Search for...
OnTheIssuesLogo

Rick Santorum on Immigration

Republican Jr Senator (PA)


We need immigration; but we need respect of the law

Q: [to Santorum]:We heard from Gov. Romney, that self-deportation, or illegal immigrants leaving the country voluntarily, is a possible solution.

SANTORUM: I actually agree with Governor Romney. The bottom line is that we need to enforce the laws in this country. We are a country of laws. My grandfather came to this country because he wanted to come to a country that respected him. And a country that respects you is a country that lives by the laws that they have. And the first act when they come to this country, is to disobey a law, it's not a particularly welcome way to enter this country. We have to have a country that not only do you respect the law when you come here, but you respect the law when you stay here. And people who have come to this country illegally have broken the law repeatedly. If you're here, unless you're here on a trust fund, you've been working illegally.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary , Jan 26, 2012

Welcome legal immigrants as part of made-in-America plan

Q: What would you do to ensure that the US is as welcoming as possible to the world's skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs?

SANTORUM: Well, as the son of a legal immigrant to this country, I strongly believe in legal immigration and believe we are that shining city on the hill. If you look at all of the jobs that are being created in our economy today, a huge percentage of them come from the legal immigrants of this country who have innovated, who created great products, who created great companies and employed lots of people. That's one of the reasons that I put together my economic plan, to take all that great innovation that's coming as a result, in part, of legal immigration and make sure that those products that are being created are actually made here in America. And that's why I put forth a four-point economic plan to revitalize manufacturing that begins with zeroing out the corporate tax for manufacturers

Source: 2011 CNN National Security GOP primary debate , Nov 22, 2011

No in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

Q: Gov. Perry signed the Texas Dream Act, arguing that it's better to get illegal alien kids an education and to get them jobs than to consign them just to being a burden on the state.

PERRY: If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they've been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart.

SANTORUM: Gov. Perry, no one is suggesting that the students that are illegal in this country shouldn't be able to go to college. I think you are sort of making this leap that, unless we subsidize this, the taxpayers subsidize it, they won't be able to go. Most folks who want go to the state of Texas or any other college out of state have to pay the full tuition. The point is, why are we subsidizing? Not that they can't go. They can go. They just have to borrow money, find other sources to be able to go. And why should they be given preferential treatment as an illegal in this country? That's what we're saying.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

Finish the border fence; make English the official language

Q: What would you do about illegal immigrants?

SANTORUM: I'm the son of an Italian immigrant. I believe in immigration, as an important part of the lifeblood of this country. But what we have is a problem of an unsecure border. Unlike Gov. Perry, I believe we need to build more fence. I believe that we need to secure the border using technology and more personnel. And until we build that border, we should neither have storm troopers come in and throw people out of the country nor should we provide amnesty.

PERRY: The idea that you're going to build a wall from Brownsville to El Paso and go left for another 800 miles to Tijuana is just not reality.

SANTORUM: What Gov. Perry's done is he provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Maybe that was an attempt to attract the illegal vote--I mean, the Latino voters. But you attract Latino voters by talking about the importance of immigration. You talk about the importance of having English as the official language of this country.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

No tricks like 1986; secure the border first

Q: There are 11 million illegals that are here. What do you do with them if you are able to secure the border?

A: We can have the discussion [afterwards, based on] how long they've been here, whether they had other types of records. But to have that discussion right now and pull the same trick that was pulled in 1986--we said, well, we'll promise to do this if you do that--no more. We are going to secure the border first, and that's the most important, then we'll have the discussion afterwards.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

No promises & no government benefits to immigrants

GINGRICH: [to Santorum]: We should make English the official language of government. We should insist that first-generation immigrants who come here learn American history in order to become citizens. We should also insist that American children learn American history. And then find a way to deal with folks who are already here, some of whom, frankly, have been here 25 years, are married with kids, live in our local neighborhood, go to our church. It's got to be done in a much more humane way than thinking that to automatically deport millions of people.

SANTORUM: My solution is very similar to Newt Gingrich's. We should not have a debate talking about how we don't want people to come to this country, but we want them to come here like my grandfather and my father came here. They made sacrifices. They came in the 1920s. There were no promises. There were no government benefits. They came because they wanted to be free and they wanted to be good law-abiding citizens.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

No benefits for illegal immigrants

Q: How would you prevent illegal immigrants from using our health care, educational, or welfare systems?

SANTORUM: Well, I'm the son of a legal immigrant, and believe in legal immigration. But the federal government should not require states to provide government services. And I think most people who come to this country--certainly all people who come here legally--want it because they wanted the opportunities of this country. And that's what we should be offering. We should not be offering to people-- particularly those who broke the law to come here or overstayed their visa--we should not be offering government benefits.

Q: [to Paul]: But should taxpayers have to pay for that care?

PAUL: No, they should not be forced to.

PAWLENTY: I'm a strong supporter of state rights, but if the federal government won't do its job--in this case, protecting and securing our border--then let the states do it. And they will.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border.

Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:
  1. systematic border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology; and
  2. physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry
Defines "operational control" as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband.

Proponents support voting YES because:

It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:

  1. systematic border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology; and
  2. physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry
Defines "operational control" as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband.

Proponents support voting YES because:

It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of

Reference: Secure Fence Act; Bill H R 6061 ; vote number 2006-262 on Sep 29, 2006

Voted NO on establishing a Guest Worker program.

Reference: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act; Bill S. 2611 ; vote number 2006-157 on May 25, 2006

Voted NO on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security.

Voting YEA would table (kill) the proposed amendment to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving Social Security benefits. Voting NAY supports that prohibition, while voting YEA supports immigrants participating in Social Security. Text of amendment:
To reduce document fraud, prevent identity theft, and preserve the integrity of the Social Security system, by ensuring that persons who receive an adjustment of status under this bill are not able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful activity.
Reference: Preclusion of Social Security Credits; Bill S.Amdt.3985 to S.2611 ; vote number 2006-130 on May 18, 2006

Voted NO on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship.

This amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act would prohibit H-2C nonimmigrants ("Guest Workers") from adjusting to lawful permanent resident status. Voting YEA on the motion to table (which would kill the amendment) indicates supporting a path to citizenship for guest workers. Voting NAY on the motion indicates opposing any path to citizenship. The amendment says:
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an alien having nonimmigrant status is ineligible for and may not apply for adjustment of status.''
Reference: Kyl Amendment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act; Bill S.Amdt.3969 to S.2611 ; vote number 2006-135 on May 18, 2006

Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work.

Vote to create a national registry containing names of U.S. workers who want to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work, and to require the Attorney General to allow more foreign workers into the U.S. for farm work under H-2A visas.
Reference: Bill S.2260 ; vote number 1998-233 on Jul 23, 1998

Voted YES on visas for skilled workers.

This bill expanded the Visa program for skilled workers.
Status: Bill Passed Y)78; N)20; NV)2
Reference: The American Competitiveness Act; Bill S. 1723 ; vote number 1998-141 on May 18, 1998

Voted YES on limit welfare for immigrants.

This amendment would have restored food stamp benefits to the children of legal immigrants
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)59; N)41
Reference: Motion to table Kennedy Amdt #429; Bill S.947 ; vote number 1997-111 on Jun 24, 1997

Other candidates on Immigration: Rick Santorum on other issues:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Rep.Thaddeus McCotter(MI)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
GOP Withdrawals:
Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Donald Trump(NY)
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Mar 07, 2012