In Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library, candidates will no doubt claim that, if elected president, they would conduct themselves as Ronald Reagan did. That’s a sound political move, given that 90% of Republicans and 60% of Americans view Reagan as an outstanding or above-average president. But the GOP presidential contenders have little in common with our 40th president.
First, most of the candidates vehemently oppose a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in this country. By contrast, Reagan supported amnesty for undocumented immigrants early in his presidency and succeeded in getting Congress to pass the bipartisan Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which provided almost 3 million immigrants with a legal path to citizenship.This article was originally published in Los Angeles Times.