Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum surprised many during last night’s Iowa Caucus, garnering 24.5 percent or 30,007 votes and coming in a scant 8 votes behind front-runner Mitt Romney,  who took in 24.6 percent or 30,015 votes.  A relative outsider only a few days ago, the social conservative politician is now one of the leaders in the GOP presidential race. Santorum is known mainly for his support of family values, his pro-life stance and his opposition to gay marriage, but his record on immigration and other factors of importance to the Latino vote are less well publicized. Fox News Latino has compiled a list of some of issues key to the Hispanic vote and where Santorum stands.

Immigration

Santorum’s immigration policy falls in line with the general, hard-line stance held by most of the GOP hopefuls on the issue.

The son of Italian immigrants, he strongly opposes amnesty for undocumented immigrants, believes building more fencing along the border is an important part of the immigration issue, and also supports making English the official national language.

Santorum voted against establishing a Guest Worker Program with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in 2006, and is also strongly against in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. He made this clear in the September Fox News – Google Debate in which he attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry for allowing undocumented immigrants in Texas the right to in-state tuition costs at state schools.

“What Gov. Perry's done is he provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Maybe that was an attempt to attract the illegal vote--I mean, the Latino voters. But you attract Latino voters by talking about the importance of immigration,” Santorum said. 

Border Security:

Santorum is a strong supporter of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in the hopes that it will stem the tide of undocumented immigrants entering the country. “What I would say is that first, we build the fence. Number two, we enforce the law, and that is that we don't allow people who are in this country to work here illegally,” Santorum said during an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Channel’s “On The Record.  “And when we do find people here illegally, and we go through the process of deportation.”

In recent debates Santorum has gone after Texas Gov. Rick Perry for being “soft on immigration” and opposed Perry’s resistance to a border fence. “What we have is a problem of an unsecure border,” Sanotrum said during the TEA Part debate.“Unlike Governor Perry, I believe we need to build more fence…I believe that we need to secure the border using technology and more personnel. And until we build  that border, we should neither have storm troopers come in and throw people out of the country nor should we provide amnesty.”

Family Values

Rick Santorum is above all else a Social Conservative. Perhaps, there is no better way of describing the appeal and constituency of the 53-year-old politician.

In a nutshell: “his vision for America is to restore America's greatness through the promotion of faith, family and freedom,” according to his website.

Santorum, a Catholic, is strongly pro-life, opposes gay marriage, wants to reinstate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military, and believes a two-parent home is the key to a thriving economy. The promotion of these so-called family values is the cornerstone of his campaign, and he has already made it clear it’s a topic he is willing to go toe-to-toe with against President Barack Obama.

“The Obama administration has a set of values,” Santorum said recently to a crowd of a few hundred students and parents at a conservative Christian school in Iowa. “I love it when the left and when the president say, ‘Don’t try to impose your values on us, you folks who hold your Bibles in your hand and cling to your guns.’ They have values too. Our values are based on religion, based on life. Their values are based on a religion of self.”

The father of seven children, Santorum, believes his stance on family values makes him the so called authentic conservative. He spells out his political vision in his book, "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good."

Education

Education has been a touchy issue for Santorum. The former Pennsylvania Senator is best known for introducing in 2001 the so-called  “Santorum Ammendment” to the No Child Left Behind Act, which promotes the teaching of intelligent design along alongside scientific theories of evolution in schools.

Santorum has criticized what he calls government “meddling” in education and home schools his seven children. During a recent Fox News/Google debate, Santorum said that it was  the parents responsibility to educate their children. “The government has convinced parents that at some point it's no longer their responsibility. And in fact, they force them, in many respects, to turn their children over to the public education system and wrest control from them and block them out of participation of that,” Santorum said. “That has to change or education will not improve in this country.”

Where Rick Perry Stands on Latino Issues

Where Mitt Romney Stands on Latino Issues

Where Jon Huntsman Stands on Latino Issues

Where Ron Paul Stands on Latino Issues

Where Newt Gingrich Stands on Latino Issues

 

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