Their Own Words: GOP Candidates On Immigration
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Liz Halloran
Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:46 AM
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When Texas Gov. Rick Perry defended his policy of allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, he drew boos from the crowd at this week's Tea Party debate. We look at where the GOP field stands on the Dream Act, who voted to declare English the official U.S. language, and who wants to build a bigger fence.

The restive Tea Party crowd at this week's Republican presidential debate booed Texas Gov. Rick Perry when he defended his state's policy of allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition and receive financial aid at public colleges and universities.

It provided a glimpse of the emotional debate that surrounds illegal immigration — from Congress' continuing inability to pass comprehensive reform to disagreement over how to manage the nation's border with Mexico.

*Federal legislation known as the Dream Act died in Congress last year, 10 years after it was formulated as a bipartisan effort to provide conditional residency status to young illegal immigrants who meet certain education or military service requirements.

*Some conservatives, including a number of GOP presidential candidates, have called for repeal of a provision of the 14th Amendment that bestows citizenship on anyone born on U.S. soil.

*Advocacy groups continue to press for laws that would declare English as the nation's official language, and to ditch requirements that federal documents and election ballots be printed in other languages.

*And many, including most of the Republican candidates, continue to press for construction of a fence between the U.S. and Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security early this year canceled a "virtual fence" project after determining it was too expensive and ineffective — after already spending $1 billion on the project.

As the Republican candidates head to another debate in Florida next week, we compiled the their statements about immigration, some from recent debates, and some from earlier in their political careers. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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