Immigration Laws | 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates

What do the Republican Candidates Believe About Immigration Laws?

E=enforcement   R=reform A=amnesty

Ben Carson: R

Ben Carson Immigration Reform: Let Undocumented Immigrants Work On Farms

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended his immigration plan during Wednesday night’s Republican debate, but his explanation only got him into further trouble with some voters. Carson supports giving guest-worker status to millions of undocumented immigrants without criminal records.


“After we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies…people who had a pristine record we should consider allowing them to become guest workers primarily in the agricultural sphere,” Carson said. “If they don’t do it within that time period then they become illegal and as illegals they will be treated as such,” he said.


Carson said his plan is not amnesty because farmers cannot find American workers, which prompted criticism from some social media users who perceived the remark as suggesting immigrants can only do farm work.




“The overwhelming majority of Americans want the southern borders of our country secured and our immigration laws enforced, but several administrations recently have been unwilling to get tough on this issue because they do not want to alienate a large voting block of Latinos. This is yet another area where our government’s leadership and the wishes of many of the people diverge and the people are being ignored.”


I’m “Is it moral for us, for example, to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I’m sure you can tell from the way I phrased the question that I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue. Some segments of our economy would virtually collapse without these undocumented workers–we all know that–yet we continue to harass and deport many individuals who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Is there a way to apply logic to this issue and arrive at an intelligent solution? All we have to do is look to our northern neighbor, Canada. They have a guest worker program, which allows people to enter the country as officially recognized guest workers who pay taxes, receive benefits, and are able to come and go as they please without infringing on anyone else’s rights.”


“There is much that can be learned from security personnel in prisons and other secured facilities, and there is a great deal of smart technology that could be employed to achieve secure borders. It is a matter of will rather than ability.”


“Any discussion of immigration reform should include bipartisan solutions to these inducements. If these issues are not addressed, solutions will fall short. On the other hand, if all of these issues are addressed firmly and consistently, the osmotic effect will be reversed. Just as people found a way to get here, they will find a way to leave on their own and others will be less tempted to attempt illegal entry. Detractors will say that if it were that simple, it would have already been done and that we wouldn’t be having this discussion. What they fail to account for is the fact that the issues have not been addressed.”


Sources: America the Beautiful: What Makes This Country Great – Ben Carson, M.D. with Candy Carson, Zondervan, 2012



Click on image to enlarge.


Ted Cruz: E

From His website:


As the son of a Cuban immigrant, Sen. Cruz celebrates legal immigration. He has championed measures to secure the border, reform the legal immigration system, and uphold the rule of law.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)


He believes President Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty shielding millions of illegal aliens from deportation would “change who we are as a country,” and said that legal immigration is “good,” stressing his support for the rule of law.


“I actually think the amnesty issue is broader than just another policy issue on which people can disagree,” Cruz said. “President Obama famously said his goal was to fundamentally transform the United States of America. And one of the critical tools he is using to try to do that is to allow millions of people to come here illegally.”


“There’s seven billion people on the face of the planet, and an awful lot of them would like to come here. Now if they want to come here legally and follow the law, great,” he added. “You and I both come from immigrant families who followed the law.”

John Kasich: A

John Kasich: ‘God Bless’ Illegal Immigrants

Illegal immigrants are “a critical part of our society” and should be provided a route to amnesty, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich tells a coalition of Hispanic company executives.


“For those that are here that have been law abiding, God bless them,” he told the business group, which is a major advocate for expanded immigration.


“Then I think the [illegals] should have a path to legalization… I think that can pass,” Kasich said, using one of the euphemisms for granting legal residency to illegal immigrants.


The Ohio governor also claimed the illegal immigrants are skilled. The illegals “are a critical part of our society from doctors to engineers to lawyers– well, I don’t know if we need more of them [lawyers]– but we’ve got a lot of teachers, whatever,” he said.

Marco Rubio: E

Chuck Schumer: Rubio ‘Totally Committed’ To Obama’s Immigration Agenda

For instance, at the time Rubio pledged to Rush Limbaugh, “If there is not language in this bill that guarantees that nothing else will happen unless these enforcement mechanisms are in place, I won’t support it.” Even though, as Sen. Schumer explained, the bill would grant amnesty to the illegal population “on day one” before the border was secured, Rubio voted for the bill anyway.


Rubio similarly told Sean Hannity at the time, “I don’t think any of that [i.e. amnesty] begins until we certify that the border security progress has been real. That a workplace enforcement mechanism is in place. That we are tracking visitors to our country, especially when they exit.”


Rubio, however, voted against an amendment offered by his Republican colleague that would have added a visa tracking system to the Obama-backed immigration bill.


As a result, Senator Rubio succeeded in passing through the Senate a bill that would have added four times more new foreign workers than the rejected 2007 McCain-Kennedy bill…


Rubio veers right in latest immigration twist

After largely disavowing his attempt at comprehensive reform, the 2016 GOP hopeful backs a bill to crack down on ‘sanctuary cities.’


Marco Rubio’s support for comprehensive immigration reform two years ago remains a major question mark hovering over his presidential campaign, even as he’s cracked top-tier status in the GOP field. On Tuesday, the freshman senator’s tightrope walk on the issue will continue, when the Senate takes up a bill, co-sponsored by Rubio and favored by the party’s staunchest immigration opponents, to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities.


But Rubio’s attempts to explain his trajectory on immigration — from chief GOP advocate of sweeping reform to largely disavowing that effort and now advocating an enforcement-first approach — is drawing criticism from all sides.


“He should just affirm what he believed in and what he worked with his colleagues on,” Gutierrez said. “I was very, very grateful to him and said so publicly on numerous occasions … You know, in these days, you have to have backbone.”


On the sanctuary cities issue, Rubio’s sponsorship of that bill came after the conservative outlet Breitbart News pummeled the Florida senator for not yet signing on to an enforcement-focused immigration bill.


Immigration Efforts Haunt His Presidential Ambitions

For many Republicans, Marco Rubio’s attempt to push immigration reform through Congress is a blemish on an otherwise sterling set of conservative credentials. And if recent barbs from influential movement conservatives and Republican primary front-runner Donald Trump are any indication, it may be the tallest barrier between the Florida senator and the presidential nomination.


“Rubio’s role as [Democratic Senator] Chuck Schumer’s frontman for the Gang of Eight bill should come under scrutiny,” said Mark Krikorian, an activist for more restrictive immigration policies. “There are a lot of conservatives who want to like Rubio. His task is to give them a way to forgive him, and I don’t think he’s really done that yet.”


Rubio’s current position on how to deal with immigration is rather nuanced, triangulating between the pro-immigration wishes of Republican donors and the anti-immigration leanings of the voter base. He remains open to creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and boosting merit-based legal immigration, but no longer supports a comprehensive effort and wants to first toughen border security, a top conservative demand. Though he hasn’t precisely defined what a “secure border” would entail, the stance, discussed in his 2014 book American Dreams, is what he emphasizes on the campaign trail. Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that polls show that majorities of Republicans want to decrease immigration flows and deport people in the country illegally.


Among the serious Republican contenders, only Rubio and Bush are open to legal status for undocumented immigrants. While Rubio wants a piecemeal effort that ends in a pathway to citizenship, Bush wants a comprehensive effort that includes border security and legal status but without the option of citizenship. Bush is arguably suffering more than Rubio with the GOP base for his pro-immigration position—a recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found that 63 percent of Republicans are less likely to support him as a result of his support for a “path to legal residence for immigrants who are in this country illegally.”


Jeb and Rubio have pretty much the same immigration positions, but Rubio is much more effective in obfuscating what they are and marketing them to conservatives,” said Krikorian. “Jeb is a less adroit politician. He just comes out and says what he thinks. … Rubio is better at deflecting and hiding what he really thinks and wants on immigration.” Krikorian posited that Rubio could win back support from the right by categorically rejecting any legal status until border security measures such as E-Verify and an entry-exit tracking system are fully operational…


How Rubio Went From Championing Immigration Reform To Vehemently Opposing His Own Bill

As a coalition of Republican business executives, prominent conservatives and evangelical leaders kick off a new campaign urging the GOP to take-up immigration reform, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) — the most prominent Republican senator to support an overhaul of the immigration system — formally walked away from his own immigration bill. A spokesperson for the senator said on Saturday that Rubio opposes conferencing a piecemeal House-passed bill with the Senate’s proposal in order to produce a comprehensive measure that both chambers could support.


His decision to abandon the policy comes after months of wavering and careful political calculation. The first-term senator at times tied himself in rhetorical knots trying to appeal to moderate voters while still courting the conservative Tea Party supporters who helped propel him to the Senate in 2010.


During that election, Rubio claimed that undocumented immigrants had to leave the country and re-enter legally if they ever hoped to attain citizenship. By January 2013 — after President Obama won re-election with a broad coalition of Hispanic voters — he had joined a bipartisan group of senators hoping to overhaul the system through a comprehensive bill that included a pathway to citizenship and began actively courting conservative support for reform. As that group — the so-called immigration “Gang of 8” — prepared to release the legislation that would eventually clear the Senate, Rubio appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press and painted himself as the strongest ally of reform, telling host David Gregory that he didn’t anticipate ever abandoning the measure.


Nine months later, Rubio has moved on. Below is a short timeline of the senator’s many stances on immigration reform:


JAN 14: BLASTS OBAMA FOR NOT ADVOCATING IMMIGRATION REFORM. Rubio tells the Wall Street Journal that Obama has “not done a thing” on reform and is likely using the issue to mobilize the Democratic base. During the presidential campaign, Rubio criticized Obama for failing to achieve reform in his first term. “His party controlled Congress for two years,” he told Fox News in October, “and they did absolutely nothing.”


JAN 14: SAYS HE SUPPORTS A PIECEMEAL APPROACH TO REFORM. Rubio says he would like to see “a comprehensive package of bills”—maybe four or five as opposed to one omnibus—move through Congress. “He says other experience with ‘comprehensive’ reform (ObamaCare, the recent debt deal) shows how bad policy easily sneaks into big bills. But adds, “It’s not a line in the sand for me.”


JAN 28: OUTLINES PRINCIPLES FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM. Shorty after joining a “Gang of 8” senators dedicated to overhauling the immigration system, Rubio toured conservative talk shows advocating his approach to reform. “All we can come up with is a starting point…there are, you know, 94 other senators who have opinions about what this law should look like and there is the American public and there is the House and the Executive Branch so obviously people are going to have some input as to what they want it to look like …this is the first step, this is the architecture,” Rubio tells Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey in January. “We just have to get this thing done for once and for all,” he tells the New York Times.


FEB 17: BLASTS OBAMA FOR DRAFTING IMMIGRATION BILL. After USA Today published a leaked and incomplete draft of President Obama’s immigration reform bill — which resembles 2007′s bipartisan legislation and Rubio’s own principles — Rubio rushes a statement condemning the administration for contributing to the very debate he claimed would be incomplete without its input. Rather than offering a constructive critique of the leaked portions or highlighting areas of similarity, Rubio announced that Obama’s bill is “disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution” and is “dead on arrival in Congress.”


MARCH 31: WARNS SENATORS AGAINST RUSHING IMMIGRATION REFORM. “A rush to legislate, without fully considering all views and input from all senators, would be fatal to the effort of earning the public’s confidence” Rubtio writes in a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of Senate judiciary committee.


APRIL 14: PREDICTS SENATE BILL WILL WIN ‘BROAD SUPPORT. “And this bill modernizes it in a way that’s going to get broad-based support,” Rubio tells NBC’s Meet The Press. “We also have to be able to enforce our laws. This bill once introduced, as we’ve agreed to, I think, will show that a broad base of enforcement measures, unlike anything this country’s ever seen. And what it does is it creates a way for us to address the millions of people that are here undocumented in a way that’s compassionate, but also, in a way that’s responsible.”


APRIL 14: PLEDGES TO SUPPORT IMMIGRATION REFORM. Asked by Meet The Press host David Gregory if he would “step back and say, ‘I can no longer support this compromise agreement?,’” Rubio says: “Well, I’ve been very clear about my principles of what reform needs to look like. And if this bill were to somehow to abandon those principles via the amendment process or what have you, certainly I wouldn’t support that. But I don’t anticipate that.”


APRIL 24: ENTERTAINS THE IDEA OF NOT GRANTING VISAS TO MUSLIM STUDENTS. Rubio suggests that, given the attack on Boston carried out by two immigrants, he would consider barring young foreign Muslims from getting student visas to come the United States.


MAY 7: SLAMS HERITAGE ANALYSIS OF SENATE BILL. Rubio joins the growing chorus of conservative criticism of the Heritage Foundation’s anti-immigrant report, which claims the Senate’s immigration bill would cost the economy $6.3 trillion. Rubio denounces the report’s assumption that all immigrants will forever be poor and uneducated, pointing to how his own family flourished after entering the U.S.


MAY 9: REQUESTS ANALYSIS SHOWING SENATE BILL WILL BOOST SOCIAL SECURITY. Analysis from the Social Security Administration finds that the Senate immigration bill “would strengthen the Social Security trust fund by adding millions of workers to tax rolls and provide a boost to the overall economy.” The report was requested by Rubio.


MAY 24: URGES CONSERVATIVES TO SUPPORT SENATE BILL. Rubio appears on Fox News’ Hannity to argue that undocumented immigrants will have to earn citizenship and won’t disadvantage people applying for legal status. “Undocumented immigrants living in the United States will apply for temporary legal status, begin working and paying taxes, and apply for lawful permanent resident status though the same merit based system everyone else must use to earn a green card and if all people currently waiting for family and employment green cards have had their priority,” he says.


JUNE 4: SAYS HE MIGHT VOTE AGAINST HIS OWN BILL. Rubio tells conservative talker Hugh Hewitt that he would vote against a bipartisan immigration reform bill he helped draft unless lawmakers approve an amendment that would limit the Department of Homeland Security’s discretion over border security and potentially lengthen undocumented immigrants’ path to citizenship.


JUNE 11: URGES SENATORS NOT TO ENDORSE HIS OWN BILL. Rubio urges his Republican colleagues to refrain from publicly endorsing a comprehensive immigration bill he helped write in hopes of bolstering its border security provisions.


JUNE 13: REFUSES TO SAY IF HE SUPPORTS HIS OWN BILL. “I don’t want to get involved in the hypotheticals and ultimatums,” Rubio tells ABC’s This Week when asked if he would back the immigration bill he helped draft.


JUNE 27: VOTES FOR HIS OWN BILL. “Here, immigrants will give their children the life they once wanted for themselves,” he says on the floor. “Here generations of unfulfilled dreams will finally come to pass. Even with all our challenges, we remain the shining city on the hill. We are still the hope of the world. And in the end, that is why I support this reform.”


AUG. 12: WARNS REPUBLICANS THAT IF CONGRESS DOESN’T ACT, OBAMA WILL. “I have maintained that for more than a year, that I believe that this President will be tempted if nothing happens in Congress,” Rubio says in on interview on the Morning Show With Preston Scott.


AUG. 30: STOPS TALKING ABOUT IMMIGRATION REFORM. “On a six-city, three-day swing through North Florida last week, Rubio emphasized his opposition to funding the health care law and barely mentioned immigration…In a 35-minute speech to the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, he devoted just one minute to the reform legislation he helped shepherd through the Senate,” The Associated Press reports.


OCT. 20: CLAIMS OBAMA HAS JEOPARDIZED IMMIGRATION REFORM. Rubio says that President Obama’s refusal to compromise with Republicans on Obamacare to re-open the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling has jeopardized the chances of passing comprehensive immigration reform. “I think immigration reform is harder to achieve today than it was three weeks ago because of what happened here,” the first-term senator said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, before agreeing with opponents of immigration reform who warn that the Obama Administration will simply fail to enforce border security or other aspects of a bill he disagrees with.


OCT. 26: ABANDONS HIS OWN BILL. A Rubio spokesman tells Brietbart News that the House shouldn’t pass an immigration bill to trigger a conference with the Senate legislation. “At this point, the most realistic way to make progress on immigration would be through a series of individual bills,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant says. “Any effort to use a limited bill as a ruse to trigger a conference that would then produce a comprehensive bill would be counterproductive. Furthermore, any such effort would fail, because any single senator can and will block conference unless such conference is specifically instructed to limit the conference to only the issue dealt with in the underlying bill.”


Donald Trump: R

Debunking Donald Trump’s Five Extreme Statements About Immigrants And Mexico

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has sparked outrage among Mexicans and Latinos over comments he made when he kicked off his Presidential bid about Mexico sending its “rapists” and criminals to the U.S. and calling for a human-proof wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to keep them out.


Since then, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has become more strident: he wants to deport 11.3 million undocumented workers (6 million of which are Mexicans) and strip babies born to undocumented immigrants of their birthright citizenship.


Here is some data that suggest that five of Trump’s most outrageous statements about immigrants, Mexico and the border do not correspond to reality:


1- Immigrants are no criminals. In his kickoff speech in June, Trump said that Mexican undocumented immigrants are “rapists” and they are “bringing drugs and crime.” Data shows that the real estate mogul’s assertions are wrong. According to a July report by the American Immigration Council, immigration is associated with lower crime rates and immigrants are less likely than the native-born to be serious criminals.


Between 1990 and 2013, when unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. more than tripled from 3.5 million to 11.3 million, FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate declined 48%—which included falling rates of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder. Likewise, the property crime rate fell 41%, including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and burglary.


The American Immigration Council also found that immigrants are less likely than the native-born to engage in either violent or nonviolent “antisocial” behaviors; that immigrants are less likely than the native-born to be repeat offenders among “high risk” adolescents; and that immigrant youth who were students in U.S. middle and high schools in the mid-1990 and are now young adults have among the lowest delinquency rates of all young people.


2- A border wall is no solution. Trump has said repeatedly that if elected President, he will build an impenetrable 2,000 mile wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to keep “illegals” out. There is already a wall in one third (650 miles) of the border. But it has been pretty much irrelevant. In fact, data indicates that it may have backfired. In an article in Foreign Policy, Princeton sociologist Douglas Massey said that evidence shows that money spent on border enforcement, wall included, “is worse than useless — it’s counterproductive.”


The “militarization of the border,” as Massey calls it, made it harder, if not impossible, for immigrant workers to go back home as they did before the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was enacted. Researchers estimate that tightening of border enforcement since 1986 actually added 4 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. in 2010.


3- Mexico will not pay for the wall. Throughout the course of his presidential bid, Trump has assured voters that his plan for a wall would be subsidized by the Mexican government. ”Trust me, Mexico will pay,” the billionaire said on July 31.


But Mexican Presidential spokesperson Eduardo Sánchez called Trump’s assertion that Mexico would pay for a wall “false.” Sánchez said: “It reflects an enormous ignorance for what Mexico represents, and also the irresponsibility of the candidate who’s saying it.”


4- Mexican immigration has declined. Trump has called the immigration situation “completely out of control” and has promised “to take our country back.” But Pew Research Center’s data shows that Mexican unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. declined by 1 million, from the 6.9 million 2007 peak to 5.9 million in 2012. Driven partly by economic and demographic factors, net migration from Mexico reached zero in 2010, and since then more Mexicans have left the U.S. than have arrived.


5- Mexico is no threat to the U.S. economy. Trump claims Mexico “is not a friend” because “they’re killing us economically….” The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a GDP 13 times larger than Mexico’s; likewise, the U.S. per capita income is four times larger than Mexico’s. With $308 billion yearly trade, Mexico’s is the U.S. third largest trade partner after Canada and China. By no stretch of the imagination could Mexico be “killing” the U.S. economically.


But by listening to Trump, one would not know that Mexico is a friendly nation closely linked to the U.S. by geography, trade, culture and history.


The idea that Mexico will pay for a blatant monument to anti-Mexican hostility defies all logic.

Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again

The three core principles of Donald J. Trump’s immigration plan


When politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties.


Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change.


Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

  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.
  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 Americans.


GOP frontrunner Donald Trump doubled down on his immigration plan with 60 Minutes’s Scott Pelley, who said Trump’s plan to deport roughly 11 million illegal immigrants isn’t practical. Trump said he will round up the illegal immigrants in a “humane way” and his plan is “practical” and “will work.”


Pelley asked Trump what he plans to do with the 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants that are in the country.


Trump answerd, “If they’ve done well, they’re going out and they’re coming back in legally.” Pelley interrupted, challenging, “You’re rounding them all up.”


Trump doubled down on his plan and told Pelley, “We’re rounding them up in a very humane way, in a very nice way. And they’re going to be happy because they want to be legalized. And, by the way, I know it doesn’t sound nice. But not everything is nice.”


Pelley challenged Trump, saying that his plan doesn’t seem practical.


“It is practical,” Trump responded. “It’s going to work.”