2011 Tea Party debate: on Immigration


Jon Huntsman: H1B visa process is broken; we need immigrant brainpower

Q: How do Republicans attract Latino voters?

SANTORUM: you attract Latino voters by talking about the importance of immigration. But we need to finish the border fence].

HUNTSMAN: We can secure the border through means of fences, through technology, through the deployment of our National Guard troops, we can get it done. But they were given a driver's license before and they were using that for identification purposes. And I thought that was wrong. Instead we issued a driver privilege card, which in our state allowed our economy to continue to function. And it said in very bold letters, not to be used for identification purposes. But Latino voters want opportunity. The greatest thing that we can do on illegal immigration is fix homeland security. When are we going to have an honest conversation in this country about the root causes? We can't process people. The H1B visa process is broken. We need to bring in brain power to this country to shore up our economic might.

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

Michele Bachmann: It's not the American way to give immigrants rights

SANTORUM: What Gov. Perry's done is he provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

PERRY: If you're pursuing citizenship, you pay in-state tuition. It doesn't make any difference what the sound of your last name is. That is the American way.

Q [to Bachmann]: Is that basically Obama's DREAM Act?

BACHMANN: Yes, it's very similar. And I think that the American way is not to give taxpayer subsidized benefits to people who have broken our laws or who are here in the US illegally. That is not the American way. Because the immigration system worked very well up until the mid-1960s when liberal members of Congress changed the immigration laws. What works is to have people come into the US with a little bit of money in their pocket legally with sponsors so that if anything happens to them, they don't fall back on the taxpayers to take care of them. And then they also have to agree to learn the speak the English language, learn American history and our constitution. That's the American way.

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

Mitt Romney: Of course a border fence; of course no free tuition

Q: How do Republicans attract Latino voters?

SANTORUM: You attract Latino voters by talking about the importance of immigration & the importance of having English as the official language of this country. [But we need to finish the border fence].

HUNTSMAN: We can secure the border through means of fences, but the H1B visa process is broken.

ROMNEY: The question began by saying how do we attract Latino voters. And the answer is by telling them what they know in their heart, which is they or thei ancestors did not come here for a handout. If they came here for a handout, they'd be voting for Democrats. They came here for opportunity and freedom. And that's what we represent. And that's why we'll win collecting support from Latinos across the country. With regards to illegal immigration, of course we build a fence and of course we do not give instate tuition credits to people who come here illegally. That only attracts people to come here and take advantage of America's great beneficence.

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

Rick Perry: Failed federal responsibility to secure the border

There's not anybody on this stage that's had to deal with the issue of border security more than I have, with 1,200 miles of border with Mexico. And our federal government has been an abject failure at securing our border. We've had to spend some $400 million of Texas taxpayer dollars to send Texas Ranger recon teams down there. But 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. What you have to have is boots on the ground. You've got to have 450 Border Patrol agents trained up, 1,500 National Guard troops. You've got to have the aviation assets in the air putting real-time information down to the law enforcement. We understand and know how to secure that border, but we can't do it alone. And the federal government has to step up and do what their constitutional duty is, and that is to secure the border with Mexico.
Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL Sep 12, 2011

Rick Perry: Discounted in-state tuition regardless of immigration status

SANTORUM: Gov. Perry provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

PERRY: If you've been in Texas for 3 years, if you're working towards your college degree, and if you are working and pursuing citizenship, you pay in-state tuition there. And the bottom line is it doesn't make any difference what the sound of your last name is. That is the American way. No matter how you got into that state, from the standpoint of your parents brought you there or what have you. I'm proud that we are having those individuals be contributing members of our society rather than telling them, you go be on the government dole.

Q: Is that basically the DREAM Act?

PERRY: I'm not for the DREAM Act that they are talking about in D.C.; that is amnesty. What we did in the state of Texas was clearly a states right issue. We were clearly sending a message to young people, that we believe in you. That if you want to live in Texas, that we're going to allow you the opportunity to be contributing members.

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

Rick Perry: Let illegals contribute to society & pursue citizenship

ROMNEY: Of course we do not give instate tuition credits to people who come here illegally. That only attracts people to come here and take advantage of America's great beneficence.

PERRY: We basically had a decision to make. Are we going to give people an incentive to be contributing members of this society or are we going to tell them no, we're going to put you on the government dole? In the state of Texas, and this is a states right issue, if in Massachusetts you didn't want to do it, that's fine. But in the state of Texas where Mexico has a clear and a long relationship with this state, we decided it was in the best interest of those young people to give them the opportunity to go on to college and to have the opportunity. They're pursuing citizenship in this country rather than saying, we're going to put you over here and put you on the government dole for the rest of your life. We don't think that was the right thing to do. And it's working. And it's working well in the state of Texas.

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

Rick Santorum: 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

  • The above quotations are from 2011 GOP debate in Tampa, Florida, sponsored by the Tea Party Express.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Rick Perry on Immigration.
  • Click here for more quotes by Michele Bachmann on Immigration.
2016 Presidential contenders on Immigration:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Dec 03, 2018