republican debate primaries
Republican presidential candidates attend the Republican Party presidential candidates debate in Sioux City, Iowa, December 15, 2011. In 2015, the first round of primary debates will exclude 7 of the 17 major candidates. The top ten will likely debate immigration. REUTERS/Jim Young

On Thursday, Fox News will host the first Republican debate on a major network. Immigration will be a top issue, and has already become the center of the GOP frontrunners’ campaigns Donald Trump, who is first in the polls, has kept immigration in the spotlight with his comments calling Mexican immigrants “racists” and “criminals,” and a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. Jeb Bush, who is second in the polls, released an updated immigration plan on Monday. What are Republicans’ immigration views, and who are the ten Republican candidates in the first Republican debates?

This guide quickly summarizes each likely participant’s immigration views based on past public statements. Only 10 of the 17 candidates will squeeze in to this portion of the republican debate schedule. The rest will be relegated to a second-tier debate. We listed the candidates by their poll numbers on HuffPost’s Pollster. The top eight candidates appear to be fairly safe, but candidates number nine and ten could be too close to call. Chris Christie appeared to be safely ahead of his rivals, but is now looking to be in a tight three-way race with John Kasich, and Rick Perry . Two of them will sit out the main debate and join the second-tier.

Update: According to Politico Fox News has finalized the list; Rick Perry is out.

Donald Trump

AKA: former apprentice star who said that most Mexican immigrants are “rapists” and “criminals.”

Immigration views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? No, also prioritize deportation of all undocumented immigrants. Once in their home countries, immigrants who have lived in the U.S. should have an expedited application process for some form of legal status.

  • Border wall? Yes; build a wall along the U.S. Mexico border.

  • Dreamers? Not sure if they should be deported or allowed to stay.

Jeb Bush

AKA: George Bush’s brother, the most well-funded Republican candidate, who is married to a Mexican immigrant.

Immigration views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? No, but give legal status for undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. Supported comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.

  • Border fence? No.

  • Dreamers? Let them stay. Supports the Dream Act .

Scott Walker

AKA: Current Wisconsin Gov. who earned his conservative stripes fighting unions.

Immigration views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? No. Used to support such a measure, but changed his position.

  • Border fence: probably? Supports an Israel-like border clampdown, ostensibly with a large fence.

  • Dreamers? He’s yet to comment on Dreamers .

Marco Rubio

AKA Often called the Republican Barack Obama: young, articulate freshman Senator who could upset the party establishment. Infamous in the pro-immigrant community for using his family’s immigration story (they came from Cuba) alongside his anti-immigrant policies.

Immigration views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? Maybe. Led comprehensive immigration in 2013, but has since rejected such a bill saying the border must be "secured" first.

  • Border wall? No.

  • Dreamers? Let them stay. Supports a DACA-like program that would allow some Dreamers to stay in the country legally while border enforcement is beefed up.

Mike Huckabee

AKA former Arkansas Gov. who does a lot of talk radio and television.

Immigration views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? Probably not. Supported comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship but has hedged those comments. His support is unclear.

  • Border fence? Yes. "Electronic fencing."

  • Dreamers? Probably. Suggested a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers in January of 2015.

Ben Carson

AKA the African-American neurosurgeon and political writer that once seperated conjoined twins from the head.

Immigration stance

  • Pathway to citizenship? No. Carson's proposal is a cross between Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. Allow undocumented immigrants to apply for worker permits, but only after they return to their home country. Permits should only be granted if to those who have an employee sponsoring them with a job lined up.

  • Border fence? No.

  • Dreamers? Deport them with everyone else.

Ted Cruz

AKA that Texas Senator whose dad is a Cuban immigrant, but whose policies are some of the most anti-immigrant in the field.

Immigration views:

Rand Paul

AKA Dr. Rand Paul and quirky Libertarian Senator (R-Kentucky) whose father ran in 2016.

Immigration views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? No. Voted against comprehensive immigration reform in 2013

  • Border fence? Yes; wants to build a fence .

  • Dreamers? Paul is “sympathetic” to Dreamers but won’t support them unless other conditions are met.

  • In 2011, Paul called citizenship “a privilege,” and proposed a constitutional amendment that would prevent children of some immigrants from being recognized from becoming U.S. citizens.

Chris Christie

AKA Boisterous New Jersey Gov. who presided over the dirty Bridgegate scandal, but was seen as an effective and bipartisan manager.

Immigration views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? No; does not support a pathway to citizenship outlined in 2013 comprehensive immigration reform.

  • Border fence? No; no border fence.

  • Dreamers? Supported in-state tuition for Dreamers. Unclear if he would support DACA-like program.

John Kasich

AKA Former Ohio Gov. and budget-balancing congressman.

Immigration Views:

  • Pathway to citizenship? Yes; supports a pathway for undocumented immigrants akin to the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill.

  • Once supported ending birthright citizenship (see Rand Paul).

This article has been updated to reflect the final list of canddiates, which cut Texas Gov. Rick Perry from the podium, as well as Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki. According to Politico, those candidates have been invited to a seperate discussion on Thursday.

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