Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Immigration Puzzle Confounds Republican 2016 Field

In contrast to Hillary Clinton’s clear backing for path to citizenship, GOP candidates unsure of best way to handle immigration policy
Republicans are girding for a 2016 campaign debate with Democrats on immigration, but their presidential candidates are still unsure of the best way to handle an issue that could make or break their party’s ability to win back the White House.
Many of the contenders are equivocating or openly shifting their positions on the central question of how to handle the millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally, which Hillary Clinton this week sought to make a defining issue.
While Mrs. Clinton forcefully backed creating a pathway to citizenship for many illegal immigrants, the Republican field, by contrast, features a cacophony of voices.
Ted Cruz speaks to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of 
Commerce in Washington
The jockeying underscores how immigration remains one of the biggest challenges facing Republicans in the 2016 presidential campaign, as they navigate the conflicting pressures of a primary contest, which entails wooing conservatives who generally oppose liberalizing immigration law, and those of the general election, where the GOP will be courting Hispanics who want a more open policy.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush once backed allowing a path to citizenship but has now stepped back and talks instead of offering legal status. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was an architect of a broad immigration bill that included a citizenship path, but now favors a piecemeal approach.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has reversed himself on the issue—he now opposes a pathway to citizenship, which he once supported. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is one of the toughest critics of offering citizenship to illegal immigrants but has left unanswered the question of whether they should eventually be allowed to earn legal status.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee both say they want to tighten border security before taking other steps but are vague about what further policy would follow.
“What it looks like, I don’t know,” Mr. Huckabee said.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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