The latest Republican presidential debate on Tuesday night saw more clashes between the Republican nominees on the contentious issue of immigration, with a number – including former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Ohio governor John Kasich – attacking Donald Trump’s intention to deport all undocumented immigrants from the United States in a bid to bolster their own campaigns.
Bush and Kasich, whose standing in the polls has been weak thus far, claimed that they have the experience to come up with practical solutions to major national issues such as immigration; however, Trump and Texas senator Ted Cruz were not impressed by many of their suggestions, singling out what they call amnesty for undocumented immigrants and claiming that such people are responsible for the wages of ordinary Americans being driven down.
The argument over immigration is clearly the biggest dividing line between candidates who want a comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system in the United States and those such as Trump, whose harsh language when talking about undocumented immigrants has resulted in a storm of media controversy but also a great deal of popular support. Kasich openly attacked Trump over his deportation policy, calling it “a silly argument”. Trump was characteristically unmoved, arguing that America has no choice but to protect itself.
Despite the backlash from the media and their own party members, the likes of Trump and Ben Carson continue to lead in the polls; however, with no clear picture emerging yet as to who will win the nomination, the other candidates seem determined to stay in the game until the bitter end.