Immigration continues to be a hot topic in Washington and that conversation is carrying its way into presidential politics.
Most of the potential candidates at the Iowa Ag. Summit agreed on one point: the immigration system is broken.
“I don’t think you’ll talk to anybody in Politics that will say that the immigration system is working,” said Rick Santorum.
What most may disagree on is how to fix it.
“We need to improve and streamline legal immigration. We need to not just welcome, but celebrate legal immigrants,” said Ted Cruz.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says immigrants who are here need a path to legalized status.
“What we need to do is make sure people pay fines, that they can learn English, that they work, that they don't receive government assistance, that they earn legalized status over the long haul. That they come out from the shadows, so that they can be productive through a provisional work permit," said Jeb Bush.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says the country needs to be more aggressive in improving E-Verify and H-2A. The H-2A program allows employers who meet requirements to bring in migrant workers to fill temporary agricultural jobs.
"I think H-2A is a mess for a lot of farmers. If we’re going to enforce a legal immigration system, we’ve talked a lot about E-Verify, but you’ve got to find a way to make that work as well. That’s something I would be committed to working with not just for the Farm Bureau but with other ag leaders,” said Scott Walker.
These are programs many other candidates are striving to change as well.
"Yes, we need to secure the border. Yes, we need to have programs that work for different industries in the country. Yes we need e-verify," said Rick Santorum.
"We should have a clear, legal and reliable guest worker program that folks in agriculture and others can rely upon," said Chris Christie.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has a different perspective.
"But if you’re coming because you hear that there is free food, free drivers license and that you might even get to vote, and that we’ll also give you free education and health care, then I think we need to meet them at the border and say that it may not be a good fit. Instead of talking about how many people are coming and where they’re going to live when they get here, we aren’t asking why people are coming,” said Huckabee.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry doesn’t think Washington can deal with the issue of Immigration Reform until the border is secured more effectively first.
"You secure the border with personnel with strategic fencing and I would suggest aviation that look down 24-7. We can get people a card and allow them in to say that when you hit your visa limit, we’re going to know where you are and we’re going to let you know that your time is up. You’re out of here,” said Rick Perry.
It’s a debate that may ride on throughout the 2016 campaign trail.