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October 17th, 2012
04:08 PM ET

Nominees tackle immigration at presidential debate

By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN

(CNN) - The presidential candidates discussed immigration at the Univision forum a month ago, but Tuesday night’s debate gave the hot button issues a major prime-time stage, and it wasn't pretty.

Five things we learned from the debate

In one of the most tweeted moments, the candidates addressed audience member Lorraine Osorio's question: "Mr. Romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards (who) are currently living here as productive members of society?"

The candidates had trouble with Osorio's name, and people went wild on social media.

“This is a nation of immigrants," GOP nominee Mitt Romney said. "We welcome people coming to this country as immigrants. My dad was born in Mexico of American parents. Ann's dad was born in Wales and is a first-generation American. We welcome legal immigrants into this country.”

Romney said he would implement an employment verification system and punish employers who hire people who have entered the country illegally.
"So for instance, I would not give driver's licenses to those that have come here illegally, as the president would," he said. "The kids of those that came here illegally, those kids, I think, should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the United States, and military service, for instance, is one way they would have that kind of pathway to become a permanent resident."

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