Reuters reports GOP presidential candidates Scott Walker and Rick Santorum could make inroads with working-class voters based on their desire to allow fewer to legally immigrate to the United States. Such voters have struggled with stagnant wages and fewer job opportunities since the great recession, which started in 2007.
Citing a Gallup poll, Reuters reports that about 2 in 5 Americans think current legal immigration levels are too high. About one million foreign nationals get legal permanent residency each year and hundreds of thousands more obtain temporary guest worker status.
Republican presidential hopefuls like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham, Ky. Senator Rand Paul and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee have called for more legal immigration, a stance popular with business groups that seek cheaper permanent and temporary foreign labor. But Walker and Santorum say immigration should be limited to give U.S. workers, and particularly vulnerable Americans, more bargaining power.
Walker has said the nation’s legal immigration system should be based on protecting American workers and American wages. And he has proposed mandatory, all-employer E-Verify to protect American workers from competition by illegal aliens. NumbersUSA’s executive director Roy Beck told Reuters "Walker's the one who really put this on the map. He's said it so many times now I don't see how he could possibly back out of it."
Santorum has laid out an extensive plan to curb illegal and legal immigration. It includes securing the border and ending the border surge; tracking all entries and exits; making E-Verify mandatory; ending birthright citizenship for aliens; pursuing interior enforcement; reducing legal immigration; and denying further work permits to illegal aliens.
Read more from Reuters.
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:36am EST