Picture: The Associated Press
Written by Carla Saskia Sanchez, Political Science at Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida)
On the eve of Veterans Day, the top eight presidential candidates of the Republican Party battled it out in Milwaukee. One of the most argued-on topics of the night was immigration – illegal and not.
Of course, the first question regarding illegal immigration was directed towards billionaire Donald Trump. “We have to stop illegal immigration – it’s hurting us economically, it’s hurting us from every standpoint,” claimed Trump. But he didn’t stop his attacks there. He insisted on the border wall, and he continued pressing his campaign’s most famous demand – “we’re gonna have to send people out.”
This seemed to anger Ohio Governor John Kasich, who brushed off Trump’s arguments as “silly.” “If people think we’re going to ship 11 million law-abiding people who are in this country, break into their houses and ship them back to their countries of origin – think about the families, think about the children!” Kasich’s solution: if they’re law abiding, they must pay a penalty and they can stay, while we protect the wall.
Florida’s previous Governor Jeb Bush jumped in, advocating a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented residents already in the country, as long as they pay a fine and stay away from criminal offenses.
When Cruz was asked about economic issues, he just had to talk about immigration. He’s tired of being called anti-immigrant, and began to expound on his personal background. “My father immigrated to this country legally,” he started. Cruz is set on securing the borders, and on embracing legal immigration. However, he quickly switched to blaming immigrants for increasingly lower wages.
Another son of immigrants, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, prefers dealing “responsibly and realistically” with people that are here illegally. “If you haven’t been here very long, or you’re a criminal, you will be deported.” He prefers a longer path to citizenship, that includes passing background checks, paying a fine, and you get a work permit. “And that’s all you’ll have for at least 10 years.” Then you can finally apply for a green card.
Some of these proposals seem negotiable, while others sound completely illogical. What do you think?