Goodbye Graham — No Republicans Support Path To Citizenship

Jessica Mackler, president, American Bridge 21st Century: “Now that Marco Rubio and John McCain’s fellow Gang of Eight’er, Lindsey Graham, is out of the GOP presidential race, not a single Republican candidate supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“It’s clear that the conservative dynamics, where opposing comprehensive immigration reform has become a litmus test, favor Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump’s hardline positions at the expense of ruining the party’s credibility with one of the largest voting blocs in the general election. It’s mind boggling how far the Party of Donald Trump has run to the extreme, far right fringes and failed to even acknowledge the GOP rebrand, much less implement any of its moderating elements.”

Background:

GOP Opposes Path To Citizenship

 

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Opposed A Path To Citizenship For Undocumented Immigrants. According to PBS NewsHour, “Immigration: No path to citizenship for undocumented workers. Allow more European immigration and a legal status to those graduating from U.S. colleges. In his January speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit, Trump called for securing the southern border and indicated that he believes half of the undocumented residents in America are criminals. In 2013 at CPAC, the businessman said Republicans should block any path to citizenship or voting status for undocumented immigrants but should expand legal immigration from Europe. In addition, Trump would give a legal status to foreign students who complete a degree at an American university.” [PBS NewsHour, 6/16/15]

 

Ted Cruz

Cruz Opposed A Path To Citizenship. According to TIME, “The GOP presidential hopeful opposes a path to citizenship, but casts himself as a supporter of legal immigration Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz cast himself as a supporter of immigration reform on Wednesday, while criticizing Democrats for killing prospects of a bipartisan deal by insisting on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. ‘I consider myself a proponent of immigration reform,’ Cruz said during a question-and-answer session in Washington hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. ‘There is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am.’ Cruz was an outspoken detractor of the bipartisan rewrite of U.S. immigration laws that passed the Senate in 2013, which in the eyes of many Republicans would have shored up the party’s moribund support among Hispanic voters. His comments offer a telling glimpse of how he will attempt to find a delicate balance on a pivotal issue during his campaign. The GOP presidential hopeful opposes citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but he stressed Wednesdaythe need to celebrate and encourage legal immigration. And he noted his support for dramatically increasing the available number of high-tech visas. His remarks drew an implicit contrast with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a likely rival for the GOP nomination, who recently took a protectionist stance on legal immigration levels.” [TIME, 4/29/15]

Cruz Vocally Opposed A Path To Citizenship For Undocumented Immigrants. According to CNN, “Ted Cruz on Tuesday significantly toughened his position on how to deal with undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, closing the door on legalizing them and instead suggesting that he would deport them. Cruz has vocally opposed a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, but he has taken pains during his presidential campaign to not rule out a path to legal status, often telling reporters that he will not discuss what to do with them until the southern border is secured.” [CNN, 12/16/15]

 

Marco Rubio

Rubio Ruled Out A Path To Citizenship For Undocumented Immigrants During His Presidency. According to Bloomberg, “Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has effectively ruled out granting lawful permanent residency to undocumented immigrants if he makes it to the White House, even for a second term. Pressed by conservative host Sean Hannity during a Mondaynight interview on Fox News, the Florida senator said he’s open to a path to citizenship for people in the U.S. illegally, but only a decade or more after passage of bills to secure the border and modernize the legal immigration system. ‘I don’t think it’s a decision you have to make on the front end. The first two things you have to do is stop illegal immigration, then second you have to modernize our legal immigration system, and then third you can have a debate about how to even legalize people to begin with,’ Rubio said. ‘And then ultimately in 10 or 12 years you could have a broader debate about how has this worked out and should we allow some of them to apply for green cards and eventually citizenship.’” [Bloomberg, 9/22/15]

 

Ben Carson

Ben Carson Said “No Pathway To Citizenship.” According to a tweet from Wall Street Journal reporter Reid Epstein, “Ben Carson today: ‘No pathway to citizenship.’ In September, Carson laid out a citizenship path – http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/09/14/ben-carson-on-donald-trump-abortion-football-wsj-interview/ …” [Reid Epstein Twitter Account, 11/13/15]

 

Chris Christie

Christie: “This Path To Citizenship Stuff Is Garbage.” According to the Daily Caller, “The most important thing is E-verify. Let’s remember why most folks are coming here in the first place… to work. I’ve met lots of undocumented folks in my state over the course of my time as governor, and I can tell you not one of them has told me they came here to vote. This path to citizenship stuff is garbage. That’s not why they’re coming. They’re coming to work and to support their family.” [Daily Caller, 8/4/15]

Christie Said “I Can’t Even Picture” A Path To Citizenship. According to NJ.com, “Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that even if the U.S. border were to be secured, he could not imagine supporting a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who entered the country illegally. ‘The fact is, we’re so far away from that, that I can’t even picture pitching that to the American people,’ the Republican presidential candidate said during an appearance on the syndicate conservative talk radio program The Michael Medved Show.” [NJ.com, 12/18/15]

Christie Said A Path To Citizenship Is “An Extreme Way To Go.” According to The Hill, “Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) is rejecting the idea of providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants as ‘extreme,’ reversing his stance ahead of a likely bid for president. ‘That’s an extreme way to go,’ Christie said Monday night in an interview on Fox News’s ‘The Kelly File.’ ‘I don’t believe that’s the way to go and I don’t believe that’s where the American people are.’ The New Jersey governor praised the idea during an interview on ABC’s ‘This Week’ back in 2010, calling on the president and Congress to ‘put forward a commonsense path to citizenship.’ But Christie has recently walked back those calls, becoming a vocal critic of Democrats’ immigration policies. He joined a brief supporting an injunction that’s blocking President Obama’s controversial executive actions from last November. And he’s criticized Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton as ‘pandering’ to Hispanics for backing a pathway to citizenship.” [The Hill, 5/19/15]

 

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush Opposed A Path To Citizenship. According to the Washington Times, “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Wednesday that he does not support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, raising additional questions about his evolution on the thorny issue, which has created headaches for both parties in Washington and the crowded presidential field. The pressure is on Mr. Bush in New Hampshire, which political observers say could make or break his chance of winning the Republican nomination. He faces the challenges of distancing himself from a number of other candidates who see the state as a springboard to the nomination, and from the lingering legacy of his brother George W. Bush, who oversaw a 2007 immigration program that included path to citizenship. During an interview Wednesday with the New Hampshire Union Leader in Manchester, Mr. Bush was asked whether he supported a pathway to full citizenship. He replied, ‘No.’ ‘What do we do with the 11 million people here? I think the answer is earned legal status,’ he said.” [Washington Times, 7/8/15]

Jeb Bush Said He No Longer Supported A Path To Citizenship Because “The Climate Changed.” According to the Daily Caller, “Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush talked candidly about why he no longer supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, saying Wednesday he changed his position because ‘the climate changed.’ ‘It has changed, because the climate has changed,’ Bush told Bret Baier in a Fox news interview, referring to his changed position on a path to citizenship. ‘And this is the consensus view that allows conservatives to get in the game.’” [Daily Caller, 7/9/15]