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  by  Roy Beck

Gov. Romney was the clear winner on immigration during a flurry of debates and campaign activity the last month

Last night, NumbersUSA recalculated ratings in all 12 immigration categories for the 10 announced presidential candidates, posting the last month's immigration statements to the previous record, all available through links on the Presidential Hopefuls' Immigration Grades at:

NumbersUSA upgraded Gov. Romney's overall immigration stances from 4th to 2nd place in its rankings of 10 candidates and raised his overall grade a full letter. It is the most significant change in ratings since the 2012 candidate grading began last winter.

Gov. Romney is the only candidate who is talking about the jobs aspect of immigration policy right now.  In terms of immigration stances that would benefit American workers and their families -- especially the unemployed -- Gov. Romney is beginning to show considerable promise as a candidate. 

We still rank Congresswoman Bachmann's immigration stances higher because of good votes and co-sponsorships in the U.S. House, but she has not been as articulate as Gov. Romney on the campaign trail, and her ratings have remained unchanged since she first entered the race.

Among the results of our adding the last month's statements and recalculating everything:

  • By improving his ratings for opposing legalization and other rewards for illegal aliens, for removing the jobs magnet for illegal aliens through workplace verification, and for securing the border, Gov. Romney raised his overall grade from D-minus to C-minus, ranking him second behind Bachmann whose B-minus is unchanged.
  • Businessman Herman Cain's grade is also a C-minus, unchanged.
  • Newcomer candidate Gov. Perry ranks fourth with a D-minus.
  • Congressman Paul continues to rank ninth and at the bottom of the Republican field with an overall grade of F.
  • President Obama ranks 10th with an overall grade of F-minus. 

We are tough graders because we insist on positive promises and actions in the 12 key areas of immigration policy that need to be changed to stop hurting America's workers and communities.  We expect all of these candidates' grades to improve as voters press them for answers to very specific policy questions.

But we are still waiting for candidates to challenge our legal immigration system that every month adds another 75,000 working-age immigrants to compete against the 22 million Americans who can't find a full-time job. We are looking particularly for stances on Chain Migration and the Lottery, and in their non-response we don't see a sense of urgency among any of these 10 candidates about jobs and unemployment.

Here are the candidates with the FOUR BEST GRADES.  It is pretty sad that Gov. Perry with a pathetic D-minus, nonetheless, has the fourth best grade.  Click on the grid to SEE ALL CANDIDATES:

prez grid


In the Reagan Library debate, the candidates were somewhat pushed into a tough corner by the questioner from Telemundo, which is a strong advocacy voice for amnesty.  But candidates who have taken the time to look at immigration policies and their effect on American workers could have used their opportunity to fill their answers with clear promises that would have elevated their standing with American voters and in our immigration grades.  Instead, they mostly just repeated rather empty platitudes, with some worsening their already-sad positions.  

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

Updated: Sat, Sep 10th 2011 @ 2:57pm EDT

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