The dust is kind of settling after a week-long wind-storm of news media pressing Presidential candidates to express a position on various aspects of immigration policy.
We know a lot more now than we did a week ago. And we'll tell you what we know right here. This overview is the result of two long NumbersUSA Grade Committee meetings yesterday.
BIG CHANGES FOR 9 CANDIDATES IN 'BIRTHRIGHT' RATING
Let's start with the topic that got the most media attention. Many in the news media seemed shocked to learn of a movement to end giving U.S. citizenship to babies born to the 11-18 million illegal aliens and to the 45 million tourists, foreign students and guest workers who come to our country each year on legal short-term visas.
The issue is old hat for NumbersUSA members. During our 19 years, we have always included this issue in our congressional candidate surveys, in our congressional grade cards and in our Presidential Hopefuls grade cards.
Reporters, thanks for finally noticing the issue and asking candidates a question we've wanted you to pose for years.
Here are the changes in birthright citizenship Worker-Protection Ratings caused by new statements:
BUSH: changed Rating from No Action to VERY HARMFUL
CARSON: from No Action to VERY GOOD
CHRISTIE: from No Action to GOOD
CRUZ: from No Action to VERY GOOD
FIORINA: from Unhelpful to VERY HARMFUL
JINDAL: from No Action to VERY GOOD
PERRY: from No Action to UNHELPFUL
RUBIO: from No Action to VERY HARMFUL
TRUMP: from No Action to EXCELLENT
In addition, the following candidates stuck with the positions (and Ratings) that they had previously staked out. (Santorum and Paul deserve special recognition for taking strong stands long before Trump stirred the media's interest this past week.)
VERY GOOD: Paul
1st STEPS: Graham
NO POSITION: Chaffee, Walker
UNHELPFUL: Biden, Clinton, Sanders, Webb
VERY HARMFUL: Huckabee
ABYSMAL: Kasich, O'Malley
"Birthright" babies eventually grow up. A few hundred thousand of them turn 18 each year and begin competing with a giant surplus of American workers who already are competing for too few jobs.
"Harmful" (red) Ratings mark candidates who are willing to continue adding to the worker surplus and making life that much harder for Americans on the economic edges.
"Good" (green) Ratings mark candidates taking a position that can eventually tighten the labor market and improve the opportunities for struggling workers. It is important to remember that the immediate effect on the labor market is that birthright citizenship causes large numbers of adult illegal aliens to feel they can remain working in the U.S. because they have a child who has been made a U.S. citizen. Our government tends to allow nearly all of them to stay once they have a baby here.
READ THEIR STATEMENTS
Find the full quotes of each candidate by:
(1) going to www.NumbersUSA.com/2016
(2) clicking on the photo or name of a candidate
(3) scrolling through the text to find quotes from that candidate on each of the 10 categories of immigration issues
We rate each candidate on their most recent statements of position. We give consideration to previous statements and actions, and also on how their positions compare to those of other candidates. (Be sure to read the text below the big Grade Grid for much more explanation of our process.)
On birthright citizenship, the details that improve a rating are (1) disapproval of the practice, (2) intent to change it, (3) preference for starting with legislative change rather than a constitutional amendment, (4) amount of attention given the issue, and (5) the public spotlight given the issue.
CHANGED RATINGS ON OTHER WORKER-PROTECTION IMMIGRATION ISSUES
A number of candidates made their immigration positions more worker friendly and got improvements in Ratings:
BUSH on Implementing Interior Enforcement improved from 1st Steps to GOOD.
WALKER on Implementing Interior Enforcement improved from No Action to GOOD.
CHRISTIE and KASICH on Border Security improved from 1st Steps to GOOD.
FIORINA on E-Verify improved from 1st Steps to GOOD, and on Amnesty improved from Unhelpful to MIXED.
RUBIO on Finishing the Entry-Exit System improved from Mixed to 1st STEPS.
Other than on the birthright citizenship issue, only one candidate out of the 21 being tracked had a ranking changed to more anti-worker:
KASICH on Unfair Work-Visa Competition worsened from No Action to HARMFUL.
Thanks to all of you who have shown up at rallies, communicated with staffs, sent emails and letters to candidates, commented on news web sites, radio shows, tweets and Facebook. Combined, your actions are moving the overall conversation in the right direction.
Three candidates are seeing their overall Worker-Protection Immigration Grades drop this week:
PERRY from C+ down to a C
BUSH from a C down to a C-minus
RUBIO from a D down to a D-minus
But four others changed their Ratings enough to be promoted:
TRUMP from a C+ up to A-minus
WALKER from B-minus up to a B
CRUZ from C+ up to a B-minus
CHRISTIE from C up to a C+
The top Worker-Protection rank continues to belong to SANTORUM who has earned an A since the beginning but is starting to see some competition.
See all 21 Grades and 210 Ratings at https://www.NumbersUSA.com/2016.
ROY BECK is the Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:30am EST