America was founded on the principles of diversity and acceptance, including accepting immigrants into the country. While both parties agree on continuing to support immigration, they disagree on what to do about those who enter the country by anything but the accepted method. Republican views on illegal immigration are comparably intolerant. Republicans believe that illegal immigrants are taking jobs, homes, seats in schools, and tax dollars from legal citizens who have paid into the system their entire lives.
Many Republicans also believe that illegal immigrants contribute to crime rates. This belief stems from the idea that these people broke the law in coming into the country, and therefore have shown a predisposition to criminal activity. Republicans are strongly against amnesty for those who have come here illegally, and also hope to see systems developed that will punish employers who knowingly hired illegal immigrants. They believe that illegal immigrants should be deported when caught, and that border security should be a high priority of the government so as to prevent more illegal immigrants from entering the country.
The Republican Party strongly believes that providing amnesty to illegal immigrants only further encourages illegal immigration. They also seek stricter penalties for illegal aliens themselves than those that are already in place, and would like to see stricter laws in place against those who help smuggle illegal aliens into the country, those who create fraudulent documents to prolong the ability of illegal aliens to stay in the country, and employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. They also support the right of border patrol agents to deport illegal immigrants without giving them a hearing before a judge. They argue that illegal immigrants’ disregard for American laws negates their right to a trial, which should be reserved for citizens who pay tax dollars into the legal system.
This belief is one that the party has stuck to, even when it meant opposing their own. In the 2004 Republican Platform, the party spoke out against President Bush’s plan to implement a new temporary worker program, allowing those working as illegal aliens to apply for citizenship the same way as those applying from outside the country. The party platform argued that Bush’s proposal would only deter those applying from outside the country to go through the proper channels to do so. Republicans stated that this measure would be providing unfair advantages to those who had broken our laws, and would be putting them on par with those who were working hard to obey the law.
Children of Illegal Immigrants
One issue that the party lacks a unified opinion on is what action, if any, to take against the children of illegal immigrants. While some argue that these children should automatically gain citizenship since they were born in the U.S., others argue that their parents’ illegal status should be passed down to them. The argument for citizenship of these children is simple-they did not make the decision to come here illegally. Proponents of providing anyone born in the country with citizenship believe that it is unjust to punish an otherwise innocent child for the crime of his or her parents. However, the opposition argues that this only encourages illegal immigrants to start families here. If their children are guaranteed citizenship, there is less reason to wait for the proper channels and a higher probability that foreigners will come here illegally to start their families.
The SAVE Program and E-Verify
The Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program is an online system designed to help benefit-issuing agencies, institutions, and licensing agencies determine the immigration status of applicants. The Republican Party not only supports the SAVE program, but would like to see it implemented nation-wide. They also support immigration status verifications within the workplace, and believe that verification measures should be made mandatory throughout the country. This would ensure that no illegal immigrants were able to receive governmental benefits, state or federal-issued licenses, or accreditation from state or federal institutions at any level.
Republicans also support the implementation of the E-Verify System, an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees. They believe that all business owners should be required to run employees through this system to prevent them from hiring illegal immigrants.
Donald Trump on Illegal Immigration
2016 presidential candidate hopeful Donald Trump’s views on immigration are among the most extreme, and have met with some of the most intense responses. Donald Trump is adamantly determined to rid the country of illegal immigrants. He believes in mass-deporting illegal immigrants in the millions if he is elected president. He also plans to build a wall across the southern border of the United States to deter illegal immigration. He strongly opposes birthright citizenship, stating, “We’re the only ones dumb enough, stupid enough to have it.”
Trump has been up front about his motives for his absolute stance against a road to citizenship. While he shares the beliefs of his party, he has also spoken out stating that any road to citizenship would be a suicide mission for the Republican Party. Any illegal immigrant who becomes a citizen and votes, reasons Trump, will be sure to vote Democratic. Therefore, allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens could single-handedly wipe out his party.
Marco Rubio on Illegal Immigration
Marco Robio’s views on illegal immigration are also in line with his party’s, though on a less extreme level than Trump’s. Rubio also believes in deporting any illegal immigrants who fall into the hands of the law, but does not believe in police raids and mass deportations. Rubio believes that border security takes precedence over capturing immigrants already here, and hopes to implement 20,000 new Border Patrol agents, implement the E-Verify system, and install $4 billion in new cameras and sensors on the border. Rubio also hopes to finish the incomplete walls across the southern border.
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