issues2000

Topics in the News: Illegal Immigrants


Jeb Bush on Immigration : Apr 6, 2014
Illegal immigration is act of love: different kind of crime

There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law. But the way I look at this--and I'm going to say this, and it'll be on tape and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally, they come to our country because their families--the dad who loved their children--was worried that their children didn't have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Fox News interview at George H. W. Bush Library

Marco Rubio on Immigration : Jan 8, 2014
Give kids of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates

Recent moves by key party figures suggest agreement on broad principles, but still no consensus about what specific policies Republicans should champion.

Gov. Chris Christie parted with many of his fellow Republicans by signing a Democratic-backed law that would allow immigrants in the state illegally to qualify for in-state tuition rates. Christie argued it was common sense for the government to help immigrant children obtain college educations in order to maximize its investment.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Los Angeles Times on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Peter King on Immigration : Sep 9, 2013
We must secure our borders; 700 mile fence on Mexican border

STOPPING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: Congressman King knows that we must secure our borders and stop illegal immigration. Pete sponsored the law to construct a 700 mile fence along the border with Mexico and supports hiring thousands more border patrol agents, utilizing the most advanced military technology and equipment at the border and imposing heavy fines and prison sentences for companies that hire illegal immigrants. Pete opposes amnesty for the illegal immigrants living in our country.
Click for Peter King on other issues.   Source: 2013 Senate campaign website, peteking.com, "Issues"

Rand Paul on Immigration : Mar 24, 2013
Legal status, but not citizenship, for illegal immigrants

Q: On immigration, you call your plan for creating a legal status--not citizenship, but a legal status--for the 11 million folks who are already here. But you oppose the E-verify system which would make it easier for employers to check whether their workers are legal or illegal. Why?

PAUL: Well, that's not the main part of my plan. The main part of my plan is trust but verify, that says we have to have border security. The amendment that I will add to the bipartisan plan will ensure that there is border security and that Congress gets to vote on that border security every year, in order for it to go forward. With regard to E-verify, it's not that I'm opposed to some sort of database check. For example, when you come into the country, I think the country should do a background check on you to find out if you are a felon or if there's a problem. So I'm not against any kind of checking, I just would prefer the government to be the policeman and not the businessman.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Immigration : Mar 18, 2013
We will find a place for illegal immigrants in America

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is endorsing a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants. In a speech, the potential 2016 presidential candidate declares, "If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you."

Paul's path to citizenship would come with conditions that could make it long and difficult for illegal immigrants. Chief among these, Congress would have to agree first that progress was being made on border security.

Paul's speech is peppered with Spanish phrases from his youth in Texas, references to his immigrant grandparents and praise for Latino culture. He says his party must adopt a new face toward Hispanics and says conservatives must be part of it. "Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution. I am here today to begin that conversation," Paul says. "Let's start that conversation by acknowledging we aren't going to deport" the millions already here, he says.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Associated Press in Los Angeles Times

Rand Paul on Immigration : Mar 18, 2013
Replace de facto amnesty with bipartisan reform

Paul would aim to secure the border before illegal immigrants could begin taking steps toward citizenship, as a necessary first step to get support from conservatives. Congress would also have to agree annually for 5 years that border security was progressing in order for the other reforms to keep moving forward. In year two of his plan, illegal immigrants would begin to be issued temporary work visas, and would have to wait in line behind those already in the system before moving forward toward citizenship. A bipartisan panel would determine the number of visas per year. High-tech visas would be expanded and a special visa for entrepreneurs would be issued.

Paul would not attempt to crack down on employers by expanding working verification systems, something he says is tantamount to "forcing businesses to become policemen."

"My plan will not grant amnesty or move anyone to the front of the line," Paul says. "But what we have now is de facto amnesty."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Associated Press in Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump on Immigration : Mar 15, 2013
Citizenship for illegal immigrants is a GOP suicide mission

Donald Trump said the Republican party will lose elections if it reforms the nation's entitlement programs and will hand Democrats 11 million votes if Congress grants citizenship to illegal immigrants, likening the reform efforts to a "suicide mission." "The fact is 11 million people will be voting Democratic. You can be out front. You can be the spearhead. You can do whatever you want to do, but every one of those 11 million people will be voting Democratic," he said. "It is just the way it works."

"You have to be very, very careful, because you could say that to a certain extent the odds aren't looking so great for Republicans, that you are on a suicide mission," he said. "You are just not going to get those votes."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Washington Times

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Mar 10, 2013
Path to citizenship or path to legalization: both could work

Q: Politico wrote about your book: "Bush takes a U-turn on pathway to citizenship." Did you change your view on this?

BUSH: My view has been that, in order to get comprehensive reform, we could take either path; either a path to citizenship or a path to legalization. The important point is that illegal immigrants should not get better benefits at a lower cost than people that have been waiting patiently. So assume we pass the law this year--and I hope that's the case--five years from now we should

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2013 series on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Mar 10, 2013
Reform must make it easier to come legally than illegally

Q: For years you supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Now, according to your book, you no longer support that, but support a path to legal residency. Why have you changed?

BUSH: I haven't changed. The book was written to try to create a blueprint for conservatives that were reluctant to embrace comprehensive reform, to give them, perhaps, a set of views that they could embrace. I support a path to legalization or citizenship so long as the path for people that have been waiting patiently is easier and costs less, the legal entrance to our country, than illegal entrance. The worst thing that we could do is to pass a set of laws and have the exact same problem we had in the late 1980s, where there was not the enforcement and it was easier to come legally than illegally.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Mar 5, 2013
Treat illegals with compassion but also rule of law

We need to treat those who have settled in our country illegally with compassion and sensitivity, yet without sacrificing the rule of law that is vital to our national fabric. The wholesale amnesty granted in the 1980s promoted the first of those values while abandoning the second, with the all-too-predictable result that millions more illegal immigrants came into the country.

This time, we need to vindicate both core values On one hand, we should try to put ourselves in the shoes of people who have entered the country illegally: they often faced impossible economic circumstances in their native countries, with a bleak future for themselves and their families, yet had no realistic process of immigrating lawfully to this country. On the other hand, allowing people to immigrate illegally without consequence while millions of others wait to enter through lawful means in manifestly unfair.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 40-41

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Mar 5, 2013
Path to legal resident status: pay fines & no criminals

It is in no one's interest for illegal immigrants and their families to live in the shadows. We need everyone to participate in the mainstream economy, to pay taxes, to participate openly in their communities, to be willing to report crimes-- that is to say, to be accountable, responsible members of society. That cannot occur when people fear they will be arrested if their immigration status is known.

We propose a path to permanent legal resident status for those who entered our country illegally as adults and who have committed no additional crimes of significance. The 1st step in obtaining that status would be to plead guilty to having committed the crime of illegal entry, and to receive an appropriate punishment consisting of fines and/or community service. Anyone who does not come forward under this process will be subject to automatic deportation, unless they choose to return voluntarily to their native countries.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 42-43

Marco Rubio on Immigration : Mar 5, 2013
Immigration is a human issue AND a law & order issue

Perhaps more than any other public policy issue, one's position on immigration often depends on one's encounters with immigrants. And certainly no public policy directly touches a greater number of lives than immigration. In a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials, Sen. Rubio made this point very eloquently:

"The people who are against illegal immigration and make that the core of their argument view it only as a law and order issue. But we know it's much more than that. Yes, it is a law & order issue, but it's also a human issue. These are real people. These are human beings who have children, and hopes, and dreams. These are people that are doing what virtually any of us would do if our children were hungry, if their countries were dangerous, if they had no hope for their future. And too often in our conversation about immigration that perspective is lost. Who among us would not do whatever it took to feed our children and provide for them a better future?"

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.146-147

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Mar 5, 2013
Illegals can't "wait in line"; there is no line to wait in

There is one reason above all others that we have millions of illegal immigrants: because there is no lawful avenue for them to enter the country. Unless they receive one of the small number of seasonal work visas or high-skilled worker visas, or unless they are a postsecondary student or a relative of lawful residents, there is simply no mechanism by which they can lawfully emigrate to the US. Saying "they should wait in line like everyone else" is hollow because there is no line in which to wait. The days in which people could lawfully emigrate to the US just because they wanted to pursue the American Dream are as much a memory as is Ellis Island. If we do not provide a lawful mechanism for immigration for such people, we can expect a continued flow of illegal immigration during good economic times, no matter how many fences we build or how many obstacles we place in their path.

Emphatically, the best solution to illegal immigration is a viable system of legal immigration.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.114-115

Barack Obama on Immigration : Mar 5, 2013
Since 2008, deported a record number of illegal immigrants

Obama alienated many Hispanics by breaking his 2008 campaign promise to lead the charge for comprehensive immigration reform and, especially, by deporting a record number of illegal immigrants. But [in 2012] Obama reversed course, announcing his policy to allow young people who were brought here illegally to remain. The policy was enormously popular, and it appeared to demonstrate presidential leadership, energize Hispanic voters, and paint Republicans into a corner from which they could not escape.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.202

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Mar 5, 2013
OpEd: Far right immigration policy lost Hispanic vote

By sharply criticizing Texas governor Rick Perry for his in-state tuition program for certain children of illegal immigrants, and by making his leading immigration adviser a prominent proponent of "self-deportation," Mitt Romney moved so far to the right on immigration issues that it proved all but impossible for him to appeal to Hispanic voters in the general election. However little or much anti-immigration rhetoric counts in Republican primaries, it surely succeeds in alienating Hispanic voters come the general election. Although Romney eventually called for comprehensive immigration reform, a platform that hardened the party's stance on immigration hung like an anvil around his candidacy.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.201

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Mar 5, 2013
6-part proposal for comprehensive immigration reform

    A Proposal for Immigration Reform
  1. Fundamental Reform: Comprehensive interrelated approach because system as a whole is broken, and to achieve bipartisan consensus.
  2. A Demand-Driven Immigration System: Replace overriding preference for family reunification with work-based immigration.
  3. An Increased Role for the States: Share federal authority over immigration policy [such as] social services and providing benefits.
  4. Dealing With Current Illegal Immigrants: We propose a path to permanent legal resident status for those who plead guilty to having entered our country illegally as adults and who have committed no additional crimes of significance.
  5. Border Security: Broader immigration reform is an essential component of border security; we can't do one without the other.
  6. Toward a More Vibrant Future: Getting immigration policy right will allow us to reclaim the prosperity that in recent years has eluded our grasp.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush,p. 12-62

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Oct 16, 2012
Obama said he'd reform our immigration system but he didn't

When Obama ran for office, he said that he'd put in place, in his first year, he'd file a bill in his first year that would reform our immigration system, protect legal immigration, stop illegal immigration. He didn't do it. He had a Democrat House, a Democrat Senate, supermajority in both Houses. Why did he fail to even promote legislation that would have provided an answer for those that want to come legally and for those that are here illegally today?
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate

Ted Cruz on Immigration : Oct 2, 2012
No path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas

When discussing what to do about the 1.65 million illegal immigrants living in Texas, Cruz weaved into the Second Amendment, alleging his opponent didn't support gun rights. "What does this have to do with the question?" Sadler asked before fiercely denying his opponent's allegation. Cruz again said he didn't support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in America, while Sadler said the opposite, as expected.
Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate

Barack Obama on Immigration : Sep 19, 2012
Focus deportations on criminals and those without US roots

Q: You have been the President who has made the largest number of deportations in history--more than 1.5 million so far. Since you've granted deferred action [for students], would you consider doing something similar to other groups of non-criminal illegal immigrants such as the parents of US-born children?

A: We focus our enforcement on people who genuinely pose a threat to our communities, not to hardworking families who are minding their own business and oftentimes have members of their family who are US citizens. We don't have the capacity to enforce across the board. So more than half of our enforcement now is directed at people with criminal records. Of the remaining half, about 2/3 are people who are apprehended close to the border, so these are not people who have longstanding roots in our community. And what we've tried to do then is focus our attention on real threats, and make sure that families are not the targets.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama-Romney interviews by Univision Noticias (Spanish News)

Paul Ryan on Immigration : Aug 11, 2012
Demand enforcement of immigration laws, without amnesty

It is abundantly clear that our immigration system is broken, and Congress' efforts to reform our broken system have failed. I have supported past efforts to strengthen our immigration laws and demanded enforcement of them, opposing any proposals that include amnesty for those that have violated our laws. We need solutions that preserve the rule of law and do not reward illegal behavior. Illegal immigration, which is a direct result of this flawed system, is an affront to the rule of law and an unacceptable security risk
Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues"

Ted Cruz on Immigration : Jun 22, 2012
Give police more power to ask about immigration status

Cruz accused Dewhurst of using his position as head of the Texas Senate to kill a bill last year that would have given police more power to ask anyone they detain about their citizenship status--a charge Dewhurst denied.

Both agreed that the US has failed to secure its border with Mexico, and said they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and the Obama administration's new directive allowing many young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children to be exempted from deportation.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Jun 19, 2012
High-tech fence for 2,000 miles on Mexican border

Strategists generally agree that to win the White House a Republican nominee needs to secure 40% of the Latino vote, the portion George W. Bush won in 2004. 4 years later Republican John McCain got only 33% when he lost to Democrat Barack Obama.

But for Republicans seeking their party's nomination, the calculation can be different: it is more important to gain white working-class votes by staking out the position of being the toughest candidate on illegal immigrants than it is to court the ascending bloc of Latinos, whose influence registers mainly in the general election. So in the 2012 primary the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney promoted the idea of a high-tech fence stretching the entire length of the US-Mexico border, nearly 2,000 miles long.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.221

Nikki Haley on Immigration : Apr 3, 2012
Audit businesses to see if using E-Verify

We already had a strong anti-illegal immigration bill when I became governor. All I wanted to do was enforce it. Our law required businesses to prove they weren't hiring illegal aliens by using, among other methods, a federal database called E-Verify.

The problem is, for E-Verify to work government has to know whether employers are actually using it. Obama's Department of Homeland Security told us we could no longer audit businesses to check if they were using E-Verify. The privacy of the people being checked, they said, would be compromised if we asked for proof from businesses. Out of the more than 6,000 businesses they had checked, over 2,000 violations had been found. But no more. Now the federal government was saying that we couldn't use the best and most efficient means we had to enforce our law.

My goal wasn't to overburden employers with rules and regulations. I just wanted to use the easiest and least costly way, to ensure we weren't employing illegals, and that was E-Verify.

Click for Nikki Haley on other issues.   Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.211-212

Nikki Haley on Immigration : Apr 3, 2012
It's not a racial issue; it's about the rule of law

Pro-illegal immigration groups and, quite frankly, the Obama administration constantly want to make illegal immigration a racial issue. They say those who want to crack down on illegal immigration are being insensitive to minorities. They say they're shocked to see me, a minority governor, doing such a thing. They could not be more wrong, about me and about illegal immigration.

I am the proud daughter of legal immigrants--emphasis on the LEGAL. My parents played by the rules and waited their turn. They are offended--as I am--by those who try to backdoor the system and come here illegally. When we allow this debate to be about race, we lose sight of the principle that is really at the heart of it: the rule of law. We are a nation of immigrants, and we're proud of it. But we are first and foremost a nation of laws. If we give up being a nation of laws, we give up everything this country was founded on.

Click for Nikki Haley on other issues.   Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.213

Ted Cruz on Immigration : Mar 29, 2012
Triple the size of the Border Patrol

Cruz on immigration: Wants to triple size of Border Patrol. Says Dewhurst supported in-state tuition for kids of illegal immigrants.

Dewhurst: I have always been against an amnesty program. "If they want to be a citizen, they ought to go home and reapply."

Dewhurst says he was against tuition for children of illegal immigrants.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate

Condoleezza Rice on Immigration : Feb 13, 2012
Most illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the US

On the AmericansElect.org immigration question, Dr. Rice chose 'B' from the list below, with a relative weighting of 15%:
Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: AmericansElect email questionnaire with Condi Rice's staff

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Jan 26, 2012
Enforce employment laws; illegal immigrants will self-deport

Q: [to Gingrich]:We heard from Gov. Romney, that self-deportation, or illegal immigrants leaving the country voluntarily, is a possible solution. You've suggested that self-deportation is "an Obama level fantasy."

GINGRICH: I actually agree that self-deportation will occur if you're single. I would just suggest that grandmothers or grandfathers aren't likely to self-deport.

ROMNEY: Those who come into the country legally would be given an identification card, and if employers hire someone without a card, then those employers would be severely sanctioned. If you do that, people who have come here illegally won't be able to find work. And over time, those people would tend to leave the country, or self-deport. I don't think anyone is interested in going around and rounding up people around the country and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants into America. Let's focus our attention on how to make legal immigration work and stop illegal immigration.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary

Ben Carson on Immigration : Jan 24, 2012
Deportation is moral low road; create guest worker program

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.

Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.102

Newt Gingrich on Immigration : Nov 22, 2011
Review all illegal aliens & if you have no ties, go home

Q: Back in the '80s, you voted for legislation that had a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Some called it amnesty then; they still call it amnesty now. What would you do if you were President, with these millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom have been in this country for a long time?

GINGRICH: Let me start and just say I think that we ought to have an H-1 visa that goes with every graduate degree in math, science and engineering so that people stay here. I did vote for the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. I believe ultimately you have to find some system that reviews the people who are here. If you've come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home. If you've been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you've been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don't think we're going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 CNN National Security GOP primary debate

Gary Johnson on Immigration : Nov 15, 2011
2 year grace period for illegals to get work visas

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2012 presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com

Gary Johnson on Immigration : Nov 15, 2011
1 strike & you're out for legal immigrants who violate terms

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2012 presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com

Gary Johnson on Immigration : Nov 15, 2011
Let some, but not all, illegal immigrants stay in US

OnTheIssues indicates that Gov. Johnson is open to all illegals being able to stay in the United States. The Governor is only open to some of the illegals being able to stay in the United States. The Governor supports a 2 year grace period for illegals to get work visas, after which those without work visas would be deported. He also believes in a "1 strike and you're out policy" for legal immigrants who violate the terms of their stay in the United States.
Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Email interview on presidential race with OnTheIssues.org

Barack Obama on Immigration : Oct 11, 2011
Arizona's S.B.1070 creates misguided patchwork system

Obama said that Arizona's SB1070 undermined "basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans," and he considered it too important to ignore. He decided to meet with Brewer in person at the White House.

The president disagreed with the governor so completely on illegal immigration that he even disputed her facts. The immigration crisis had not become worse, he believed; it had actually improved. The number of illegal immigrants had dropped from 12 million to 11 million in the last three years. Obama had tripled the number of intelligence analysts on the border and committed 1,200 National Guard troops to the cause. Deportations had increased under his watch.

Brewer met with Obama in the Oval Office. Obama said that state immigration laws such as SB1070 would create a "patchwork system" and undercut overarching federal regulations.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in district court, asking a judge to declare SB1070 "invalid" and insisting that it "be struck down."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Ten Letters, by Eli Saslow, p.151-153

Rick Perry on Immigration : Sep 22, 2011
A 2000-mile fence makes no sense; need boots on the ground

Q: You say that Gov. Perry's opposition to building a border along the entire fence shows that he is a "big government moderate."

SANTORUM: Yes, I would say that he is soft on illegal immigration. I think the fact that he doesn't want to build a fence --in 2001 he talked about buying national health insurance between Mexico and Texas. I mean, I don't even think Barack Obama would be for buying national health insurance. So I think he's very weak on this issue of American sovereignty and protecting our borders and not being a magnet for illegal immigration, yes.

PERRY: The idea that you are going to build a wall, a fence for 1,200 miles, and then go 800 miles more to Tijuana, does not make sense. You put the boots on the ground. We know how to make this work. You put the boots on the ground; you put the aviation assets in the ground.

SANTORUM: But putting the assets--it's not working, Governor.

PERRY: No, it's not working because the federal government has not engaged in this at all.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL

Rick Perry on Immigration : Sep 12, 2011
Discounted in-state tuition regardless of immigration status

SANTORUM: Gov. Perry provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

PERRY: If you've been in Texas for 3 years, if you're working towards your college degree, and if you are working and pursuing citizenship, you pay in-state tuition there. And the bottom line is it doesn't make any difference what the sound of your last name is. That is the American way. No matter how you got into that state, from the standpoint of your parents brought you there or what have you. I'm proud that we are having those individuals be contributing members of our society rather than telling them, you go be on the government dole.

Q: Is that basically the DREAM Act?

PERRY: I'm not for the DREAM Act that they are talking about in D.C.; that is amnesty. What we did in the state of Texas was clearly a states right issue. We were clearly sending a message to young people, that we believe in you. That if you want to live in Texas, that we're going to allow you the opportunity to be contributing members.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Sep 7, 2011
Build 2,600-mile fence with enough guards to secure it

Q: What would you consider enough to be able to declare the border safe?

A: Well, first, we ought to have a fence.

Q: The whole fence, 2,600 miles?

A: Yes. We've got to have a fence, or the technologically approved system to make sure that we know who's coming into the country, number one. Number two, we ought to have enough agents to secure that fence and to make sure that people are coming over are caught. But the third thing [is to address employers attracting illegal immigrants].

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library

Newt Gingrich on Immigration : Aug 11, 2011
Citizen Boards to decide which immigrants stay and go

Q: You're looking at the idea of having citizen boards choose which illegal immigrants can stay in the country and which would have to go. Who decides the memberships of these boards, and how would they work?

A: I think it's very important to go back and look at how the Selective Service Commission worked in World War II, because it was local, practical decision-making, and people genuinely thought it was fair and it was reasonable.

Q: What about Pres. Obama's joke about protecting the borders wit alligators and a moat?

A: That was the perfect symbol of his failure as a leader. He failed to get any immigration reform through when he controlled the Senate. He could ram through Obamacare, but he couldn't deal with immigration. I would be prepared to take as many people from Homeland Security's bureaucracy in Washington and move them to Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, as are needed, to control the border. And we should have English as the official language of government.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa

Jon Huntsman on Immigration : Aug 11, 2011
End patchwork of state laws & just secure the border

Q: You said that we need to build a fence to secure our borders, but then we need to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already here in the country. You said, "There's got to be an alternative to sending them back. That's unrealistic." Are you proposing citizenship for illegal aliens?

A: The thing we need to do most on illegal immigration--because there has been zero leadership in Washington., we've created this patchwork of solutions in the states, which makes for a very complex & confusing environment. When elected president, I'm simply going to prove to the American people that we can secure the border. That's what they want done. And I'm not going to talk about anything else until we get it done. We can finish. And I will talk to the fou border state governors and get verification from them that, in fact, we've secured the border. And once that is done, then we can move on. But this discussion has zero in the way of any intellectual credibility until such time as we secure the border.

Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa

Jon Huntsman on Immigration : May 29, 2011
Vetoed repeal of college tuition for illegal immigrants

On social issues, Huntsman the governor backed bills providing civil rights protections to gays and lesbians, and threatened to veto a measure repealing in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants.

Neither measure passed the Legislature during his time in office; the tuition law was passed two years before he came into office, and civil unions have never been seriously debated.

Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post, "Jon Huntsman Record"

Barack Obama on Immigration : Jan 25, 2011
Stop expelling talented undocumented workers

I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. And I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2011 State of the Union speech

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Jan 11, 2011
Education reform more critical than immigration reform

The export of knowledge-driven industry is a far greater threat to our prosperity than illegal immigration, which seems to dominate the news and political discourse. Without a pipeline of homegrown talent to fuel growth, the lure of cheaper labor, lower operating costs, and less government regulation outside the U.S. will be difficult to overcome.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Mike Thomas Blog, Orlando Sentinel

Bobby Jindal on Immigration : Nov 15, 2010
Mexico is effectively exporting its unemployment to us

Our southern border is the only place in the world where a highly developed country shares a long border with a developing country. Unable to produce enough jobs for its roughly 100 million residents, Mexico is effectively exporting its unemployment to us. The income gap between the US & Mexico is the largest between any two contiguous countries in the world. This dichotomy has created the current immigration crisis, with an estimated 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants now residing in America.
Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: Leadership and Crisis, by Bobby Jindal, p.133

Rick Perry on Immigration : Nov 15, 2010
Illegal immigration cost TX $928M in one year

A 2006 report by the Texas comptroller's office estimated the budgetary impacts of illegal immigration in Texas. The report found that approximately 135,000 undocumented students in Texas public schools cost the state $957 million in just the 2004-2005 school year. The comptroller's report cited incarceration and uncompensated health care as the two largest costs associated with illegal immigrants to local government entities in Texas. These two items costs local government $1.44 billion over a one-year period.

Of course, those living in Texas illegally also provide income to the state because of increased economic activity, sales tax, and property taxes (either directly or through rent subsidizing the property owner). But adding the estimated revenues and costs to both the state and local governments, Texas taxpayers were out $928 million in 2005.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.121

Jeb Bush on Immigration : Apr 28, 2010
Pray for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, not AZ law

Jeb Bush and his gang are interested in the type of reform his brother pushed that includes tighter borders and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the nation. Here's what we received:

Jeb Bush, Conservative Leaders Call on Congress, President to Act on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Hundreds of conservative grassroots advocates will join a nationwide strategy call with key business and Evangelical leaders to share convictions around the need for immigration reform this year and discuss plans for moving the issue forward.

Conservative leaders will provide an update on the fallout from last week's passage of Arizona's divisive immigration law and pray for a solution to the moral, economic & political crisis caused by our broken immigration system. Speakers will also share strategies for breaking the stalemate in Congress to move immigration reform this year.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Paul Bedard in US News and World Report, "Jeb Leads Fight"

Marco Rubio on Immigration : Apr 7, 2010
Don't count illegal immigrants in the 2010 census

Rubio may have the experts on his side but there are political risks in Florida, just as there were when he disagreed with Crist and said illegal immigrants should not be counted in the 2010 census. That stance could cost the state millions in federal aid to cover services.
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: St. Petersburg Times on 2010 Florida Senate debate

Marco Rubio on Immigration : Mar 28, 2010
No amnesty in any form, not even back-of-the-line

The Republican Party, unfortunately, has been cast as the anti-illegal immigration party. It is not the anti-illegal immigration party. It is the pro-legal immigration party.

Having a legal immigration system that works begins with border security. That's not enough; about 1/3 of the folks in this country illegally enter legally & they overstay visas. So we've got to deal with that issue as well.

We've got to deal with the employment aspect of it, because the vast majority of people who enter thi country illegally do so in search of jobs, and jobs are being provided to them. So we need some level of verification system so that employers are required to verify the employment status of their folks.

As far as amnesty, that's where the governor and I disagree. He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong. If you grant amnesty, in any form, whether it's back of the line or so forth, you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate

Marco Rubio on Immigration : Feb 3, 2010
Oppose amnesty in any reform

Legal immigration has been a great source of strength and prosperity for America, but I believe illegal immigration threatens the foundation of this system. If I had been in the Senate at the time, I would have opposed the McCain-Kennedy bill. I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing the border, fixing the visa and entry process and opposing amnesty in any reform.
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.marcorubio.com, "Issues"

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Jan 11, 2010
2007: Focus on comprehensive reform, not driver's licenses

[At the Drexel U. debate on Oct. 30, 2007, Hillary was asked if] she supported the idea of giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, as NY's Gov. Eliot Spitzer had proposed.

Clinton said she sympathized with Spitzer, then pivoted to stress the need for comprehensive immigration reform. But when Dodd declared his opposition to the plan, Clinton jumped back in: "I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Gov. Spitzer is trying to do it."

"Wait a minute!" interjected Dodd. "You said yes, you thought it made sense to do it." The moderator asked Clinton to clarify her position: Did she support Spitzer's plan or not?

Clinton said, "What is the governor supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problem. We have failed and George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the right thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? He's making an honest effort to do it."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.147-148

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Jan 11, 2010
Allow driver's licenses for illegals until we get reform

The moderator asked Clinton to clarify her position: Did she support Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan or not, of giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants? Clinton said, "Do I think this is the right thing for any governor to do? No. But I certainly recognize why Gov. Spitzer is trying to do it."

Edwards wouldn't let go. "Unless I missed something, Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes," he noted, "and I think this is a real issue for the country."

"I was confused on Senator Clinton's answer," Obama said with a smirk. "I can't tell whether she was for it or against it." Clinton exited the stage both bloodied and bowed.

The next day, Clinton's people made an even bigger mess. A statement was issued that simply reformulated her muddled position from the night before. Then her press shop clarified the clarification, saying Clinton backed "the basic concept" of giving driver's licenses to illegals absent immigration reform.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.148

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Aug 4, 2009
NY licenses for illegals fills federal gap

The October 2007 debate turned to a plan by NY Governor Eliot Spitzer to make illegal immigrants eligible for driver's licenses. "What Gov. Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform," Clinton said. "In NY we have several million at any one time who are in NY illegally. They are undocumented workers. They are driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It's probability. Gov. Spitzer is trying to fill the vacuum. We need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform."

The moderator asked the others onstage whether anyone opposed the idea. Clinton reentered the conversation. "Well, I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Gov. Spitzer is trying."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p. 97-99

Sarah Palin on Immigration : Oct 26, 2008
Supports a path to citizenship, but no amnesty for illegals

Q: Should undocumented immigrants all be deported?

A: There is no way that in the US we would roundup every illegal immigrant--there are about 12 million of the illegal immigrants--not only economically is that just an impossibility but that's not a humane way anyway to deal with the issue.

Q: Do you then favor an amnesty for the 12 million undocumented immigrants?

A: No, I do not. Not total amnesty. You know, people have got to follow the rules. We have got to make sure that there is equal opportunity and those who are here legally should be first in line for services being provided and those opportunities that this great country provides.

Q: So you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

A: I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Univision Interview with Sarah Palin, by Jorge Ramos

Sarah Palin on Immigration : Aug 29, 2008
Has not often expressed views on illegal immigration

Immigration: Being that her state only borders Canada and is thousands of miles from the Mexican border, Palin has not often expressed her views publicly on illegal immigration.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: WMTW TV-8 Portland Maine, ABC affiliate

Barack Obama on Principles & Values : Aug 1, 2008
Borrowed "Yes, we can" slogan from Cesar Chavez 1960s UFW

An example of Obama's borrowing is his use of the catchy "S¡, se puede," which translates into English as "Yes, we can." This slogan traces back to Cesar Chavez and his efforts to organize Hispanic farm workers in the United Farm Workers in the 1960s. "S¡, se puede" more recently became a slogan widely used by the pro-illegal immigration forces in the May Day rallies launched in major cities across the United States over the past few years.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.229-230

Barack Obama on Immigration : Jul 1, 2008
Crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants

Obama wants to remove incentives for illegals to enter the country by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. Obama has championed a proposal to create a system so employers can verify that their employees are legally eligible to work in the US.

Obama believes the time to fix our broken immigration system is now. He is in favor of stronger enforcement at the border and at the workplace. He has properly identified the magnitude of the problem, and said that the undocumented population is exploding. Obama recognizes that immigration raids are ineffective, netting only 3,600 arrests in 2006.

Obama's priority is to stop the current wave of illegal immigration into the United States, and then deal compassionately and fairly with the illegal immigrants who re already living here. If the flood of new immigrants can be slowed considerably, Obama believes that those currently living here, over time, can be effectively absorbed into the population and the economy.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obamanomics, by John R. Talbott, p.120-121

Jesse Ventura on Immigration : Apr 1, 2008
Great Wall of China failed; so will the Great Wall of the US

I went to China on a trade mission, and climbed the Great Wall of Beijing. Which had sparked my contemplating the "great wall" that the US is planning to build between us and Mexico, as a supposed answer to illegal immigration. By the end of '08, about 670 miles are supposed to be completed along our southwestern border. Why is it we don't see that if you don't learn from history you're destined to repeat it? The Great Wall of China did not work. The most formidable barrier ever built by mankind-- and it failed! In 1644, the Chinese were overrun and now the Great Wall is nothing but a tourist attraction. At least their Great Wall is an architectural wonder that people built by hand, all day long, many of them living and dying there. So I hope they end up making our "great wall" tourist friendly. I tell Terry that, when it gets built, I'm gonna find where it's on public land and I'm gonna cross it into Mexico, in protest. I don't want my country to be East Berlin.
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 88

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Feb 11, 2008
Don’t turn local police into immigration enforcers

Q: Here in Virginia, a local board tried to crack down on illegal immigration, by saying that the police should check on legal status when they pull someone over in the car. Is that a good idea?

A: I think it’s really sad that individual communities are trying to cope with our broken immigration system. It should not be the responsibility of a municipality or county. This has to be fixed at the federal level. There are lots of strong arguments against turning local police officers into immigration enforcement officials. It has to do with making sure people will report crimes, making sure people will go to the police when there’s a problem. That’s a matter of public safety. It doesn’t always only affect the immigrant community, it affects all of us. So I far prefer that we try to do what needs to be done on comprehensive immigration reform and I have spoken, you know, very forthrightly about what I would do.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Feb 5, 2008
GovWatch: 2005: Called comprehensive reform “reasonable”

Top Romney Flip Flops: #5. Immigration:

In a November 2005 interview with the Boston Globe, he described immigration reform proposal advanced by McCain as “reasonable.” He now denounces it as an “amnesty plan.” In December 2006, he signed agreement authorizing state troopers to round up illegal immigrants.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: GovWatch on 2008 campaign: “Top Ten Flip-Flops”

Barack Obama on Immigration : Jan 31, 2008
Support the DREAM Act for the children of illegal immigrants

Q: You said, “I stood up for a humane and intelligent immigration policy in a way that, frankly, none of my other opponents did.” What did you mean by that?

A: What I meant was that, when this issue came up--not driver’s licenses, but comprehensive immigration reform generally--I worked with Kennedy, Durbin, & McCain. It’s a hard political issue. This is not an issue that polls well. But it is the right thing to do. We have to show leadership on the issue. The problems that workers are experiencing generally are not primarily caused by immigration. There is what I said was that we have to stand up for these issues when it’s tough, and that’s what I’ve done. I did it when I was in the state legislature, sponsoring the Illinois version of the DREAM Act, so that children who were brought here through no fault of their own are able to go to college, because we actually want well-educated kids in our country who are able to succeed and become part of this economy and part of the American dream.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Jan 31, 2008
Deporting all illegal immigrants is unrealistic

People are nervous about immigration, and for the reasons that the economy isn’t working for people. The average American family has lost $1,000 in income. They’re looking for some explanation as to why this is happening. I ask them, well, what would you do? If you want to round up into four people, how many tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officials would that take?“ How much authority would they have to be given to knock on every door of every business and every home?
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Jan 31, 2008
Illegal immigrants with driver’s licenses puts them at risk

Q: Why not let the illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses?

A: I do not think that it is either appropriate to give a driver’s license to someone who is here undocumented, putting them, frankly, at risk, because that is clear evidence that they are not here legally, and I believe it is a diversion from what should be the focus at creating a political coalition with the courage to stand up and change the immigration system.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday

Mike Huckabee on Immigration : Jan 30, 2008
Illegal immigrants must go home and start over

The people who are here would have to go to the back of the line and start over. It’s not to be cruel. It’s to make that everybody living in our boundaries lives in the light, not the darkness, and doesn’t run and hide every time they see a police car. We owe it not just to the people who have waited in line a long time, but also those who do want to live and work here, and create a system that is legal, that makes sense and actually protects our borders but protects the dignity & worth of every person
Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley

Mike Huckabee on Immigration : Jan 30, 2008
Build a border fence within 18 months of taking office

Q: In order to curb illegal immigration, do you support making changes in the law that would give citizenship only to children who are born to parents who are legally in this country at the time the child is born?

A: The Supreme Court has already ruled on that. The real issue is, that doesn’t fix the problem. What we’ve got to do is to have a secure border fence, something I have proposed that we do within 18 months of taking office. If we don’t have a secure fence and have just this open door that people can come in and out at will, we’re never going to deal with this issue effectively and responsibly. And today, many Americans are angry not that people want to come here -- and I’m going to say it again -- people in this country are grateful to God they’re in a land that people are trying to break into and not one they’re trying to break out of. So it’s not that we’re building a fence so we can keep our people in or keep people out, but that people who do come here would have to come legally.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Jan 30, 2008
Deport illegal immigrants in 90 days under the ideal setting

Q: You said that for a lot of illegal immigrants who are here, under your plan, we could deport many of them within 90 days. How could we do it that quickly?

A: My plan is this, which is for those that have come here illegally and are here illegally today, no amnesty. Now, how do people return home? Under the ideal setting, at least in my view, you say to those who have just come in recently, we’re going to send you back home immediately, we’re not going to let you stay here. You just go back home. For those that have been here, let’s say, five years, and have kids in school, you allow kids to complete the school year, you allow people to make their arrangements, and allow them to return back home. Those that have been here a long time, with kids that have responsibilities here and so forth, you let stay enough time to organize their affairs and go home.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley

Barack Obama on Immigration : Jan 21, 2008
Health plan: not enough resources for illegal immigrants

Q: Does your health care plan cover the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants?

A: It does not. We’ve got limited resources. When we’ve got millions of citizens that aren’t yet covered, it’s important for us to make sure that they are provided coverag We have an obligation to make sure that children are covered. The only way we’re going to be able to overcome the insurance companies, & the drug companies, & the HMOs who are profiting from the current system is if we are having all these negotiations in a public setting, we are very clear about who’s carrying water for the drug companies and the insurance companies, and who is looking out for the families who are struggling. Those who have health care are looking at such high premiums that effectivel it’s not really health insurance, it’s house insurance. They’re paying premiums, in case they get hit by a car, they don’t lose their home. But they never go to a doctor. We’ve got to have the American people clear about the choices that we face.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Dec 16, 2007
Illegal immigrants should go home eventually

Q: Should illegal immigrants be sent home?

A: They should go home eventually. They should have a set period during which they sign up for permanent residency or for citizenship. But there’s a set period where upon they should return home. And if they’ve been approved for citizenship or for a permanent residency, well, it would be a different matter. But for the great majority, they’ll be going home.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series

Mitt Romney on Government Reform : Dec 12, 2007
Focus on global Jihad, immigration, tax cut, and healthcare

I want to establish a strategy to help us overwhelm global Jihad and keep the world safe. I want to end illegal immigration. I want to end the expansion of entitlements, rein them in. I want to end the extraordinary growth in federal spending and keep our tax burden down and reduce our tax burden on middle-income families. I want to get us on a track to become energy-independent. I want to get our schools on a track so they can become competitive globally, and get health insurance for every citizen.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate

Barack Obama on Immigration : Dec 4, 2007
Don’t deputize Americans to turn in illegal immigrants

Q: Would you expect Americans to turn in illegal immigrants when they come across them?

A: We do not deputize the American people to do the job that the federal government is supposed to do. So as president, I will make sure that the federal government does what it’s supposed to do, which is to do a better job of closing our borders, have much tougher enforcement standards when it comes to employers, and create a pathway of citizenship for the 12 million people who are already here.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic radio debate on NPR

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Dec 1, 2007
Crack down on employers who exploit undocumented workers

Q: Would you help dispel the negative perception of illegal immigrants & undocumented workers that more and more Americans are beginning to have?

A: I deeply regret the way the Republicans are politicizing this issue. They are trying to outdo each other in basically demeaning and attacking those who are here in our country--yes, without documentation--but who are often doing the work that allows raising their families and making a contribution. The answer is comprehensive immigration reform. We have to keep working towards it. Yes, we’ve got to have tougher border security. We do have to crack down on employers who exploit and employee undocumented people. We’ve got to do more to help local communities bear the costs of it. Because they don’t set immigration laws. We’ve got to do more with our neighbors to the south to help them create more economic opportunity for their own people but at the end of the day there has to be an earned path to legalization.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum

Mike Huckabee on Immigration : Nov 28, 2007
FactCheck: AR college bill accepted illegals after 3 years

Huckabee ran afoul of the facts when defending his failed proposal to make children of illegal immigrants eligible for state college scholarships. Huckabee said eligibility required that “you’d sat in our schools from the time you’re 5 or 6 years old and you had become an A-plus student, you completed the core curriculum, you were an exceptional student, and you also had to be drug and alcohol free, and you had to be applying for citizenship.

Actually, the bill Huckabee pushed for in 2005 required only three years in an Arkansas high school to be eligible. And students did not have to be “applying for citizenship,” but rather they had to sign an affidavit stating their intent to do so in the future. All students who apply for state scholarships must “certify that they are drug-free” and “pledge to refrain from alcohol” if they are under 21, just as Huckabee said. But they don’t have to be “an A-plus student”--the state requires a solid “B” average. The bill failed two votes short of passage.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP YouTube debate

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Nov 28, 2007
Illegal immigrants shouldn’t get tuition break in schools

Q: [With regards to how MA under your governership allowed sanctuary cities], will you continue to aid illegal aliens?

A: Let me tell you what I did as governor. I said no to driver’s licenses for illegals. I said, number two, we’re going to make sure that those that come here don’t get a tuition break in our schools, which I disagree with other folks on that one. Number three, I applied to have our state police enforce the immigration laws in May, seven months before I was out of office.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Nov 28, 2007
FactCheck: Illegals employed at his home, but by contractor

Giuliani & Romney both stretched the facts when Giuliani accused Romney of employing illegal aliens at his home. Giuliani said, “At his own home illegal immigrants were being employed. So I would say he had sanctuary mansion, not just sanctuary city.” When asked if he did have illegal immigrants working at his mansion, Romney replied, “No, I did not.”

The fact is, as reported by the Boston Globe in 2006, several illegals worked at Romney’s home in Belmont MA, off and on over a period of eight years, sometimes working 11-hour days. They were, however, employed by a contractor, and not directly by Romney. So, Giuliani was technically correct to say that “illegal immigrants were being employed,” since he used the passive voice and didn’t specify who did the employing. Romney could also argue that he was technically correct to say “I did not” have illegals working, since he didn’t employ them directly.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP YouTube debate

Mike Huckabee on Immigration : Nov 25, 2007
Punish people who break the law; but not their children

Q: Did you support tuition breaks for children of illegal immigrants in Arkansas?

A: It wasn’t a break. What I supported, and I still do, was the idea that you don’t punish a child for the crime of a parent. I still don’t believe that. I don’t believe that this country has reduced itself to the point that when a parent commits a crime and breaks the law, that you grind your heel in the face of 6-year-old. What I did support was when a child had been in our schools all his or her academic career and wanted to go to college, if that student would apply for citizenship, then they would be able to go to college. It was a meritorious scholarship. Quite frankly, I would rather have them college-educated, I’d have those folks become citizens, college-educated, paying taxes, rather than being in a position where their income was so low they ended up becoming tax-takers. We punish people who break the law. We don’t punish the children of those who break the law.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer

Barack Obama on Immigration : Nov 15, 2007
Support granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants

Q: In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, do you support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants?

A: Yes. I am going to be fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, and we shouldn’t pose the question that, somehow, we can’t achieve that. The American people desperately want it; that’s what I’m going to be fighting for as president.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Nov 15, 2007
Oppose granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants

Q: In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, do you support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants?

A: No.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada

Joe Biden on Immigration : Nov 15, 2007
Oppose granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants

Q: In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, do you support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants?

A: No.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Nov 9, 2007
AdWatch: No driver’s license & in-state tuition for illegals

[Romney’s TV ad airing Nov. 1 in Iowa and New Hampshire]:

ROMNEY: We all know Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have it wrong on illegal immigration. Our party should not make that mistake.

As Governor, I authorized the State Police to enforce immigration laws. I opposed driver’s licenses & in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

As president, I’ll oppose amnesty, cut funding for sanctuary cities and secure our borders.

Legal immigration is great, but illegal immigration--that’s got to stop

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Immigration”

Barack Obama on Immigration : Oct 30, 2007
Illegal immigrants’ lack of ID is a public safety concern

There is a public safety concern [with denying driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants]. We can make sure that drivers who are illegal come out of the shadows, that they can be tracked, that they are properly trained, and that will make our roads safer. That doesn’t negate the need for us to reform illegal immigration.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Oct 30, 2007
FactCheck: Denied saying licensing illegals “made sense”

Hillary bobbed and weaved on whether illegal immigrants should be granted driver’s licenses, avoiding a yes-or-no answer but denying her own words in the process. When asked about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to grant state driver’s licenses to immigrants who are in the US without legal permission, this exchange occurred:
CLINTON: I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it.

DODD: Wait a minute. You said yes, you thought it made sense to do it.

CLINTON: No, I didn’t. But the point is, what are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants who are driving?

Actually, we checked the video, and Clinton did tell the Nashua Telegraph on Oct. 17 that Spitzer’s plan “makes a lot of sense,” despite her denial to Dodd. During the debate, Clinton repeatedly said immigration should be dealt with nationally, not on a state-by-state basis. But after a long exchange she still hadn’t answered the question.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: FactCheck on 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Mike Huckabee on Immigration : Sep 27, 2007
Focus on demand: penalize employers of illegal immigrants

I don’t believe the average American resents that people want to come here. We ought to thank God that we still live in a country that people are trying to break into, not one they’re trying to break out of. But you’ve got to have a secure border because otherwise our borders are not only open to illegal immigrants, but to somebody bringing a suitcase with a dirty bomb.

But, more importantly, if we’re going to deal with the supply, you touch it at the point of the demand. And until something is done to touch the people who are employing illegal immigrants, to create what amounts to another version of slave labor, then we’re never going to stop the flow.

You’re not going to get illegals to admit that they’re here illegally, because they’re desperate. What we have to do is to start putting the penalty on the people who are most benefiting from them, the employers who are using those laborers in order to keep from having to pay decent wages.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University

Mike Huckabee on Immigration : Sep 5, 2007
Some anti-immigration advocates are based on racism

Q: Two years ago, as governor of Arkansas, you said legislation that was then before the state legislature to crack down on illegal immigration was “inflammatory and race-baiting.” Last year, you said this about opposition to immigration reform that was then in Congress: “If I were to say some of it is driven by sheer racism, I think I would be telling you the truth.” Why do you feel some of them are racist?

A: Well, first of all, because I’ve listened to some of them. And it’s not the concern that people are coming here for opportunities or even that they’re illegal. Look, I agree, we ought to have sealed borders. But I want to be clear: If someone is looking for a president who is going to have a mean spirit toward other human beings, I’m not their guy. I’ll fix the borders, I’ll secure them, but what I won’t do is to do it because I’m angry at them for wanting to come here for the same reason that the rest of us love America.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Aug 31, 2007
Priorities: secure border, employer verification, no amnesty

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.111-112

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Jun 5, 2007
Opposes illegal immigration, but doesn’t vote to follow up

Talking with a radio host in Nov. 2004, Hillary said, “I am adamantly against illegal immigrants.” That alone was a show stopper but she went on: “People have got to stop employing illegal immigrants. [in NY] you see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work & construction work & domestic work.”

A prominent Democrat had figured it out! (The NY Times later quoted it as “against illegal immigration.”) After she smacked employers of illegal aliens, she went right for the throat of the 2nd culprit, the federal government:

“We ought to come up with a much better entry & exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them.”
Even my brother Pat Buchanan commented that Hillary’s “forthrightness makes Bush sound like a talking head for La Raza.” But Hillary had no follow-up to this unusual foray into the enemy camp, and her liberal voting pattern remained unaltered.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p.113-117

Joe Biden on Immigration : Jun 3, 2007
It’s impractical to deport 14 million illegal immigrants

There doesn’t need to be a 700-mile fence, 14 million illegals -- now you tell me how many buses, car loads, planes that are going to go out, round up all these people, spend hundreds of millions of billions of dollars for the whole world watching, while we send these folks back. Rather than get a background check on all of them, take out the criminals, get them back, and provide for a means by which we allow earned citizenship over the next decade or so.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Jun 3, 2007
Enforce the law against 12 million illegals here now

Q: What would you do with the 12 million illegal immigrants who are now in this country?

ROMNEY: Well, one is to enforce the law as it exists. The law that was passed in 1986 asked for us to secure the border & said also to put in place an employment verification system. Neither one of those was done. So let’s make sure that we enforce the law as it exists. And if you want to improve [the McCain reform] bill, take that Z visa and make it temporary, instead of a permanent right to stay in America.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College

Mike Bloomberg on Immigration : May 2, 2007
Normalize status of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants

Bloomberg is a supporter of immigration reform to secure the rights of illegal immigrants. He argues that deportation breaks up families and scares illegal immigrants away from cooperating with law enforcement or accessing vital social services; as such, he supports proposals like those put forth by Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain, which would normalize the status of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants already present.
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Wikipedia.org entry, “Michael_Bloomberg”

Newt Gingrich on Immigration : Dec 1, 2006
Make it harder to sneak in, but easier for guest workers

No serious nation in the age of terror can afford to have wide-open borders with millions of illegal aliens crossing at will. But along with making it much harder to sneak in, we need to make it easier for guest workers to enter the country legally and to work here as long as they obey the law. Millions of illegal immigrants are here because Americans are hiring them. They have jobs in your neighborhood and you know it. Keeping these hard-working people illegal makes them vulnerable to criminals and keeps them from playing responsible roles in our communities.

We need a guest worker program to ensure that guest workers pay taxes, get driver’s licenses, buy auto insurance, abide by the law, and that filters out criminals and potential terrorists. The program should not be an automatic qualification for citizenship, though eventual citizenship should be held out as an opportunity.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org

Deval Patrick on Immigration : Sep 25, 2006
In-state tuition ok for illegals; focus on employers

Q: Would you allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges?

PATRICK: [Yes, but] this is one issue where I think both sides have a point. The folks on the other side of the question from where I am say we should only reward people who play by the rules and they’re right. I understand that immigration is a serious problem. But people are not coming here for in-state tuition, they’re coming here for jobs. We need to come down hard on employers.

Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: 2006 MA Gubernatorial debate on Fox News with Chris Wallace

Mike Huckabee on Immigration : Jan 5, 2006
Deport the illegal immigrants who don’t do it the right way

When we say, “Well, we can’t round these people up and take them home,” we don’t have to. You give them the option: If you don’t do it the right way and then we catch you, you would be subject to deportation. But if you do it the right way, then you’re going to be able to live with your head up and live free in this country, properly. People can go back and start the process legally, for their benefit and for everyone else’s benefit.
Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Jan 5, 2006
The 12 million illegal immigrants can’t stay forever

Q: Is it practical to take 12 million people and send them out of the country? A: The answer is no. Here’s how my plan works. One, it says to those 12 million people, they do not have the right to receive a Z visa, which was renewable indefinitely. That meant these people could stay in the country forever. That’s why talk radio and the American people went nuts. Z visa is renewable indefinitely. Every illegal alien got to stay in the country forever, other than those that committed crimes.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Jan 5, 2006
Unfair to allow all illegal immigrants to stay

I disagree fundamentally with the idea that the 12 million people who’ve come here illegally should all be allowed to remain in the US permanently, potentially some of them applying for citizenship and becoming citizens, others just staying permanently. That is a form of amnesty, and that it’s not appropriate. We’re a nation of laws. Our liberty is based upon being a nation of laws. I would welcome those people to get in line with everybody else who wants to come here permanently. But there should be no special pathway to permanent residency or citizenship for those that have come here illegally. I welcome legal immigration. Of course we need to secure the border. We need to have an employment verification system with a card to identify who’s here legally and not legally. We need to have employer sanctions that hire people that then don’t have the legal card. But with regards to those already here, it is simply not right and unfair to say they’re going to all get to stay.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate

Deval Patrick on Immigration : Nov 2, 2005
Supports in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants

A war of words has erupted between Attorney General Tom Reilly and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey after Reilly went to bat for a bill giving state college tuition breaks to illegal immigrants. The pair clashed in a heated impromptu debate yesterday on WRKO-680 AM radio. “Illegal immigrants should not be here,” Healey told the Herald. “When they’re legal, we will welcome them with all the benefits afforded to Massachusetts citizens.”

“She’s totally out of touch,” Reilly said of Healey. “These are kids that just want a chance.“

Healey fired back, saying: ”Tom Reilly is the one who is out of touch with working families of Massachusetts if he thinks they want their tax dollars to pay for illegal immigrants to go to college.“

Deval Patrick also supports the bill. ”Denying kids who qualify in every other way to be an in-state student is unfair,“ Patrick said. ”We shouldn’t be trying to erect barriers.“ Nine other states have laws that allow illegal immigrants to attend state colleges at resident rates.

Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: Dave Wedge in Boston Herald, “Tuition Breaks”

Mitt Romney on Immigration : Nov 1, 2005
Tuition breaks encourage illegal immigration

A bill to let children of illegal immigrants pay the same lower tuition rate at state colleges as other MA residents sparked a political sparring match between Democrats and the Romney administration. Romney chastised critics for advocating a bill he said would encourage illegal behavior. Romney said the state’s focus should be on helping legal immigrants. Giving children of illegal immigrants a tuition break would act as an incentive to draw in more illegal immigrants to Massachusetts, Romney said.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer

Hillary Clinton on Immigration : Sep 30, 2005
Adamantly against illegal immigrants

Clearly states her opposition to illegal immigration: “I am adamantly against illegal immigrants... Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them.”
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: What Every American Should Know, by the ACU, p. 81

Gary Johnson on Immigration : Jan 1, 2001
Mexican immigrants are pursuing same dreams we all have

Q: In California, there was a backlash against illegal immigrants. Voters passed a proposition that would deny them medical & other services.

A: It wouldn't be a problem if they were legal, so the process to make them legal should be easier.

Q: Many Americans fear the flood of immigrants that would follow.

A: They would come over and take jobs that we don't want. They would become taxpayers. They're just pursuing dreams---the same dreams we all have. They work hard. What's wrong with that?

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview with David Sheff in Playboy Magazine

Donald Trump on Immigration : Jul 2, 2000
Control borders; even legal immigration should be difficult

America is experiencing serious social and economic difficulty with illegal immigrants who are flooding across our borders. We simply can’t absorb them. It is a scandal when America cannot control its own borders. A liberal policy of immigration may seem to reflect confidence and generosity. But our current laxness toward illegal immigration shows a recklessness and disregard for those who live here legally.

The majority of legal immigrants can often make significant contributions to our society because they have special skills and because they add to our nation’s cultural diversity. They come with the best of intentions. But legal immigrants do not and should not enter easily. It’s a long, costly, draining, and often frustrating experience-by design. I say to legal immigrants: Welcome and good luck.

It comes down to this: we must take care of our own people first. Our policy to people born elsewhere should be clear: Enter by the law, or leave.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.143-45

Jesse Ventura on Immigration : Nov 1, 1998
Emergency medical, but no other services, for illegal imms.

Illegal immigration is just that, illegal. We owe those individuals who are illegally in the US emergency medical treatment when it is needed, but no education benefits, financial assistance or other benefits that all legal immigrants and US citizens are entitled to. American citizens pay for their benefits through taxes illegal immigrants do not. If we provide free services to illegal immigrants, our actions encourage and support illegal activity, rather than discourage or punish it.
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: 1998 campaign web site, jesseVentura.org/98campaign

  • Additional quotations related to Illegal Immigrants issues can be found under Immigration.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
Candidates on Immigration:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
China
Foreign Aid
Globalization
Mexican Border
NAFTA

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
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Page last updated: Oct 03, 2014