During the 2016 US Presidential campaign, Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz said this:

My position is very simple. I oppose amnesty. I oppose citizenship. I oppose legalization … Today, tomorrow, forever. I believe in the rule of law.

He was staking out the hardline position that he would oppose a pathway to legalization, let alone citizenship, for illegal immigrants, even after the border has been secured.

My question is, have any 2024 Republican Presidential candidates staked out the same hardline position? Or have they all either not opined on it or voiced support for a path to legalization/citizenship in exchange for border security.


1 Answer 1


Chris Christie expressed a similar view during the first Republican primary debate:

Moderator: Another issue that is related to this is that almost seven million migrants have crossed this border, our southern border, during the Biden administration. Governor Christie, what would you do about the seven million who are here? How would you handle them? What would you do?

Christie: Look, Martha, the first thing we need to do is to stop any more from coming. That’s the first thing we need to do. Then, the next thing we need to do with the folks that are here is to, again, as we’ve talked about all night tonight, we have to have law and order in this country. We have to enforce the law. What that means is to make sure that people who come here illegally are not rewarded for being here illegally.

We have so many wonderful people from around the world who are waiting in line, following the law to try to come here and pursue the American dream, and those people are waiting and waiting and waiting because we haven’t dealt with the problem of the folks who are here. We have to have them detained. We have to make sure that they are not rewarded for having broken the law. [...]

Moderator: I just want to clarify, would you send those people back?

Christie: Of course, you'd have to.

Additionally, Vivek Ramaswamy mentioned in a speech that he would "deport universally", because "we are a nation of laws", and would only support a pathway to legalization for illegal migrants who came to US through no fault of their own.

  • 2
    Christie is pretty much the most moderate candidate who made the debate stage. So I wouldn't expect to see many, if any, Republican candidates stake out a position to the left of this.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 15, 2023 at 15:28
  • Are those the only two who have weighed in on this, or are there others? Sep 16, 2023 at 17:44
  • @KeshavSrinivasan as far as I can see it was only Christie who explicitly said as much during the debate - I'm sure others must have weighed in at some point though because as TED points out, Christie is one of the more moderate candidates.
    – CDJB
    Sep 18, 2023 at 7:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .