Donald Trump Forces Immigration Debate

Donald Trump is singlehandedly forcing the Republican presidential candidates into a wide-ranging debate on immigration that party leaders had hoped to avoid. 

The dominance of the issue has grown in recent weeks, with the contenders scrambling to respond to Trump’s positions and one-up him when it comes to keeping the border secure.

In just the past few days, Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.) has appeared open to building a wall along the U.S.-Canadian border, while Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) suggested asking FedEx to design a way to track immigrants who come into the country on visas.

Those remarks came after Trump put his rivals on the spot by proposing an end to birthright citizenship, stirring an intra-party fight over “anchor babies” that has yet to subside.

Some Republicans are watching the debate with growing alarm, fearing it will deepen the GOP’s problems with Hispanic voters in an election cycle where they desperately need them.

“It has not yet damaged the rest of the field but it certainly has that potential,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

Read more from Ben Kamisar at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy