Anyone who has ever used the term “Shamnesty” — or, more likely, “SHAMNESTY!!!!” — is going to hate the likely 2016 GOP presidential field. All of it.
The immigration reform debate centers around many issues, but probably none is more explosive than what should be done about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. The loudest critics of comprehensive immigration reform in the Republican Party demand that there be no “amnesty,” which they define as any pathway to normalizing the immigration statuses of America’s illegal population, no matter whether those illegals would be forced to pay a financial penalty or even prevented from gaining citizenship.
Yet, despite the issue garnering so much ink, the reality is every major candidate supports an immigration policy that includes an “amnesty,” at least as defined by the GOP’s most ardent and vocal immigration hawks.
Much has been made of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s support for a pathway to citizenship for most of the illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. But conservative grassroots stalwarts like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also envision some type of normalization for illegals living in the country.