My goodness, there has been a flurry of immigration posturing and positioning since we last revised our Ratings of the Presidential candidates in 10 categories and calculated overall Worker-Protection Immigration Grades!
We've just finished our regular Grading Committee meeting (early Friday afternoon) here at NumbersUSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. We've sifted through the charges and counter-charges and focused on what the candidates are saying that really address what they specifically are promising to do about immigration policies. For the most part, we add comments from the candidates that show a shift in position, that amplify a position or that re-state a position that hasn't been made in awhile, showing continuing commitment to that position.
(WARNING: Ted Cruz unveiled his new expanded plan on immigration this afternoon. We haven't had time to thoroughly evaluate it but have taken it into consideration.)
CHANGES IN OVERALL GRADES
Ted CRUZ -- Improved from B-minus up to A-minus.
This is the biggest one-week jump in a grade since we unveiled the 2016 Presidential Hopefuls Worker-Protection Immigration Grade Cards last spring . This was based on big improvements in two categories:
Check out the individual Cruz page for the details.
Reduce Unfair Work Visa Competition -- improved from Abysmal up to GOOD. Cruz turned his back on a past history of advocating for more H-1B visas, and started talking like Santorum on the importance of immigration policies helping struggling American wage-earners.
Support Overall Reduction in Annual Immigration -- improved from Very Harmful up to MIXED.
Carly FIORINA -- Improved from D-minus up to D+.
Check out the individual Fiorina page for details.
Support Overall Reduction in Annual Immigration -- improved from 1st Steps up to GOOD. She said the American people were never asked to raise legal immigration levels so high and that she would rather see legal numbers reduced than increased.
Oppose Work Permits for Illegal Migrants -- improved from Abysmal up to HARMFUL. At least, she is insisting on "sequencing" where work permits wouldn't happen until after the border is secure and not for all illegal migrants, only "certain" ones.
Mandate E-Verify-plus & punish business violators -- improved from Bad to MIXED. She repeatedly talks of need for mandatory workplace verification but she also indicates she believes that E-Verify is not ready.
Marco RUBIO -- improved from D-minus up to D.
Check out the individual Rubio page for details.
Implement Interior Enforcement -- improved from Mixed to GOOD. Rather than emphasize disagreement with Trump on mass deportation like some candidates, Rubio is calling for more deportations not only for criminal aliens but for illegal migrants who have arrived recently and who overstay visas.
Amnesty -- improved from Very Harmful to HARMFUL. At least, he is making it clearer that he would not support work permits to illegal migrants until after certain enforcement is proven.
OTHER CHANGES IN RATINGS
Donald TRUMP -- Amnesty -- Improved from Mixed to 1st STEPS. Check out the individual Trump page for details.
Ben CARSON -- Amnesty -- downgraded from Unhelpful down to ABYSMAL. He has been all over the place this year in his explanations about what he would do with the 11 million illegal migrants in this country. This week, he made strong statements that he would give work permits to nearly all of them, and without requirements that any enforcement be proven first. Check out the individual Carson page for details.
TOP FOUR CANDIDATES PROTECTING AMERICAN WORKERS THROUGH IMMIGRATION POLICY
SANTORUM -- Grade A
CRUZ -- A-minus
TRUMP -- A-minus
CHRISTIE -- C+
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:21am EST