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  by  Roy Beck

Former Sen. Rick Santorum zoomed from the back of the GOP pack on immigration issues to way out FRONT at a C-SPAN televised event in South Carolina on Friday. For the first time in many years,  we have a Presidential candidate who says LEGAL immigration numbers are too high!

Look at his new ratings in 10 categories, plus all his statements that led to those ratings at:

https://www.numbersusa.com/content/action/rick-santorum.html

Congratulations to all of you Santorum supporters who have been pushing him to greatly improve his immigration platform.  You succeeded beyond most of our wildest dreams.

Now, the rest of you who are supporting other GOP and Democratic candidates need to increase your pressure on them to catch up to Santorum.

Look at the ratings and grades for all the candidates at:

https://www.numbersusa.com/content/action/2012-presidential-hopefuls-immigration-stances.html

FROM D-minus TO A-minus IN ONE SHORT SPEECH

We have long said that candidates don't need a long speech or a huge position paper to make it clear to the American public that they think American workers should get the next U.S. jobs, that illegal aliens should not be rewarded with U.S. jobs and that legal immigration categories should be cut if they don't serve the national interest.

When Santorum began moving up in the public opinion polls late November and December, we devoted blogs and webcasts to his poor record on immigration that worked out to a D-minus.

But we always said that his bad grade was mainly based on bad decisions in the 1990s and on a lack of statements on various categories during the campaign.  We said that it would be easy for him to improve his platform and grade very quickly with a set of new statements and promises.

He rose to that occasion at the barbeque event Friday for Greenville and Spartanburg Counties, hosted by a couple of South Carolina congressmen.

You can listen to the immigration statement at about the 1:13:45 mark on this C-SPAN video:

http://www.c-span.org/Events/Candidates-in-SC-Try-to-Convince-Local-GOP-Leaders/10737427095/

SANTORUM SAYS VISA LOTTERY IS 'SILLY'

I am going to provide some of the transcript of Sen. Santorum's comments.  You will observe -- especially if you watch the video -- that Sen. Santorum comes at the various subjects in a bit of a round-about way, and sometimes sounds like he is going to go the wrong direction.  One reason he isn't getting an EXCELLENT in some categories (only a GOOD) is because he lacks details. 

But for the first time in the year-long Presidential campaign thus far, we have a candidate who has brought up the Visa Lottery and Chain Migration. 

Santorum wasn't asked about them.

No, he was asked other immigration questions and brought up Visa Lottery and Chain Migration on his own!

I think legal immigration is a great thing.  It has to be a lot more ordered than it is today.  And the fact that we have a lottery system for people to come into this country is, in a word, silly.  People should not be in a lottery to determine whether they come to this country. 

-- Sen. Santorum 

On our Santorum page, you will see that the Senator cast votes in the 1990s that favored the lottery.  That was the basis of his Lottery rating until Friday.  But those votes were two decades ago, and our ratings and grades are based less on past actions and statements and more on what candidates publicly say and promise NOW.  We believe that when candidates begin saying these things in public, they really do start to make a commitment that the public can count on. 

LIMIT FAMILY IMMIGRATION TO 'IMMEDIATE FAMILY' AND SHRINK LEGAL NUMBERS 'LITTLE BIT' 

Sen. Santorum didn't define what he means by "immediate family," which we define as "spouse and minor children." His lack of detail keeps his rating at a GOOD for now.  But we are ecstatic to have the following added to the debate: 

(Immigrants) should come to this country based on a whole bunch of different criteria and one of them should not be chain immigration where relatives come into the country because somebody is here.  Immediate family is one thing, but extended family is a very different thing.

-- Sen. Santorum 

Then, we heard about reducing overall legal numbers for the first time, not by the 50% that would happen under the recommendations of the bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform but by probably 25%.  That's still a great start, especially compared to the leaders of both Parties in Congress, to Pres. Obama and to the other GOP candidates. 

So the the legal immigration front, that's a policy, we need to shrink it a little bit in those two areas I talked about and we need to expand it in one area, and that's agriculture. 

-- Sen. Santorum

The reduction in legal would be in permanent green cards/work permits while the expansion he suggested would be in temporary work permits for foreign ag workers.  Actually, the ag worker program is already unlimited, but Santorum charged the Obama Administration has made it especially cumbersome to keep farmers from using it.

MULTI-POINT SUPPORT OF IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

Sen. Santorum firmly endorsed mandatory workplace verification but stumbled in suggesting that private industry might come up with a better program than E-Verify.

Nonetheless, his comments on stopping illegal immigration and supporting the tools of Attrition Through Enforcement went far beyond the usual generalizations candidates give about "securing the border:"

We will build whatever fence, we will deploy whatever technology, or whatever personel is necessary, to go from where we are today, which is a border that is 40 per cent secure, to a border that is 100 per cent secure. 

 Secondly, we will enforce the law in this country.  That is, on employers to use E-Verify or some other system that they can develop by the private sector, maybe as an alternative, probably a better alternative than E-Verify.  But require businesses to do the proper background checks to determine whether these people that are coming to work for them are in fact legal and allowed to work in this country. 

And then of course, enforce the law in respect to people who are in this country illegally and doing illegal activity and sending them back.  And that is deportations and working with state and local governments.  I was talking with a sheriff over in York County who is one of the sheriffs who can and has the funds from the federal government to be able to work with the federal government to help when they arrest people... who are illegals to be able to deport them.  Most counties and the states cannot do that because they are not provided the resources to do it or the cooperation.  We need to make sure that counties and states have the resources to be able to do something that the federal government obviously hasn't been doing and that is enforce the law. 

And finally, with respect to what do we do with people that have been here (illegally). . .  I don't believe that people who have been here, and I don't care how many years, should earn the right to be able to stay in this country as a result of the fact that they've been here.... The idea that because someone has been here 25 years and worked and raised a family, that that fact should create an opportunity for them to be able to stay longer -- I would just say this: If someone has been here 25 years, unless they're independently wealthy, they've probably broken a whole bunch of other laws. Because you had to work. And if you worked, you were illegally working.  And if you found work, you probably had a fraudulent ID -- which is illegal.  Or, you had a fraudulent Social Security number, which is also illegal.  You've stolen someone's identity.  So, it's not like folks have just committed one act, and I understand we don't want people to be separated from their families, but my grandfather separated from his family for 5 years and did it the right way.  And there are millions of families in America that separate in order to follow the laws of America and do it the right way. There are people who break the law today  and we send them to jail and we separate them from their family.  Why?  Because they broke the law.  So, let's just treat everybody the same and not treat people who broke into this country differently.   

-- Sen. Santorum 

 We'll be watching Sen. Santorum carefully.  His record of promises on these things is recent and somewhat thin.  If he begins to back away from any of this, we will immediately start downgrading him.

So, people need to thank him and encourage him to stick to these newly stated positions at:

http://ricksantorum.com/explore/

P.O. Box 37
Verona, PA 15147

Contact the other candidates by going to our full Presidential Immigration Grades page and click on the name of the candidate.  You'll see contact info at the top of their individual pages.  Good luck.  The candidates are in a listening mood.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

Tags:  
Chain Migration
visa lottery
2012 Presidential Election
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