Immigration takes center stage in GOP debate
GOOGLE SPIN ROOM — The debate took off quickly with the topic of immigration. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took turns debating Donald Trump over hiring undocumented and foreign workers over U.S. citizens.
“My mom was a maid at a hotel, and instead of hiring an American like her, you’ve hired people around the world instead,” Rubio said.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich took a different route and talked about his plan for a legal pathway, without a way for citizenship.
“I don’t think we’re going to tear families apart… it doesn’t reflect America,” Kasich said.
Border talks came into play next with Donald Trump saying the wall with Mexico “just got 10 feet taller,” as a result of former Mexican president Vicente Fox’s interview published early Thursday.
“And he’ll probably hire illegal workers,” Rubio said.
Telemundo’s Maria Celeste asked Cruz and Rubio why they appeal to the average Republican instead of opening themselves up to Hispanic votes.
“When I ran for Senate, I earned 40 percent of the Hispanic vote,” Cruz said. “If you look at values in the Hispanic community — faith, family, patriotism…I campaigned on the same conservative principles.”
When directly asked about immigration, Kasich said he wants economic growth before taking on immigration.
“The promise of America is that our system, when we follow the right formula, will be the rising tide of everyone,” Kasich said.
A Telemundo poll found that three of four Hispanic voters have negative perceptions of Trump.
“I don’t believe anything Telemundo says,” Trump said. “I’ve won many of the polls with Hispanics. I’m bringing a lot of people who are Democrats (or) Independents… and building a much bigger, much stronger Republican party.”