, creating a pathway to citizenship, prioritizing expedited citizenship for undocumented youth, decriminalizing border crossings, working to pass the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, ending immigration raids at schools, churches, workplaces, hospitals, and other sensitive locations, and ensuring immigrant families have access to health care, housing, and education regardless of their immigration status.

Track Record: Sander’s track record includes supporting the Refugee Protection Act of 2019Protect American Values ActFAIR Proceedings ActCoordinating Care for Children Affected by Immigration Enforcement ActStop Cruelty to Migrant Children ActEnd Mass Deportation ActPROTECT Immigration ActStop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women ActFair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2019, and REUNITE Act.

Bill Weld, Former Governor of Massachusetts

Current Policies/Positions: Weld’s immigration plan includes ending mass deportations, prioritizing keeping families together, and supporting DACA and the DREAM Act.

Track Record: Weld’s record includes advocating for probationary legal status for undocumented immigrants in a 2013 editorial featured in the Boston Globeand criticizing Trump’s call for mass deportations during his 2016 campaign.

Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts

Current Policies/Platforms: Senator Warren’s immigration plan includes decriminalizing migration, separating law enforcement from immigration enforcement, reshaping Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), designating ”a Justice Department task force to investigate accusations of serious violations — including medical neglect and physical and sexual assaults of detained immigrants,” ending unnecessary detention, protecting especially vulnerable immigrant populations like children, pregnant women, and LGBTQ+ individuals; banning for-profit detention, expanding community-based alternatives to detention, ending expedited removal, reinstating Temporary Protected Status designations and Deferred Enforced Departure, affirming asylum protections for those fleeing domestic violence and gang violence, reaffirming asylum protections for gender identity and sexual orientation-based claims, reducing the family reunification backlog, and creating a pathway to citizenship.

Track Record: Warren’s track record includes support for the Refugee Protection Act of 2019Protect American Values ActStop Cruelty to Migrant Children ActEnd Mass Deportation ActStop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women ActREUNITE ActFair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2019, a bill to clarify the rights of all persons who are held or detained at a port of entry or at any detention facility overseen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementProtecting Sensitive Locations ActDignity for Detained Immigrants ActChild Trafficking Victims Protection and Welfare ActFamilies Not Facilities ActKeep Families Together Act, and Protect DREAMers Confidentiality Act.


Thanks for Tuning In

The issue areas highlighted in this series are particularly and uniquely important to the lives and opportunities afforded to girls and gender-expansive youth and were identified through an assessment of various advocate resources, news reports, and research. Information presented here on the candidates’ current positions was gathered from what they have committed to in writing on their respective websites–primarily focused on their published policy platforms rather than their interviews with the news media, social media posts, or debate responses. Information about candidates’ track records was compiled via the sources linked within this newsletter. Candidate’s platforms and records are listed in alphabetical order. This is by no means an exhaustive compilation of any candidates’ platform or track record, and we encourage folx to explore these issues further, as this is neither a full assessment nor an endorsement of any political party or candidate. 

The second part and final installment of this newsletter covers child welfare and will be available this Wednesday, March 4th. We will release a PDF of all our combined issues of Centering Girls in the Race for the Presidency, with however many candidates remain, in the coming weeks.

Please feel free to reach out to Natalia Orozco with any corrections, questions, or suggestions for improvement at

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