Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Candidate positions on Immigration

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker told Glenn Beck in an interview:
"In terms of legal immigration, how we need to approach that going forward is saying -- the next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that's based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages. Because the more I've talked to folks, I've talked to [Alabama Sen. Jeff] Sessions and others out there -- but it is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today -- is what is this doing for American workers looking for jobs, what is this doing to wages. And we need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward."

Walker's worker-first approach to immigration policy was skewered as "Far Right" in the Huffington Post, which joined the Washington Post and Walker's former consultant Liz Mair in criticizing Walker's position by comparing it to Romney's in the 2012 campaign.
But while Romney talked about the importance of drying up the jobs magnet to encourage illegal workers to return home, he never championed a legal system that met American workers' needs.
Liz Mair later tweeted her support for open borders, leading Mark Krikorian to wonder if other GOP candidates have "hired unambiguous immigration hawks as staffers?"
Walker is drawing a contrast between himself and other GOP candidates with his position on legal immigration reform. Breitbart reports:
{Walker said} that while immigration wasn't really on his radar when he first became Governor of Wisconsin, but that his position changed after talking to governors along border states and travelling to the border, he changed his position. Walker also argued that "one thing they're {his fellow Republican prospective candidates} not saying, the other part of it is, we need to make sure that as part of that, any future legal immigration system {that} goes forward has to account for American citizens and the workers in this country and their wages to make sure that, even with legal immigration, we respond to it in a way that doesn't take jobs away from hardworking Americans."

The only other potential candidate who has talked like this is Rick Santorum, but he has not announced.
Senator Marco Rubio meanwhile offered a three-point approach to immigration reform on Face the Nation. The Blaze summarizes:
Rubio said his first step would be an effort to boost border security, and ensure steps are taken to stop U.S. companies from hiring illegal immigrants.

"I would ask Congress to pass a very specific bill that puts in place e-verify, an entry-exit tracking system, to prevent visa overstays, and improve security on the border," he said.

"Once we achieve that, step two would be we would modernize our legal immigration system," he said. "Less family-based, more merit-based."

....Rubio said the third step would a process for allowing the 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants stay, but only under strict conditions.

Rubio has also said that Obama's 2012 executive amnesty should be phased out over time.
Krikorian wants to know if Rubio is conning the public again:
I too am encouraged by Rubio's seeming commitment to Enforcement First. But whether it's the real thing or just a con hinges on one question: Is he proposing to fully implement universal E-Verify and visa-tracking before asking Congress to grant amnesty to today's illegals, or just pass legislation calling for enforcement. If it's the first, then I'm for it -- though since he's taken pretty much every position one can take on immigration at one time or another, it's not like I actually trust him. But if his idea of Enforcement First is simply passing a bill on it, to be followed in short order by another bill offering legal status to illegals, then it's just the piecemeal version of the Gang of Eight trick. One of the purposes of a primary campaign is to try to pin down slippery politicians on just this kind of point.

Mickey Kaus doesn't think there is much doubt about the answer, saying: "Rubio makes it 99% clear he'd only require Congress to *pass* enforcement bill before his amnesty. Like 1986. http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/marco-rubio-pass-immigration-reform-step-by-step/"
Governor Chris Christie also broke a long silence on immigration with comments he gave in New Hampshire. The Asbury Press reports:
Christie urged practical reforms beyond the Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed by President George W. Bush. It authorized hundreds of miles of fence construction along with added checkpoints, vehicle barriers and cameras. In the 2008 campaign, it received near-unanimous support from Republicans seeking the presidential nomination.

Christie had a more nuanced view. He said cracking down on U.S. employers who ignore immigration laws is a better way to stop new arrivals. He said it is Obama's job to work with Congress to forge a workable immigration solution. He noted, too, that a winning effort would require more than a big fence, the utility for which he cast doubt.

"Walls can be gotten over. The reason people come here is to work. So if we clamp down on folks who are hiring people in this manner, once we set up a fair system that everybody is signed on to, then I think we'll really decrease" the amount of new illegal immigrants, he said.

Christie's talking points are actually closer to Romney's than Walker's but whereas the media calls Walker "hard right" for his worker-first rhetoric, Christie is judged to have a "moderate stance" because he rejects mass round ups.
Of course, none of the candidates are calling for mass roundups.
Read, post, share, comment, ask questions. Thank you for encouraging civil debate on immigration policy.

No comments: