Get to know the Presidential Candidates


I can hear the sound of political debates everywhere – it might as well be in the air we breathe. When I turn on my television set to watch the news or standup comedy, when I turn on the radio, even when I walk into a restaurant on a Friday night – you can try to hide from politics any other time, but not during election season. ¶ Starting over in a new country is overwhelming, and understanding the political system can be a daunting task. An exciting part of attaining legal status is the ability to participate in the elections. Whether you’re voting Democratic or Republican, it is important to know who you are voting for before you even think about casting your ballot. ¶ To inform the New Americans about the current candidates, Karibu has decided to start a short series entitled “Get to Know the Presidential Candidates.” In the first part of our series, we introduce you to Senator Bernie Sanders and businessman Donald J. Trump.


Trump – even if you don’t follow politics, you’ve heard his name and you know who he is. Trump is a businessman, television personality, and a politician. He his known for his controversial and often offensive speech; he has threatened to put a ban on Muslims from the U.S. and to send all immigrants back to “their country, but let the good ones come back.” He defines himself as “the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in real estate, sports and entertainment.”

Trump graduated from the Wharton School of Finance. He has authored over fifteen bestsellers. He has a three core principle immigration plan: 1) A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border. 2) A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced, and 3) A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all American. He has publicly announced that Mexico should pay for a wall to separate itself from the rest of the U.S. He is known for saying Mexico “sends their worse people … they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.”

Trump is currently the front runner for the Republican nominations.  He has lead his three rivals in Illinois presidential primary.


Bernie Sanders is a Democratic candidate for President of the United States (POTUS).  He was elected as a Senator in Vermont in 2006. Prior, he was Vermont’s sole congressman in the House of Representatives for 16 years. He is now serving his second term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2012.

Sanders was born in Brooklyn, NY. He attended college in both Brooklyn and Chicago before he moved to Vermont. While living in Vermont and before the start of his political career, he worked as a carpenter and a documentary filmmaker.  He was elected as mayor of Burlington in 1981, by a total of 10 votes. While he was mayor, Sanders transformed Burlington into one of the most livable small cities in America.  According to his website, he “made major strides in affordable housing, progressive taxation, environmental protection, child care, women’s rights, youth programs and the arts.”

Sanders parents are first and second generation immigrants; his father Elias Sanders, was a first generation immigrant from Poland and his mother, Dorothy Sanders, was born in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents. Bernie was born in 1941.

Sanders is a self-described Socialist Democrat. He is the third socialist to ever be elected to Congress.  Sanders wants to make college tuition and debt free. He wants to take the issues of income and wealth inequality by the horns, and has said “Despite huge advancements in technology and productivity, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages. The real median income of male workers is $783 less than it was 42 years ago; while the real median income of female workers is over $1,300 less than it was in 2007. That is unacceptable and that has got to change.”

Sanders stands for racial justice, higher wages for American worker, Medicare for all, reforming Wall Street, and heaps of other issue that effect Americans on a daily basis. Learn more about Bernie Sanders on his website:

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