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Stark Difference on Immigration Reform: Reagan and Bush in 1980 vs. the GOP Field in 2012

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During the GOP debate at the Reagan Library on September 7th, the candidates answered questions from Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart about immigration. The overall tone was derogatory and downright nasty. We’ve posted the video below. But before you watch that one, check out the immigration discussion among the top two contenders for the GOP nomination back in 1980. George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan actually talked about immigration in compassionate and human terms.

Reagan went on to become President and signed an immigration reform bill into law in 1986, putting close to 3 million people on a path towards citizenship . To be fair, we should note that George H.W. Bush’s son, George W. Bush took a similar tack on immigration. However, we’re not seeing anything close to that this year. Watch this clip from the Reagan Library debate. What a stark difference.