Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Issues at stake in presidential election

Published:Sunday | September 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM


A selection of issues at stake in the presidential election and their impact on America and the rest of the world, in brief:




The future of millions of people living in the US illegally could well be shaped by the presidential election. The stakes are high, too, for those who employ them, help them fit into neighbourhoods, or want them gone.

Republican Donald Trump at first pledged to deport the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. Not only that, he'd build a wall all along the Mexican border.

But his position has evolved. He's sticking to his vow to build the wall and make Mexico pay. But he's no longer proposing to deport people who have not committed crimes beyond their immigration offences.

Democrat Hillary Clinton, in contrast, would overhaul immigration laws to include a path to citizenship, not just legal status.

Illegal immigration has been at nearly 40-year lows for several years. It even appears that Mexican migration trends have reversed, with more Mexicans leaving the US than arriving.




Education is a core issue not just for students and families, but for communities, the economy, and the nation as a global competitor.

American schoolchildren trail their counterparts in Japan, Korea, Germany, France, and more.

For students seeking higher education, they face rising college costs and many are saddled with debt.

Clinton has proposed free tuition at instate public colleges and universities for working families with incomes up to $125,000 - free for families, that is, not for taxpayers. Trump has railed against the Common Core academic standards in most states, and vowed to give students more choice and charter schools.




It's as if Trump and Hillary Clinton live on two entirely different Earths: one warming, one not. Clinton says climate change threatens us all, while Trump repeatedly tweets that global warming is a hoax.




In this angry election year, many American voters are sceptical about free trade or hostile to it.

The Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are both playing to public suspicions about trade deals. Clinton broke with President Barrack Obama by opposing an Asia-Pacific trade agreement that she had supported as secretary of state.

Trump vows to tear up existing trade deals and to slap huge tariffs on Chinese imports.




How the US uses its influence as the world's sole superpower is a central feature of presidential power.

It can mean taking the country to war - to protect the homeland or to defend an ally. Or it can mean using diplomacy to prevent war.

In the contest between Clinton and Trump, America's role in the world is a point of sharp differences. Each says the US must be the predominant power, but they would exercise leadership differently.

Trump calls his approach "America first," meaning alliances and coalitions would not pass muster unless they produced a net benefit to the US.

Clinton sees international partnerships as essential tools for using US influence and lessening the chances of war.