Home > Content > Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty


Updated: 08/05/11
White House

Iowa Caucuses:


Tell Tim Pawlenty how he can do better on immigration:

Rating Sources


Click on individual ratings to view quotes and other source materials for that rating.

Oppose Amnesty/Legalization
  • On May 31, 2011, during a visit to Sioux Center, Iowa, Gov. Palwenty said: "I’m not for amnesty, because I think it rewards illegal behavior." Gov. Pawlenty also said he supports tougher border enforcement and thorough identification checks by employers.
    Source: http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/05/31/pawlenty-debates- immigration-with-iowans-over-coffee/?odyssey=mod|lateststories
  • Gov. Pawlenty continues to speak generally against allowing large numbers of illegal aliens to stay in the country and about the importance of the rule of law. He doesn't get an Excellent because he hasn't made a detailed statement against mass long-term work permits for illegal aliens, but when he spoke to a Republican Hispanic outreach conference in Miami in January of 2011, he showed spine by refusing to join the pro-legalization group-think of the meeting.
  • Pawlenty was the only Republican Hopeful who accepted an invitation to speak at the Hispanic Leadership Network, led by conservative pro-amnesty Republicans. Pawlenty declined to appeal to the audience with hints at support for legalization of illegal aliens and, instead, said America is based on the rule of law and that "we can’t have wide swaths of the country nodding or winking or looking the other way to broad violations of the law.” “The system we currently have is broken,” Pawlenty said. “We celebrate and welcome immigration. … But the system needs to be legal and reasonable and orderly and that is not what we have now.”
    Source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47629.html
  • “One of the founding principles of this country is the rule of law, so we can't have a large segment of the population flouting or violating the law and others large segment nodding and winking,” he said. “It corrodes respect for the law.... Deportation should depend on factors such as how long the illegal has been in the country.”
    Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/04/pawlenty-sounds-like-2012-hopeful/

Mandate E-Verify
    • As governor, Pawlenty signed an executive order requiring government employees and contractors to use E-Verify. But his most recent public statement on workplace verification is that he doesn't know if employers should be required to use E-Verify nationwide, a most decidedly Unhelpful stance.
    • On Janurary 7, 2008, Gov. Pawlenty signed an executive order requiring state agencies and certain state contractors to use the E-Verify system when hiring new employees. We just need to hear/see him publicly advocate E-Verify for all employers nationwide for him to earn an Excellent rating.
      Source: http://www.governor.state.mn.us/priorities/governorsorders/executiveorders/2008/PROD008598.html
    • Gov. Pawlenty advocated the tightest possible border security enhanced by an electronic Social Security verification system so employers don't unknowingly hire illegal immigrants.
      Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/04/pawlenty-sounds-like-2012-hopeful/

Reduce Overall Immigration

End Chain Migration
  • Gov. Pawlenty has said nothing regarding chain migration.

End Visa Lottery
  • Gov. Pawlenty has said nothing about the visa lottery.

Limit Unfair Worker Competition
  • In appealing for Hispanic votes, Gov. Pawlenty has shown more interest in addressing Hispanic Americans' needs to deal with very high unemployment than in appealing to them with promises to increase immigration of more Hispanic workers. His rating is limited to First Steps, partly because he has not articulated a clear vision of how immigration numbers should be coordinated with unemployment rates.
  • While Gov. Pawlenty has not called for an increase in foreign workers during the current jobs depression, he did lobby Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas in 2006 before the recession.
    Source: http://itbusinessedge.com/, 27 February 2006.
  • Asked by a Florida newspaper whether he would promise more work visas at an Hispanic conference in Miami, he said: “As we talk about immigration and the Latino vote, we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking the only thing they care about is immigration and jump to that first and only. As I talk to the Hispanic community and Latino community, they've got a lot of other concerns as well, which is are they going to have a job, are they going to get a good education, are they going to be able to afford college, are they going to be able to buy health care, what's the economy going to be like. They have national security concerns, so one of the messages I'm going to deliver down there is we don't need to have every discussion start and continue and end with just immigration and not pigeonhole either them or their concerns.”
    Source: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/tim-pawlenty-sarah-palins-target-cross-hairs-jeb-bush-hispanic-voters-and-high-speed-rail

Secure Border & Fence
  • Gov. Pawlenty has spoken of the need to use whatever resources necessary to secure the border and has authorized Minnesota National Guard to reduce illegal traffic at the U.S./Mexico border. But his statements about how he would secure the border are thin and not recent, keeping him from an Excellent rating.
  • Gov. Pawlenty supports putting enough resources into securing the border “effectively.”
    Source: Meet the Press, 26 May 2006.
  • On July 5, 2006, Gov. Pawlenty authorized Minnesota National Guardsmen and Women to participate in Operation Jump Start, an initiative to reduce illegal immigration by securing the U.S. - Mexico border.
    Source: http://www.governor.state.mn.us/mediacenter/pressreleases/2006/PROD007691.html

Implement Entry/Exit
  • Gov. Pawlenty has said nothing about fully implementing an entry/exit system for foreign tourists, workers and students.

Support Local Enforcement

Punish Business Violators
  • GGov. Pawlenty in 2010 on Meet the Press called for the jailing of employers who knowingly hire illegal foreign workers. For now, that puts him just over the line for an Excellent rating.
  • On May 26, 2010, Gov. Pawlenty said, “You tell our employers if you knowingly, and underline the word knowingly, hire an illegal immigrant, then you’re going to jail or you’re going to have a serious consequence. It will take care of most the problem in a big hurry.”
    Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37408098

Tackle Refugee Fraud
  • Gov. Pawlenty has not spoken about the abuse of the Temporary Protected Status and Refugee programs.

End Birthright Citizenship
  • In August of 2010 when the national news media were searching for Republicans to decry the idea of ending the practice of granting U.S. citizenship for births to illegal aliens and tourists, Gov. Pawlenty made an unequivocal statement of support for repealing the practice.
  • On August 7, 2010, Gov. Pawlenty said, “We’re the only, or one of the few, developed nations in the world that allows somebody to come here illegally, give birth to a child, and then have the child be a legal citizen of our country. The only way to trump the court’s decision is to amend the Constitution.”
    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-06/republican-pawlenty-says-congress-should-extend-fund-upper-income-tax-cut.html