GOP Field Quickly Goes Extreme On Immigration

We’re not even through the first hour and the GOP field has already found a way to be offensive and out-of-touch on immigration with front-runner Donald Trump leading the way. Ted Cruz was quick to dismiss his question on earned benefits in order to talk his extreme policies, and even Jeb Bush managed to get a word in edgewise.

Despite their bickering, it’s clear: every candidate on stage is against a pathway to citizenship and out-of-touch with the American people.

Background:

Even “Mainstream” GOP Candidates Hold Backward Views On Immigration

Bush

Bush Called For Better Enforcement Against “Anchor Babies”

Jeb Bush: “If There’s Abuse, If People Are Bringing — Pregnant Women Are Coming In To Have Babies Simply Because They Can Do It, Then There Ought To Be Greater Enforcement. That’s [The] Legitimate Side Of This. Better Enforcement So That You Don’t Have These, You Know, ‘Anchor Babies’, As They’re Described, Coming Into The Country.” According to Politico, “Jeb Bush doesn’t want birthright citizenship to go away, but he is calling for stronger enforcement for people who abuse it. ‘If there’s abuse, if people are bringing — pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement,’ Bush said on Bill Bennett’s conservative radio show, ‘Morning in America’Wednesday. ‘That’s [the] legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don’t have these, you know, ‘anchor babies’, as they’re described, coming into the country.’” [Politico, 8/19/15]

Opposed Pathway To CitizenShip

2015: Jeb Bush Opposed A Pathway To Citizenship. According to the Washington Times, “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]

EXECUTIVE orders

Jeb Bush Said He Would Undo The DACA And DAPA Executive Orders. According to Talking Points Memo, “Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush told a conservative radio host he would undo President Barack Obama’s executive actions to let some five million people temporarily stay in the country if he’s elected president. The following exchange occurred Tuesday when Bush appeared on the Michael Medved show: Medved: Would you undo his executive orders on immigration? Bush: The DACA and DAPA? Yes, I would.” [Talking Points Memo, 4/22/15]

Rubio

Executive Orders

November 2015: Marco Rubio On DACA, “It Will End. It Cannot Be The Permanent Policy Of The United States.”

According to NBC News, “Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, made the comment about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, program in response to a reporter’s question while campaigning in the early primary state. ‘DACA is going to end and the ideal way for it to end is that it’s replaced by a reform system that creates an alternative,’Rubio said while in Manchester, N.H. ‘But if it doesn’t, it will end. It cannot be the permanent policy of the United States.’ Video of Rubio’s comment was posted online by American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal Super PAC that does opposition research and messaging on Republicans.” [NBC News, 11/4/15]

BuzzFeed: Rubio “Made Clear” That The DACA Program Should Be Terminated. According to BuzzFeed, “Sen. Marco Rubio Wednesday called the Obama administration’s efforts to provide so-called DREAMers with deferred deportation ‘ridiculous’ and insisted the controversial program must come to an end. The House earlier this month voted to end Obama’s 2012 executive order creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which delays deportation of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. While the Florida Republican said he does not believe Congress should simply undo the existing temporary deportation deferments granted under DACA, he made clear the program must be terminated. ‘The 2012 order has to come to end at some point. That executive order will expire at the end of this presidency … that cannot be the permanent policy of the United States. I think it was wrong to make that decision in the first place,’ Rubio said during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.” [BuzzFeed,1/21/15]

Abandoned His Own Immigration Reform Proposal

Steve Benen: It Was Not Long Ago That Rubio “Co-Wrote A Bipartisan, Comprehensive Immigration Reform Package” But Soon “The Republican Base Decided The Legislation Constituted ‘Amnesty,’ Prompting The Floridian Lawmaker To Begin Running Away From His Own Failed Initiative.” According to MSNBC, “It may seem like ancient history, but 2013 wasn’t that long ago. It was just two years ago that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), eager for any kind of major legislative accomplishment, co-wrote a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform package, helping make the young, far-right senator a prominent GOP voice on a major national issue. Soon after, however, the Republican base decided the legislation constituted ‘amnesty,’ prompting the Floridian lawmaker to begin running away from his own failed initiative. As Rubio’s presidential campaign picked up, so too did the intensity of his shift to the right-wing cliff on immigration. Last week, the Senate Republican said policymakers shouldn’t even begin to have a conversation about possibly considering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants until 2027 – after Rubio plans to have served two terms in the White House.” [MSNBC, 10/6/15]

Senator Chuck Schumer: Rubio’s “Fingerprints Are all Over” The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. According to CNN, “Florida Sen. MarcoRubio can run away from immigration legislation as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination, but Sen. Chuck Schumer says he can’t hide from it. As he has risen in the polls, Rubio has methodically sought to distance himself from the comprehensive immigration bill he coauthored more than two years ago[…] ‘He was not only totally committed — he was in that room with us, four Democrats, four Republicans,’ Schumertold CNN Thursday in an interview in his Senate office. ‘His fingerprints are all over that bill. It has a lot of Rubio imprints.’” [CNN, 11/6/15]

Senator Schumer: Rubio “Understood It, He Molded It, He Made It A Tough Path To Citizenship.” And “But We All Agreed To It, And It Would Have To Be A Tough Path To Citizenship. But He Was All For It.” According to CNN, “But as the presidential race heats up, Schumer is unloading the new line of criticism, saying Rubiowas the main architect of the provision to provide a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, something bound to give ammunition to his primary foes who call the measure ‘amnesty.’ ‘He understood it, he molded it, he made it a tough path to citizenship,’ Schumer said. ‘But we all agreed to it, and it would have to be a tough path to citizenship. But he was all for it. ‘” [CNN, 11/6/15]

June 2013: Rubio Would Not Say Whether He Would Vote For His Own Immigration Bill: “I Don’t Want To Get Involved In The Hypotheticals And Ultimatums.” While appearing on ABC’s “This Week”, Rubio said, “You are one the primary architect authors of the bill that came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, immigration reform. I have a basic question, do you support your own bill? Marco Rubio: I think it’s an excellent starting point. I think 95, 96 percent of the bill is in perfect shape and ready to go. But there are elements that need to be improved. […] Karl: If it stays the way it is on border security, do you vote for it? Rubio: I don’t want to get involved in the hypotheticals and ultimatums. Karl: It’s a real possibility. Rubio: No, I don’t think it is. A bill without increased border security which everyone has now conceded needs to happen. The debate is about what that border security provision looks like. If we do that, the bill will have strong, bipartisan support. If we fail, we will keep trying. The only way to pass the immigration reform law out of the House and Senate so the President can sign it is if has real border security measures.” [ABC’s “This Week”, 6/16/13]

Rubio Said He Would Not Vote For The 2013 Senate Immigration Bill If He Could Vote Again Because It Would Not Be “Productive;” Said Border Security Must Precede Any Reform. According to Wall Street Journal, “If there is any doubt that Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has changed his tone on immigration, it was extinguished this week. […] He says Congress should put off any legislation addressing the undocumented immigrants until border security and other reforms are in place. And he says he wouldn’t vote for the Senate immigration bill he helped write if it were on the floor today. Asked directly how he would vote if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the same bill to the floor now, he said he would vote no because passing the bill now wouldn’t be productive. ‘At this point, bringing the Senate bill back to the floor would be a show vote,’ he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. ‘It would set us back even further—taking an issue that’s already divided people and actually going to stir the pot and poison the well even further. Why would I support an effort to do that?’” [Wall Street Journal, 8/28/14]

Kasich

Kasich Believed In Respecting Latinos By Leaving Tip For Hotel Maid

Kasich Tried To Praise Latinos By Offering Hotel Maid Tip

Kasich On Latinos, 2015: “A Lot Of Them Do Jobs That They’re Willing To Do And, Uh, That’s Why In The Hotel You Leave A Little Tip.”According to the LA Times, “At a luncheon hosted at a posh Orange County golf club by a local political action committee, Kasich heap praise upon Latinos — a crucial voting bloc, with 28 million expected to be eligible to vote in the 2016 election — for family values and work ethic, but then appeared to indirectly conflate Latinos and service-industry workers. ‘A lot of them do jobs that they’re willing to do and, uh, that’s why in the hotel you leave a little tip,’ said Kasich before a small group inside the Shady Canyon Golf Club, nestled in a gated Irvine neighborhood.” [LA Times, 9/17/15]

  • Kasich On His Latina Hotel Maid, 2015: “We Can Learn A Lot And She’s Hispanic, ‘Cause I Didn’t Know It At The Time, But I Met Her In The Hallway — Asked Her If I Could Get A Little More Soap.” According to the LA Times, “Kasich went on to tell a story about his stay at a hotel in Los Angeles in recent days. ‘This lady wrote me in my hotel there in L.A. She wrote this note. It said, ‘I really want you to know that I care about your stay.’ Is that just the greatest thing?’ he said. ‘So, you know, we can learn a lot and she’s Hispanic, ‘cause I didn’t know it at the time, but I met her in the hallway — asked her if I could get a little more soap,’ said a chuckling Kasich.” [LA Times, 9/17/15]

Kasich “Tip” Comments Denounced By Immigrant Rights Activists

2015: Coalition For Humane Immigrant Rights Of Los Angeles On Kasich, 2015: He Failed To Understand “Immigrants Are More Than Just ‘The Help.’” According to the LA Times, “Some local Latino activists viewed it as offensive. ‘Most candidates have lopsided, stereotypical ideas about immigrants, which include the sense that immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are only good while serving others,’ said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communications director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. ‘The comment lacks history, sense of how important immigrants are to our economy, and vision where immigrants are more than just ‘the help.’’” [LA Times, 9/17/15]

Immigrant Rights Organization Executive Director On Kasich’s 2015 Comments About Tipping His Hispanic Maid: “It’s Just A Stereotype. It Really Speaks To The One-Dimensional View That He Has Of Who We Are As Latinos In This Country.” According to CNN, “But Kasich’s comments lack historical context and are limiting for Latinos, said Angelica Salis, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, an immigrant rights organization. ‘It’s just a stereotype. It really speaks to the one-dimensional view that he has of who we are as Latinos in this country,’ she told CNN. ‘As Latinos, we participate in every single industry and aspect of society. And to be good to Latinos is to show respect to their entire contributions.’” [CNN, 9/18/15]

U.S. Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce, 2015: “I Think He Was Trying To Show A Contrast With The More Demeaning Rhetoric.” According to Politico, “The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce told POLITICO that while Kasich may have used awkward phrasing, the organization didn’t find his comments offensive. In fact, they said he was generally moving the Republican Party in the right direction by acknowledging Hispanic contributions. ‘I think first of all it was a well-intentioned comment,’ President and CEO Javier Palomarez said. ‘In my personal observation of John Kasich he still represents that compassionate conservatism that has very much a Ronald Reagan feel to it.’ ‘We commend Gov. Kasich for recognizing the contributions of the Hispanic community,’ said Ammar Campa-Najjar, director of communication and marketing for the chamber. ‘That’s the narrative we need to hear coming out of the party,’ he said, speaking about Kasich’s other comments on Thursday about values in the Hispanic community. [Politico, 9/18/15]

Kasich Tried To Defend His “Tip” Comments By Noting He Had A Latino Doctor Friend

Kasich On Hispanics, 2015: “They Hold Very Important Positions. I’ve Got A Friend Right Now Who’s A Doctor. He’s A Doctor In Oncology.” According to Politico, “In an interview airing Sunday on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Kasich told host Chuck Todd that he understood why some were offended by the comment, but said he respects Hispanics. ‘I’ve always said that Hispanics are such a critical part of the fabric of the United States. They occupy jobs from top to bottom. They’re so critical to our country. They’re God fearing and they’re hard working,’ he said. ‘And that means that they hold very important positions. I’ve got a friend right now who’s a doctor. He’s a doctor in oncology, you know. I mean, that shows you how crazy it can get in this business.’” [Politico, 9/20/15]