Jan 15

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What Is Our Country’s Immigration Forecast under Republican Presidential Candidates: Rubio, Cruz and Trump?

During Tuesday night’s debate, the most vociferous of the Republican presidential candidates on the issue of immigration were Senator Rubio, Senator Cruz, and Trump.  This was not surprising considering the recent national debate over admitting Syrian refugees, as well as the rising national threat posed by ISIS.   At first glance it seems the three candidates, all sharing the same party, have similar views on immigration reform; however, during the debate their different policies were highlighted.

Rubio: I have a three-step plan [towards legalization][1]

Under Senator Marco Rubio, the twelve million undocumented immigrants in the United States will be offered a form of amnesty or a three-step path towards legalization (assuming they have not committed a serious crime or resided in the US for a short period of time).  First, such immigrants will have to come forward and be registered.[2]  The number of immigrants who take an affirmative step forward depends on the definition of serious crimes.[3]  If the definition is too broad, and includes misdemeanor and drug offenses, then Senator Rubio will miss reaching a majority of the twelve million (This is the current state of affairs with DACA).  For those that do step forward and become registered, they will be treated as quasi-LPR.  Similar to a LPR, they will have to pay taxes; however, unlike a LPR, their legal status is precarious and short term – like a person on an immigrant visa.  Only once these immigrant visa holders pass a ten-year probationary period, will they be able to call themselves a green card holder.

Cruz: I do not support legalization, never supported legalization[4]

Under Senator Ted Cruz, there will undoubtedly be a more physically secure border in the form of a wall built along the Mexican-US border – similar to the security wall in Israel-as well as increased border patrol and surveillance.  Although Congress has promised a wall to Americans in the past, Senator Cruz will make it a reality, as enforcement is his top immigration priority.  In fact, he will be amending the immigration laws to provide for more enforcement- by adding federal crimes such as a misdemeanor for one visa overstay and a felony for two.

With regards to the twelve million undocumented immigrants, their status will remain, as it is – in the twilight zone- or even worse, as he plans to end all of the amnesty policies of Obama.  There is no mention of this group of immigrants in his 11-page immigration plan.[5]  Rather, during the debate, he prided himself on his history of leading the fight against Senator Rubio’s amnesty bill.

Trump: Send back if illegal and come back illegally[6]

Like Senator Cruz, Trump also has a strong arm on enforcement- there will undoubtedly be a wall along the Southern border.  How

ever, unlike Senator Cruz, Trump is very clear about what he will do to the twelve million undocumented immigrants – deport as many of them

as possible, particularly anyone who has a criminal record.  However, he offers a

middle ground between Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio – by suggesting a process for this group of immigrants to come back legally.  This is similar to the process faced by immigrants today who are found inadmissible based upon the three and ten year bars- they must leave the US, wait their turn, and then apply to return with a waiver.   


[1] CNN/Salem Republican Debate; The Venetian Las Vegas; aired on CNN (Dec. 15 2015).

[2] https://marcorubio.com/issues-2/marco-rubio-immigration-plan-border-security-legal/

[3] Id.

[4] CNN/Salem Republican Debate; The Venetian Las Vegas; aired on CNN (Dec. 15 2015).


[5] See https://www.tedcruz.org/cruz-immigration-plan/

[6] CNN/Salem Republican Debate; The Venetian Las Vegas; aired on CNN (Dec. 15 2015).


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.weismanlawyers.com/what-is-our-countrys-immigration-forecast-under-republican-presidential-candidates-rubio-cruz-and-trump/

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