Thursday, July 18, 2024

Immigration Divides GOP Candidates on Stage

4th debate

At long last, immigration occupied the main stage in a prominent way among the Republican contenders for the White House in Tuesday night’s debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin moderated by Fox Business Channel and the Wall Street Journal. Two distinct camps emerged on the issue between the candidates, one calling for a pathway to citizenship for those that are here illegally, and those advocating strict opposition to what they call “amnesty.”

Donald Trump, leading in the polls for the GOP nomination but with an insurgent Ben Carson at his heels, gave his signature call for building a wall saying “we are a country of laws. We need borders. We will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful.”

Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz– who is hoping to benefit from a Trump withdraw should that occur– both took hard right-wing stances.

“In my view, if Republicans nominate for president a candidate who supports amnesty, we will have given up one of the major distinctions with Hillary Clinton and we will lose the general election — that is a path to losing declared Cruz who sought to frame immigration as a labor issue claiming that by allowing undocumented workers a pathway to citizenship the United States would depress wages for blue-collar workers.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, favored a pathway to citizenship but we vague when pressed for hard policy solutions to address the issue or if they would tackle the question at all in their administrations.

Bush, in response to Trumps plans for a deportation force to remove undocumented immigrants he said “it would tear communities apart. And it would send the signal that we’re not the kind of country that I know America is.”

In language meant to motivate the base of the party, Cruz highlighted that the primary concern for Republicans should be winning rather than sound solutions, saying that “if Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose.”


The Atlantic, Fox News Latino