1. News & Issues

Republican Candidates' Views on Immigration

By

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defeated seven other Republicans to become the party's presumptive presidential nominee. Here is a summary of where the GOP candidates stand on immigration issues:

Mitt Romney Moves to the Right on Immigration

Photo: Getty Images

Like most in his party, the former Massachusetts governor is opposed to amnesty for undocumented immigrants living in the country.

But he has changed his position on deportation. In a 2006 interview, Romney said the mass deportation of 11 million illegal residents wasn't feasible. During the current campaign, he has said that the government should not reward people who are here illegally with a "special pathway" to legal residency. He opposes that kind of comprehensive reform. He now says the government should send undocumented residents home. Read more...

Rick Santorum

Photo: Getty Images

The former Pennsylvania senator thinks undocumented immigrants are criminals and should be treated as such.

Santorum favors legislation that would make English the "official" language of the United States. He supports increasing visa allotments for skilled and highly educated immigrants to help bolster the U.S. economy. He opposes the DREAM Act. Read more...

Ron Paul

Photo: Getty Images

The congressman from Texas approaches immigration with libertarian philosophies. To secure the borders, he would bring all U.S. troops home from overseas and use them to stop illegal traffic into the country.

Paul thinks the federal government should not subsidize college education, so he opposes the DREAM Act for children of undocumented immigrants. He also opposes the government's intrusion into the workplace with a national database to verify workers' immigration status. Read more...

Newt Gingrich

Photo: Getty Images

The former U.S. House Speaker has taken a more moderate approach to immigration policy, suggesting that he favors allowing some undocumented residents to remain in the country.

Gingrich drew criticism from the right wing of the party when he said that undocumented people with families who have lived here for decades should have the opportunity to obtain some form of legal status and avoid deportation. Gingrich has created a Spanish-language website to attract Latino voters to his campaign. Read more...

Jon Huntsman

Photo: Getty Images

The former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China thinks building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border is the wrong approach.

Huntsman says he "doesn't like fences" and would look for other ways of securing the U.S. border with Mexico. As governor, he introduced "driving privilege cards" for undocumented immigrants, a move that has cost him support from conservatives. Read more...

Rick Perry

Photo: Getty Images

The Texas governor drew criticism from the right wing of his party for his support of the DREAM Act. He signed a version of law for Texas, allowing the children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state rates for college tuition.

Perry tried to repair his relations with conservatives by enlisting the support of Joe Arpaio. The Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff calls himself "America's toughest sheriff" and he campaigned with Perry beginning in December 2011. Read more...

Michele Bachmann

Photo: Getty Images

The congresswoman from Minnesota takes hard-line positions on immigration. She favors mass deportations and a border fence. Rep. Bachmann thinks it's ridiculous to give the children of undocumented immigrants in-state rates on college tuitions.

"We don't owe them anything," she says.

Bachmann signed a pledge that, if elected, she would complete a double fence along the entire 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border by 2013. Read more...

Herman Cain

Photo: Getty Images

Before suspending his campaign because of allegations of extra-marital affairs, the former pizza company executive said he favored using 'real guns and real bullets' to secure the U.S-Mexico border.

Cain empathizes with state lawmakers in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and Indiana who have written immigration laws out of frustration over the failures of federal officials to secure the borders. Read more...

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.