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While presidential campaigns are engaged in fine-tuning strategies in preparation for the upcoming Republican debate, immigration remains a top issue of concern. The following charts compare the immigration policy of presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.

Border Security

Donald Trump Ben Carson Ted Cruz
  • We need strong borders.
  • “The reason that I think we need to seal our borders completely… all of our borders–north, south, east, and west–is not so much because I’m afraid of somebody from Honduras. I’m afraid of someone from Syria who wants to bomb us, who wants to do bad things. So that’s the main reason that we need to seal all of our borders.”
  • Regarding the flow of illegal immigrants across the border, police need more power to ask about immigration status.
  • A wall is needed on the Mexican border, but it’s OK to have a door in it.
  • We need to stop providing incentives for illegal immigration. “Right now, we have very porous borders and unenthusiastic and inconsistent enforcement of immigration laws.
  • On the border, boots on the ground, in addition to a wall are needed.
  • Mexico should pay for the wall.
  • Advocates the use of drones on the border–on caves that are utilized by people seeking illegal entrance into the US, not on people.
  • Triple the size of the Border Patrol.
  • All remittance payments “derived from illegal wages” should be seized until Mexico agrees to pay for the wall.
  • “But the fact of the matter is, our problem is that our federal government is not supporting the local authorities at the border. . . . Until we seal our borders. Everything else is irrelevant.”

Birthright Citizenship & Deportation

Donald Trump Ben Carson Ted Cruz
  • Anchor babies were not the intent of the 14th Amendment.
  • Deportation is moral low road.
  • Support Kate’s Law: oppose our leaders who won’t enforce.
  • Create guest worker program.

In regard to amnesty, the term means different things to different people.  So, from time to time a candidate may claim to oppose amnesty, while on the other hand being accused of supporting it.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a writer focused on radical Islam and author at FrontPage Magazine, suggests there are two positions on amnesty being embraced by the GOP candidates:

1. Straight amnesty – This means a path to citizenship. It’s the most common position and held by GOP “centrists” like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

2.  Guest worker amnesty – This is the compromise position that would provide illegals with the right to work, but no path to citizenship. Obviously the problem with it is that it rewards illegals and temporary legal status is a half-step to permanent legal status. It may be better than full amnesty or it may be worse, because full amnesty may not be able to get through the House even under Jeb Bush, but half-amnesty seems like a reasonable compromise and could end up becoming law.”

Amnesty / Path To Citizenship / Guest Worker Programs

Donald Trump Ben Carson Ted Cruz
  • Does not advocate a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
  • It is a moral low road to use cheap labor without providing a path to citizenship.
  • Has said that a path to citizenship is profoundly unfair to legal immigrants.
  • Would allow for more European immigration and a legal status to those graduating from U.S. colleges.
  • Pathway to citizenship is unfair to past and current immigrants.
  • Proposed ending Obama’s illegal amnesty via Congress’ checks & balances.
  • Agrees with Implementation of a nationwide e-verify system.
  • Implement a guest worker program using the Canadian model.
  • Supported defunding Amnesty  and refusing any nominees until rescinded.
  • Defund sanctuary cities that fail to enforce federal law.
  • The guest workers program should include harsher penalties for violations.
  • In 2012, an amnesty for guest workers issue came up during Cruz’s primary against Dewhurst.
  • Crack down on H-1B visas, which are designated for high-skilled STEM employees, by requiring companies to hire from the pool of unemployed domestic workers first.
  • Cruz argued against a path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas.
  • Criminal penalties for overstaying a visa.
  • Dewhurst accused Cruz of supporting amnesty and Cruz countered, saying: “The Dewhurst amnesty would take every single illegal alien in the United States and give them a guest worker permit.”
  • “We want people of great talent to be in the United States work here and ultimately to become a citizen.”
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  • “I want people to come into our country legally. I want to have a big fat beautiful open door. I want people of great talent to come in for Silicon Valley. I want engineers. I want physicists,”
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  • Deport all illegal immigrants and only allow “the good ones” to return.
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Syrian Refugees

Donald Trump Ben Carson Ted Cruz
  • “But there’s a huge problem, and we should help as much as possible, but we do have to fix our own country.”
  • Believes the US must conduct thorough background checks on all Syrian refugees before letting them into the country.
  • “The United States has a long history of response to humanitarian disasters and this should be no exception. Our immediate role should be to support our regional allies who are on the front lines through public and private assistance to the international organizations who are best poised to administer aid.”
  • BILL O’REILLY: Now, do you object to migrants getting out of the Middle East and North Africa? Do you object to them coming to the U.S.A.? DONALD TRUMP: I hate the concept of it but on a humanitarian basis with what’s happening, you have to. You know, this was started by President Obama when he didn’t go in and do the job when he should have. When he drew the line in the sand which turned out to be a very artificial line.
  • He has warned that terrorists could be hiding among the thousands of refugees seeking entrance to the US.
  • “In terms of settling the migrants, if the ultimate goal is to return them to their homes, which I believe it should be, it doesn’t make sense from a logistical or a security standpoint to move large numbers of them to far-off countries like the United States.”
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