Republicans: Tighten borders and restrict immigration. There is broad gop support for building a permanent fence along the Mexican border. Many conservatives oppose letting illegal immigrants apply for citizenship. More moderate approaches, like those once proposed by John McCain and Giuliani, provide a path to citizenship for those who pay fines and learn English. Most candidates support tougher penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Democrats: Provide a clear path to citizenship. The Democratic focus has been on providing illegal immigrants a clear path to citizenship that involves requirements to learn English and pay a fine, imposing stricter penalties on those who hire undocumented workers and enforcing current immigration laws.Most Democratic candidates oppose the idea of giving illegal aliens driver's licenses. The issue of legal immigration often divides Democrats. Politicians from rural areas want to allow in immigrants who could fill essential local jobs. Their suburban colleagues say skilled immigrants compete with vulnerable workers.