Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

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Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won the nation's first test for the 2012 GOP Presidential Hopefuls on Tuesday finishing with just 8 more votes than former Senator Rick Santorum in the Iowa Caucuses. Rep. Ron Paul finished third followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. In our ratings of the Presidential Hopefuls, Romney has a C-minus grade, ranking second behind Bachmann.

(Read Roy's analysis of Tuesday's Iowa Caucuses.)

Romney has consistently maintained an Attrition Through Enforcement platform when it comes to illegal immigration. Romney has expressed support for a national E-Verify law and punishing businesses that hire illegal aliens. He's also supported ending other magnets that encourage illegal immigration and would eventually cause illegal aliens living in the United States to return home over time. Romney has also said that he opposes amnesty.

Santorum has earned a D-grade on our Presidential Hopefuls ratings with his positions on E-Verify and his calls for more foreign workers. Santorum has attacked E-Verify, saying as recent as last month, that a private contractor could create a better system than E-Verify. Santorum also supported an amendment that would have stripped the creation of the Basic Pilot system, that eventually evolved into E-Verify, from House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith's 1996 illegal immigration control bill. Santorum did receive accolades a few weeks ago for calling out the Catholic Bishops' support for an amnesty saying that amnesty would be unfair for the immigrants who come to the U.S. the right way.

Paul has the worst rating among all the GOP Presidential Hopefuls earning an F-grade. While Paul's votes in Congress have been good (he's earned a career B-grade), Paul has opposed more border security, opposed E-Verify, and supported a plan similar to the Krieble Foundation that would issue temporary work visas to the 11 million illegal aliens currently living in the U.S.

For more information on our ratings, see our Presidential Hopefuls comparison grid. And for more analysis on last night's Caucuses, see Roy's blog.

Updated: Wed, Jan 4th 2012 @ 7:58am EST