With the GOP convention slated to begin next Monday, presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to unveil his Vice-Presidential selection by the end of this week.
Below are five of the top contenders for the Republican nomination for Vice-President, along with their positions on immigration, as well as their positions on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).
For some of the candidates, additional information on their immigration records can be found in an attached America’s Voice “backgrounder.”
Gov. Chris Christie (AV backgrounder can be found here)
- While Christie used to support a comprehensive immigration overhaul, including a path to citizenship, he has tacked hard right during his run for President. Christie opposed President Obama’s Executive orders on DAPA and DACA expansion, signing onto an amicus brief urging the Appeals Court to uphold the injunction on the programs.
- Christie believes the president should block federal funding for sanctuary cities.
- Christie believes the United States should use biometric technology to keep track of and deport people who overstay their visas.
- Christie believes the United States should increase its border security by building a border wall “where appropriate,” increasing manpower at the border, and using drones for surveillance at the border.
- Christie calls for every employer in the US to use an e-verify system to check their employees’ work status and that fines for hiring unauthorized workers should be double the profit a business has made from that worker.
Former General Michael Flynn
- On ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Flynn “corrected” guest host Martha Raddatz for referring to illegal immigrants as undocumented, saying “Are they here illegally? I mean, if they’re here illegally, then it’s illegal. I mean, again, back to my very first point, the rule of law in this country is probably the single biggest strategic advantage that we have, above and beyond all other countries in the world. And we cannot allow the rule of law to break down.”
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (AV backgrounder can be found here)
- In 2011, Gingrich was considered to have a liberal stance on immigration compared to his Republican presidential nominee opponents after stating, “I am not for amnesty for anyone. I am not for a path to citizenship for anybody who got here illegally, but I am for a path to legality for those people whose ties run so deeply in America that it would truly be a tragedy to try and rip their family apart.”
- Also in 2011, while a candidate for the presidential nominee, Gingrich said, “I would have very, very stiff economic penalties for anyone who hires somebody who is not legally inside the system, I would be very tough.”
- In 2011 when stating ways to take on immigration reform Gingrich said, “ you make it easier to expel people. If somebody belongs to MS-13, which is a very violent gang, you should be able to get rid of them overnight. There’s no reason it should drag out for two or three years.”
- Gingrich referred to Spanish as the “language of living in a ghetto.”
Gov. Mike Pence
- In November of 2015, Pence stated he would not allow Syrian refugees to be relocated to Indiana until he received assurance from the federal government that security measures have been taken
- In December of 2014, Pence signed Indiana on to the Texas lawsuit challenging DAPA and DACA+. He had to hire outside counsel to pursue the case.
- In 2014, Pence stated in response to being asked whether Republicans can support a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers or undocumented immigrants, “I just always believe that we should not reward people with citizenship whose first act in this country was a violation of the law, and I continue to hold that view.”
- In 2009, Pence was recognized by NumbersUSA, one of the anti-immigrant Tanton organizations, as an original sponsor of the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act.
- In 2006, Pence suggested an immigration reform bill called the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act that would create a temporary worker plan that would require all applicants to leave the country first.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (AV backgrounders can be found here and here)
- Sessions is one of the most anti-immigrant members of Congress.
- On his website, Sessions claims to be committed to curbing the flow of immigration into the U.S.
- Sessions has “aligned himself with people and entities that bash immigrants and make hate a priority.”
- Sessions was a leading opponent of the 2007 immigration reform legislation and became the voice of the opposition to the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform.
- Sessions was also a leading opponent of Obama’s executive actions on DAPA and DACA
- In May of 2016, Sessions held a hearing on, and gave an anti-immigrant opening statement on the “dramatic decrease in the number of aliens removed from the United States over recent years, and thousands of otherwise removable aliens being released from custody” that reproached the Obama administration for decreasing deportations
- In February of 2016, Sessions introduced a bill that would provide for the deportation of children coming to the U.S. While most of them fleeing violence in Central America, he stated, “This crisis is the natural consequence of this Administration’s policies and continued exploitation of our immigration laws. The only way to stop the illegality is to ensure those who enter unlawfully, including children, are treated well but returned home quickly.”