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Immigration Policy Stance of 2016 Presidential Election Candidates: Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum

Immigration Policy Stance of 2016 Presidential Election Candidates: Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum

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With immigration being the most searched 2016 Presidential Election policy issue, the candidates have had much to say on this topic. In the sections below, we will explore what was on the mind of key figures including Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Hillary Clinton, and Mike Huckabee.

Bobby Jindal

Standing with the GOP, Bobby Jindal advocates placing priority on securing the U.S. border with Mexico first.

As such, the current Republican Governor of Louisiana does not support granting guest-worker visas to illegal immigrants. His state has also joined a lawsuit attempting to reverse U.S President Barack Obama's execution action granting work permits for illegal immigrants.

Even so, Jindal is open to concessions once the border is secured. These include granting legal status for undocumented immigrants whom are willing to pay a fine, attain English proficiency, find work, and pay taxes for a considerable duration of time.

 

Born and raised by immigrant parents from India, Jindal converted to Roman Catholicism during his years in High School.

Jeb Bush

Bush supports legislation allowing pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The Republican Florida governor has long been accused of being too moderate by conservative leaders. Even so, he remains unapologetic in his stance.

"We have the ability because of immigration to be an emerging country again, to be full of optimism, to believe that our future is brighter than our present. But we have to fix a broken immigration system and do it in short order," Bush said in April, according to The Washington Post.

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The U.S. republican presidential hopeful had been speaking at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, where he voiced intentions to deal with 11 million undocumented workers. He emphasized that such people should come out of hiding.

"This country does not do well when people lurk in the shadows," Bush explained. "This country does spectacularly well when everybody can pursue their God-given abilities."

Donald Trump

Last Tuesday, Trump made inflammatory comments regarding Mexican immigration to the United States.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best," he said during his presidential announcement at Trump Tower, last Tuesday. "They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems."

The billionaire hotelier also accused Hispanic immigrants of importing drugs and crime across the U.S. border with Mexico.

"They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting," he continued.

These statements from Trump attracted the ire of Mexico's interior minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong.

"Regarding the comments made by Donald Trump, to me they seem prejudiced and absurd," Chong said, according to Reuters. "I think what (Trump) did is generate controversy, but not a plan."

Ben Carson

In May, Dr. Ben Carson announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. The former neurosurgeon has actively pushed for stricter immigration laws.

During his speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January, Carson claimed the U.S. government did not have the will to close the borders. The solution, according to the Tea Party favorite, is to make the U.S. less attractive to illegal workers by punishing employers who hire them.

On the flipside, Carson condemns the deportation of illegal immigrants in his 2012 book, America the Beautiful.

"Some segments of our economy would virtually collapse without these undocumented workers-we all know that." he wrote. "Yet we continue to harass and deport many individuals who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families."

Rick Santorum

Earlier this year, Rick Santorum claimed that legal and illegal immigration was costing Americans their jobs in a speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit.

"We are approaching the highest level of immigrants that we've ever had in America," Santorum said, according The Hill. "It's affecting American workers. We need an immigration policy that puts American workers first."

The former Pennsylvania senator opposes any form of pathway citizenship. In 2012, he vocally opposed to the DREAM Act. Rick Santorum also supports beefing-up border security and restricting legal immigration.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been supportive of every one of President Obama's execution actions on immigration, which includes pathway citizenship for illegal immigrants already residing in the United States. She is also an advocate of Obama's Dream Act, which grants similar benefits to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Speaking at the Las Vegas Rancho High School in April, Clinton vowed to expand a number of Obama's immigration policy.

"If Congress continues to refuse to act, as president I would do everything possible under the law to go even further," she said, according to Huffington Post.

The former Republican governor of Arkansas is opposed to any action preventing the deportation of undocumented workers. Even so, Huckabee has stated that children brought into the U.S. by undocumented parents should not be deported.

In a video released in April, Mike Huckabee called President Obama's executive orders on immigration unconstitutional. He also called for more security of the U.S. border, while also asking for protecting American jobs.

"Our first responsibility is to build this nation - not every other nation on the earth, but this one," Huckabee said in the video. "By securing the border and protecting American workers and their livelihoods, we'll finally help every American earn his or her maximum wage."

Rick Perry 

In April, the former Texas governor advocated fencing the U.S. border during a televised interview session.

"You have to secure the border," Perry, 65, told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "The American people are not going to trust Washington, D.C., until you secure the border."

However, Perry believes that forcibly deporting every undocumented immigrant before securing the border is impossible.

"I don't think anyone with a sense of reality thinks that we're going to ship 11 or 12 million people back to where they're from," he said to Fox News back in February. While serving as governor, Perry had deployed 1,000 Texas National Guard troops along his state's southern border.

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