Three out of four leading GOP candidates are soft on illegals

Three out of the four leading candidates for the GOP nomination for president are "softliners" on immigration.  Since people who believe in enforcing the law are "hardliners," those who don't must be softliners, right?

In this case, depending on what poll you look at, the "softliners" in the second, third, and fourth place spots are either Carson, Carly, and Jeb or Carly, Carson, and Rubio.  Let's take them one at a time.

Rubio is Mr. Amnesty.  He authored an amnesty bill for illegals with the "Gang of 8" (which in many ways was twice as bad as the Maoist "Gang of 4"), before disavowing it right before he ran for president.  Even now, in the present, he still supports amnesty for so-called Dreamers, which will allow chain migration to continue.  He doesn't want to stop birthright citizenship, and he won't talk about deportation.

Jeb is Jeb.  He doesn't want a wall on the border.  He is not for deportations and certainly doesn't want to end birthright citizenship.  The entire illegal immigration movement – whether they be working, not working, picking lettuce, eating lettuce, on welfare, off welfare, sober driving, drunk driving, or killing people – seems to be, based on his rhetoric, one undifferentiated "act of love."

Ben Carson.  To his credit, Ben Carson wants to end birthright citizenship.  But he wants to offer illegals "guest worker" permits and eventually permit them to become citizens, so deportation is obviously not an option for him.  He also wants to secure the border but has not explicitly, to my knowledge, called for a physical barrier as Donald Trump has.

Carly.  Carly wants to keep birthright citizenship for anchor babies and supports amnesty for so-called "Dreamers."  She has not explicitly endorsed amnesty but opposes deporting illegals.

How did this come about?  Most GOP primary voters want a tougher line on immigration.

In Jeb's case, he is still soldiering along with the 8 or 9 percent he's had since Trump bit into his lead.  There are enough country-club Republicans to keep him a top choice for one out of ten.  Not much change there.

In Ben Carson's case I think people simply aren't aware of his positions on the issue.  Relatively little time in the last debate was spent on immigration; on other issues, he comes across as thoughtful and scholarly, at least as long as you don't look at his positions on economic issues too closely.

Marco Rubio did a great job memorizing lines about foreign policy.  As he talked in the debate, I could see his eyes glaze over as he seemingly read an invisible script showing his passion and skill in foreign affairs.  He reminded me of a kid in 7th grade delivering a much-rehearsed book report.  I think, once again, that people are simply not aware of his greatest Senate opus, the bill to legalize illegal immigrants.

In Carly's case, she became the female Trump.  She smacked him down, talked tough about Hillary, and voters thought she had grown a formidable set of earrings.  But once again, she was not engaged substantively on immigration.

I think as long as there are lots of candidates and debate questions are set by a media interested in battle instead of clarity, these candidates may, for a while longer, avoid closer scrutiny of their positions in this area.  But if one of them gets into the lead or ties with Trump, they may come under that closer kind of scrutiny, which will endanger their lead among low-information voters.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Three out of the four leading candidates for the GOP nomination for president are "softliners" on immigration.  Since people who believe in enforcing the law are "hardliners," those who don't must be softliners, right?

In this case, depending on what poll you look at, the "softliners" in the second, third, and fourth place spots are either Carson, Carly, and Jeb or Carly, Carson, and Rubio.  Let's take them one at a time.

Rubio is Mr. Amnesty.  He authored an amnesty bill for illegals with the "Gang of 8" (which in many ways was twice as bad as the Maoist "Gang of 4"), before disavowing it right before he ran for president.  Even now, in the present, he still supports amnesty for so-called Dreamers, which will allow chain migration to continue.  He doesn't want to stop birthright citizenship, and he won't talk about deportation.

Jeb is Jeb.  He doesn't want a wall on the border.  He is not for deportations and certainly doesn't want to end birthright citizenship.  The entire illegal immigration movement – whether they be working, not working, picking lettuce, eating lettuce, on welfare, off welfare, sober driving, drunk driving, or killing people – seems to be, based on his rhetoric, one undifferentiated "act of love."

Ben Carson.  To his credit, Ben Carson wants to end birthright citizenship.  But he wants to offer illegals "guest worker" permits and eventually permit them to become citizens, so deportation is obviously not an option for him.  He also wants to secure the border but has not explicitly, to my knowledge, called for a physical barrier as Donald Trump has.

Carly.  Carly wants to keep birthright citizenship for anchor babies and supports amnesty for so-called "Dreamers."  She has not explicitly endorsed amnesty but opposes deporting illegals.

How did this come about?  Most GOP primary voters want a tougher line on immigration.

In Jeb's case, he is still soldiering along with the 8 or 9 percent he's had since Trump bit into his lead.  There are enough country-club Republicans to keep him a top choice for one out of ten.  Not much change there.

In Ben Carson's case I think people simply aren't aware of his positions on the issue.  Relatively little time in the last debate was spent on immigration; on other issues, he comes across as thoughtful and scholarly, at least as long as you don't look at his positions on economic issues too closely.

Marco Rubio did a great job memorizing lines about foreign policy.  As he talked in the debate, I could see his eyes glaze over as he seemingly read an invisible script showing his passion and skill in foreign affairs.  He reminded me of a kid in 7th grade delivering a much-rehearsed book report.  I think, once again, that people are simply not aware of his greatest Senate opus, the bill to legalize illegal immigrants.

In Carly's case, she became the female Trump.  She smacked him down, talked tough about Hillary, and voters thought she had grown a formidable set of earrings.  But once again, she was not engaged substantively on immigration.

I think as long as there are lots of candidates and debate questions are set by a media interested in battle instead of clarity, these candidates may, for a while longer, avoid closer scrutiny of their positions in this area.  But if one of them gets into the lead or ties with Trump, they may come under that closer kind of scrutiny, which will endanger their lead among low-information voters.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.