(Posted first on Thursday, 10SEP2015.) The NumbersUSA Grade Committee met this week to consider all the immigration statements made by Presidential candidates since we last met.
We changed lots of category ratings for most of the candidates (see below).
To see the statements on which ratings are based, be sure to go to the big Grid with all Presidential candidates and click on the photo of a candidate: www.NumbersUSA.com/2016. You will also find the source and link for all of them.
The ratings adjustments resulted in changes in overall grades of only three candidates.
Fiorina demoted from C-minus to D.
Christie demoted from C+ to C.
Paul promoted from D+ to C-minus.
STILL ON TOP
Santorum at an A
Trump at an A-minus
Walker at a B
Cruz at a B-minus
FIORINA'S RAPID ABANDONMENT OF FIGHTING FOR AMERICAN WORKERS
Carly Fiorina's recent statements required a demotion in ratings in three categories:
INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT: from 1st steps down to MIXED
E-VERIFY: from good down to UNHELPFUL
AMNESTY: from mixed down to ABYSMAL
Samples of Fiorina statements:
In an interview with NBC News, Fiorina said, "I've been very clear I don't support deportation."
During a CNN interview Fiorina rejected the E-verify system saying,
We don't have an employer verification system that works, therefore, we can't make it mandatory."
During a CNN interview Fiorina said she supported a pathway to citizenship and work permits for illegal aliens.
What I have said, consistently, over five years almost now, is first we must secure the border, to re-instill faith in the American people and our government. Second, we must fix the legal immigration system, because the legal immigration system is contributing to the illegal problem. And finally, for those who have come here illegally, and stayed here illegally, assuming they're not criminals, in which case they have to leave the country, assuming they pay back taxes, et cetera, I do not belief they earn a pathway to citizenship. There must be consequence for breaking the law. They can earn a pathway to legal status under certain circumstances, so that they can work . . . "
CHRISTIE IMPROVES IN ONE CATEGORY & WEAKENS IN ANOTHER
Chris Christie's statements changed ratings in:
ENTRY/EXIT from no action up to VERY GOOD
BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP from good down to HARMFUL
At a September 2015 campaign event Christie offered more details about his proposal to more closely track immigrants with U.S. visas in order to crack down on illegal immigration.
We should use biometric technology to track people who come as visitors. They are not immigrants, they are not immigrating here. They are here to visit for a period of time, get an education or do something we permit them to do to visit our country, and we should track those people and they should not stay over the period of time they do." ..."The technology exists. I think you can do it with fingerprint technology. Government doesn't do this."
During an August 2015 interview on CBS' Face the Nation, Christie said that the Constitution supports birthright citizenship for illegal aliens and he would only support changing it as part of a larger comprehensive immigration reform plan. On the issue of birthright citizenship - the practice of granting U.S. citizenship to every child born on American soil - Christie said,
It's in the Constitution. And I don't think that we should be looking to change it." "Now what I said was if we wanted to have comprehensive immigration reform, I'd be willing to listen to anything. But the truth of the matter is that that's not something we should be being focused on. That's an applause line."
OTHER RATINGS CHANGES AND NEW STATEMENTS
Clinton on BORDERS, improved from unhelpful to 1st STEPS.
During a press conference in August 2015, Clinton said she would send a "responsible message" to deter Central America families from sending their children to the U.S by deporting the children.
Specifically with respect to children on the border, if you remember, we had an emergency, and it was very important to send a message to families in Central America: Do not let your children take this very dangerous journey."
Cruz on BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP promoted from very good to EXCELLENT.
In an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation," Cruz said:
I think birthright citizenship as a policy matter doesn't make sense. We have right now upwards of 12 million people living here illegally. It doesn't make any sense that our law automatically grants citizenship to their children because what it does is it incentivizes additional illegal immigration."
Yet some constitutional scholars, according to Cruz, say that Congress could simply "pass a law defining what the words in the 14th Amendment 'subject to the jurisdiction' means." But in order to assure the repeal of birthright citizenship, the Texas senator also proposed wholly amending the Constitution, saying "we should change the law."
Graham appeared on local TV and at a townhall meeting continuing to tout the need for more foreign workers:
As the American workforce declines,my goal as your president is to find workers who would come here, temporarily, benefit them and their families, and help us too. Because I don't want farmers to leave this country because they can't find workers... I'm in South Carolina, big tourism industry. We're having a hard time finding service workers. When the PGA came to Kiawah Island and Charleston I had to go back to get 600 Jamaican maids to come in here to service the tournament. So not only would I reform the H-2A program, I would create a brand new immigration system based on merit. As to the 11 million, once we secure our border, increase legal immigration and control who gets a job. Non-crooks can stay. Felons are not welcome...We need workers in the future, and I'll make sure the workers come here legally. And they can meet the IRS like the rest of us."
Bush in a radio interview said he supports ending birth tourism but not birthright citizenship. He stated,
If there's abuse, if people are bringing -- pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement That's [the] legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don't have these, you know, 'anchor babies', as they're described, coming into the country."
Walker in an interview on ABC was asked by George Stephanopoulos: "So you're not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment?"
No. My point is, any discussion that goes beyond securing the border and enforcing the laws are things that should be a red flag to voters out there, who for years have heard lip service from politicians and are understandably angry because those politicians haven't been committed to following through on those promises."
In the same interview, Walker said he favors using E-Verify to hold business accountable. "Well, I said the law is there. And we need to enforce the laws, including those that are in the Constitution," Walker said, adding that he favors addressing illegal immigration by improving border security and requiring businesses to use a system called E-Verify to check workers' legal status.
Santorum in a speech at the National Press Club called again for more enforcement of current immigration laws, even for illegal aliens that have children.
That doesn't obviate the fact that they've broken the law and there are consequences to breaking the law any more than you would say, 'We can't send mothers and fathers to prison because it would separate them from their children.' Then no moms and dads would be in jail."
During an interview with Brietbart, Santorum said he would change the current H1B program to only allow highly skilled IT workers, which would decrease competition for American workers. Santorum was disheartened that companies would have American workers train foreign workers as replacements so the companies could pay the foreign workers roughly 30 percent less. Santorum's plan to change the H1B program is to "focuses on the highly skilled workers -- not just your basic tech worker." He argues there are less "highly skilled" IT workers overseas, so "you're going to have trouble finding 55,000 people that are coming into this country."
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:29am EST