Following the fourth Republican presidential primary debate, Latino civic engagement groups are criticizing the candidates' stances on immigration reform and the economy.

Tuesday's GOP debate, hosted by the Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal, focused on the economy, but topics such as immigration and the federal minimum wage -- both issues of importance within the Latino community. The candidates were in agreement on border security and illegal immigration, but some opposed Donald Trump's mass deportation proposal.

Trump also applauded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision to uphold a Texas court's ruling to temporarily delay President Barack Obama's 2014 Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs, which would provide at least 4.9 million eligible undocumented immigrants to briefly avoid deportation for three-renewable years.

"That was an unbelievable decision and we don't have enough of those decisions," said Trump. "That was a great day and frankly we have to stop illegal immigration."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush expressed skepticism to Trump's proposal to deport the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.

"For the 11 million people ... we know we can't pick them up and ship them across, back across the border. It's a silly argument. It's not an adult argument. Makes no sense," Kasich said. He added that undocumented immigrants should have their opportunities if they are law abiding and pay a penalty.

"[Trump's plan] would tear communities apart, and even having this conversation sends a powerful signal. They're doing high-fives in the Clinton campaign when they hear this. We have to win the presidency. The way you win the presidency is have practical plans," Bush said, who prefers a pathway to legal status instead of citizenship.

Cruz, however, sided with Trump.

"For those of us who believe people ought to come to this country legally and we should enforce the law, we're tired of being told 'it is anti-immigrant,'" said Cruz. "It's offensive."

"If Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose," added Cruz.

The immigration debate did not bode well with Latino groups, which have been working to engage Latinos to register to vote and cast their ballot on Election Day.

According to Mi Familia Vota (MFV) Executive Director Ben Monterroso, Cruz and Trump are wrong in regards to immigration policy. In response to Bush and Kasich's approach on Tuesday, Monterroso said the Republican candidates have made enough damage toward the Latino community despite the two governors recognizing the anti-immigrant rhetoric hurts the GOP's White House chances.

"The candidates driving up anger against immigrants -- led by Trump, Cruz, Ben Carson and now Florida Sen. Marco Rubio -- are leading or moving up in the GOP nomination race by playing to the far right in their party. The truth is that when it comes to immigration and to treating Latinos with respect, the party of Trump keeps sinking to new lows with our community," said Monterroso in a statement.

The MFV executive director said the Latino community views Trump as "immoral and a real loser" for commending the Fifth Circuit Court's decision on DAPA and DACA's extension. As Latin Post reported, the U.S. Department of Justice will review the decision for an appeal at the Supreme Court, which Monterroso supports.

He also criticized the candidates' stance on not raising the minimum wage, specifically Trump, Rubio and Ben Carson.

"We are ready to fight for our families and our communities, by holding citizenship workshops and registering voters before the November 2016 election. We will vote for those who respect our families instead of working against us," added Monterroso.

The Latino Victory Project (LVP) said the fourth Republican presidential debate continued to show the candidates "are out of touch" with Latinos. LVP spokesperson Pili Tobar said Latinos, and overall Americans, deserve a higher minimum wage, but the candidates prefer to cater to corporations and special interests.

"While the anti-immigrant rhetoric de-escalated in this debate, we still haven't heard a solid plan from any Republican candidate on how they would protect our community from deportation and how they would get immigration reform through Congress," added Tobar. "At the end of the day it's still Republican leadership who are blocking reform in Congress for purely political reasons. We need to hear real plans and solutions for the 11 million undocumented people in this country who live in fear."

In the end, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was satisfied with the fourth debate. He released a statement on Tuesday night.

"Debates need to focus on the issues, and that goal was accomplished tonight," said Priebus. "Our candidates, not the moderators, were at the center of tonight's debate, and they were all treated with fairness and respect. Thanks to a well-run debate, the country was able to see our diverse field of talented and exceptionally qualified candidates exchange ideas for how to reinvigorate the economy and put Americans back to work."


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