Conventions highlight US immigration divide

The first day of the Democratic convention saw speeches delivered by pro-immigration activist US Representative, Luis Gutierrez, and a 10-year-old American girl afraid that her mother will be deported as an undocumented immigrant. This was in stark contrast to the tone of the Republican convention last week, which underlined the growing and seemingly insurmountable divide on the subject of immigration in the United States.

Three American parents, whose children had died due to criminal undocumented immigrants, spoke at the opening night of the Republican convention. This was amid a call for greater border control over who is allowed to enter the United States. The 2016 Presidential election has seen the political fight over immigration become ever more polarizing, with the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, leaning toward a pro-immigration platform at least partly to appeal to the growing number of Latino party members. Republican candidate Donald Trump, meanwhile, has gained much support from promising to deport millions of undocumented immigrants by building a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.

Clinton has said that, if elected, she will introduce legislation to enable around 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country to gain US citizenship, and intends to support and expand on the executive actions introduced by President Barack Obama.

Trump, meanwhile, has capitalized on a growing distrust and resentment of immigration, promising to put an end to undocumented immigration and the gang violence and drugs that he and his supporters believe it brings.