Tonight is the final Republican debate before the February 1 Iowa caucuses officially kickoff the presidential nomination process. Like the other GOP debates, this one features a main debate at 9 p.m. EST and an undercard debate at 7 p.m. EST. Four lower polling candidates will appear at the undercard debate: Carly Fiorina; Mike Huckabee; Rick Santorum; and Jim Gilmore. Seven candidates will appear on the main stage debate: Ted Cruz; Marco Rubio; Ben Carson; Chris Christie; Jeb Bush; John Kasich; and Rand Paul. Notably, Donald Trump—who leads the field in most polls—has decided he will not participate in tonight’s debate. Fox News is hosting the debate and it can also be streamed live here.
With immigration playing a growing role in the 2016 campaign and first votes being cast in four days, FAIR believes the candidates should be pressed on their immigration positions. Accordingly, FAIR offers the following five questions that should be asked of the candidates:
Question 1: The U.S. economy has been stagnant for most of Obama’s presidency yet we continue to issue 1 million new green cards a year. A recent Pew poll found that 67% of Republicans (and nearly half of all respondents) believe immigration should be reduced. Will you insist Congress send you a bill within the first 100 days of your administration that lowers the number of green cards the U.S. issues annually?
Question 2: The Iowa caucuses will be held on the seven month anniversary of Kate Steinle’s senseless death at the hands of an illegal alien who was protected by sanctuary city policies. The Obama administration has allowed sanctuary cities to defy federal immigration law without repercussions. As president, what will you do to bring justice to the Steinle family and other families that have experienced similar avoidable tragedies and hold sanctuary cities accountable?
Question 3: FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress that the U.S. is currently unable to properly vet Syrian refugees. Will you pledge to freeze admissions of Syrians and nationals from other ISIS-linked countries until sufficient national security screening measures are implemented?
Question 4: Unaccompanied alien minors and family units from Central America continue to surge across the border because they believe they can remain in the U.S. once they arrive. Part of the problem is a loophole in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act that prevents the government from promptly returning illegal aliens from Central America. Do you support amending the TVPRA so all UAMs, regardless of country of origin, are subject to the same process and can be promptly returned instead of allowed to disappear in the interior of the U.S.?
Question 5: With the labor force participation rate at historical lows, ensuring a legal workforce has never been more important. Will you make mandatory E-Verify a priority in your administration so scarce jobs only go to individuals who have a right to work here lawfully?