The biggest problem with Rep. Paul's (R-Texas) latest comments on immigration is that they are NOT just some ad hoc thoughts tossed off carelessly at some speaking event. These are engraved in a brand new book.
Until the release of the book, Liberty Defined, Dr. Paul had a mixed record in Congress and the fact that he had taken the NumbersUSA "No Amnesty" pledge at the end of his Presidential campaign in 2008.
That had earned him a C-minus on our 2012 Presidential Hopefuls Immigration Stances Report Card. Not impressive, but the third best (behind Rep. Bachman with a B-minus and Gov. Tim Pawlenty with a C+) of all the Hopefuls.
PAUL NOW 2nd WORST OF ALL HOPEFULS ON IMMIGRATION
In the graphic below, you will see how we have had to rate Dr. Paul on the 12 most important immigration categories.
The ratings add up to an overall stance that just barely misses warranting an F-minus and squeaks through just better than Pres. Obama. It is significantly worse than the grade of former Speaker Gingrich who had previously been the worst of all Republican Hopefuls on immigration.
Click here to read all citations and analysis behind each of the 12 ratings for Dr. Paul.
Also, here is where you get information about how to contact Congressman Paul about his immigration positions.
Click here to see the ratings and grades of all Presidential Hopefuls.
PAUL SUPPORTERS, YOU HAVE YOUR WORK CUT OUT FOR YOU
We do not endorse candidates and we do not judge them on anything other than their immigration stances.
For those of you who already support a Hopeful for other reasons, we encourage you to pressure your favorite candidate to improve his/her immigration stances to earn a better NumbersUSA grade.
Obviously, those of you who are big supporters of Ron Paul have your work cut out for you.
PREZ GRADE WORSE THAN CONGRESS GRADE
If you look up Rep. Paul's immigration grade for his congressional actions, you will find a much better report. He earns a 'B' grade over his career.
But you will find that only one Republican in Congress has a worse grade on border issues than Ron Paul. Furthermore, he has failed to act in every category of immigration during this new Congress.
His grade on Presidential stances is different because it is based not just on what he has done but on what he publicly says he would do as President. As a Member of Congress, he has been able to avoid acting on many immigration issues, thus protecting his grade a little.
SEVERE BACKSLIDING ON AMNESTY
In his book, Dr. Paul sounds very much like supporters of Comprehensive Amnesty measures by talking about the impossibility of sending back home 11 million illegal aliens.
Like most amnesty supporters who say they oppose "amnesty," Dr. Paul seems to buy the false choice between "legalization" or mass deportation. Since he says mass deportation isn't possible, he feels he has to choose some kind of legalization.
He fails to support Attrition Through Enforcement, which is the middle way supported by most anti-amnesty Members of Congress.
He would limit the legalization by perhaps not allowing the illegal aliens to ever be citizens or to vote. But they still would get to stay in the U.S. and to keep their U.S. jobs, while millions of Americans who want the jobs would have to stay unemployed.
"It could be argued that (this system) may well allow some immigrants who come here illegally a beneficial status without automatic citizenship or tax-supported benefits -- a much better option than deportation," Rep. Paul writes on page 156.
MORE FOREIGN WORKERS SOUGHT WHILE REMOVING EMPLOYERS FROM RESPONSIBILITY
Congressman Paul in his book espouses a largely unfettered business philosophy that seeks to allow employers to import far more foreign labor than they do now. His comments in this vein seem oblivious to the 22 million Americans unable to find a full-time job.
Nor is he much interested in punishing businesses for hiring illegal foreign workers, saying the U.S. should NOT "punish third parties for not being keen to act as law enforcement agents in regard to illegal immigration."
Requiring businesses to verify the legality of workers is a form of "compulsory servitude," he writes. This is consistent with his record. In his more than a decade in Congress, he has never co-sponsored a bill mandating E-Verify.
He says the federal government -- not businesses -- should keep illegal aliens out. But how does that happen without cutting off the jobs magnet at the work place? Tens of millions of foreign citizens visit our country each year legally as students, temporary workers and tourists. Border enforcement can do nothing to keep them from overstaying their visas and taking U.S. jobs.
Nearly every business that has ever used E-Verify extols its virtues and ease of use. Rep. Paul seems to want to set himself up as a protector of businesses, but his positions primarily protect outlaw businesses to the disadvantage of patriotic, law-abiding, community-loving business owners who comprise the majority of employers.
For political supporters of Rep. Paul, they can hope that the immigration sections of the new book were ghost written by naive aides and that Rep. Paul will soon disavow them. For now, though, NumbersUSA has to rate and grade him on the best available information we now have.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA