The latest GOP presidential debate featured a spirited argument between several front runners for the Republican presidential candidacy. Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio took center stage in the national spotlight and fought to win the hearts of conservatives across the country. It was not long before immigration, one of the more polarizing topics in politics, put every other political subject in the background. Each candidate had a different take on the controversial issue.
Trump has made no effort to hide his strong feelings about immigration. He’s made national news headlines by declaring that if he was voted into office, he would do away with birthright citizenship. Taking it a step further, he has said on the record that he intends to deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in the U.S. already. In the spirit of controversy, Trump called Jeb Bush soft on immigration because his wife, Columba Bush, is a Mexican-American.
Bush took a stance that put plenty of distance between him and Trump when he talked about granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants that are here already. It bore a striking resemblance to an old Ronald Reagan speech, and the debate was held at the Reagan Library in California. This more moderate view may very well alienate him from hardcore conservative voters in the primaries, according to commentators.
Carson took a more moderate approach to the topic of immigration. He said he would support a workers’ program that would grant undocumented immigrants permission to work in the U.S. Some analysts think that this may distance him from the more conservative members of his party. Regardless, Carson has seen an increase in support lately, edging closer and closer to the party front runner, Donald Trump.
Fiorina was critical of Democrats, claiming that they had no interest in attempting to solve the issue of immigration. But she didn’t stop there. In fact, she was quick to point out the flaws she saw in party-rival Trump’s plans to do away with birthright citizenship. “You can’t just wave your hands and say the 14th Amendment is going to go away,” she said.
Rubio took a much different approach than the rest of the candidates. It appeared as though he was attempting to connect with the Latino population who might feel alienated from the Republican party, especially as of late. “My grandfather instilled in me the belief that I was blessed to live in the one society in all of human history where even I, the son of a bartender and a maid, could aspire to have anything, and be anything that I was willing to work hard to achieve,” he said.