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Immigration is huge issue for Republican presidential hopefuls

Last week, the Washington Post reported that immigration, although the polls might not indicate it, is actually the topic getting the most attention from primary voters at the 2012 presidential hopefuls' town hall meetings.

The Washington Post reported that when Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) hosted a town hall meeting in South Carolina recently, she expected it to focus mainly on the economy, jobs and federal spending, but it was her points on immigration that the voter audience reacted most zealously to.

Mitt Romney is facing the same questioning, the Washington Post said. At a town hall meeting two weeks ago, he focused primarily on the economy, but when he opened the forum for questions from the audience, the first was what the Republican's stance on border security is.

Even though the candidates themselves might not be giving it a lot of attention, the Washington Post said that immigration is an issue that voters are going to force the GOP presidential hopefuls to address.

"Immigration is not even close to the top issue for most Republicans today, but it is an issue that is heavy with symbolic importance to Republican voters," a GOP pollster told the Washington Post. "If a candidate is squishy on immigration, that symbolically suggests that he's probably unreliable on a whole host of other conservative issues."

All across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters consider immigration to be almost a test for the candidates, the Washington Post reported. And of course, it is the primary voters that will determine who represents the Republican Party in the 2012 election.

Of all the Republican presidential candidate hopefuls, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has taken one of the toughest positions on immigration. Last month in South Carolina, he told reporters that "[o]nce we secure the border, we can have a conversation about immigration reform in this country, but not until."

If immigration is an issue you feel passionately about, make sure to follow the 2012 presidential election starting now so that you can make an informed decision on who to vote for.

Source: The Washington Post, "Illegal immigration is flash point for Republican White House hopefuls," Philip Rucker and Amy Gardner, Sept. 1, 2011.

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