Debate prep: Which GOP candidate is toughest on immigration?

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Debate Prep: The GOP Candidate Who's Toughest on Immigration?

Immigration is arguably emerging as one of the signature issues of the 2016 Republican primary campaign.

GOP candidates often discuss the issue on the campaign trail and they're sure to weigh in once again before a national audience when they debate on CNBC on Wednesday night.

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Donald Trump has the boldest approach to the problem. His comments on immigration and border security almost immediately became the leading headline of his campaign announcement speech earlier this year and the issue propelled him into the national conversation.

Trump says the 11 million people who are in the United States without documentation should be kicked out of the country. He would let some come back eventually, but all would have to leave. He also wants Mexico to help pay for a border wall to prevent more undocumented immigrants from crossing the border in the future.



Other candidates -- including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul -- want to more strictly enforce existing immigration laws but also support a path to legal status for those who are already here.

Newly-minted frontrunner Ben Carson suggested in September's debate that so-called "illegal" immigrants could potentially become farm workers.

"After we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies," he said. "People who had a pristine record we should consider allowing them to become guest workers primarily in the agricultural sphere."

Related: See photos from last month's main GOP debate:
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GOP Main Debate 9/16/2015
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Debate prep: Which GOP candidate is toughest on immigration?
Republican presidential hopefuls, (L-R) South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Sen. Rick Santorum, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, real estate magnate Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, arrive on stage for the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates businessman Donald Trump, left, and Scott Walker, right, both speak as Jeb Bush, listens during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential hopefuls (L-R), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee , Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, real estate magnate Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former CEO Carly Fiorina, listen as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (C) speaks during the Presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump stepped into a campaign hornet's nest as his rivals collectively turned their sights on the billionaire in the party's second debate of the 2015. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: : Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and John Kasich take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, right, and Donald Trump both speak during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Rick Santorum, George Pataki, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) , U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stand onstage during the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie responds to a question as questioners Dana Bash, center, and Hugh Hewitt, right, look on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump reacts during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. After a friendly round of introductions, the second Republican presidential debate quickly plunged into clashes that shifted from policy to the personal, with more politically experienced insiders trying to gain an advantage against the front-runner at center stage: Donald Trump. Photographer: Max Whittaker/Pool via Bloomberg
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, center, gestures as Donald Trump, left, and Scott Walker look on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, looks on as Ben Carson speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie (R) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Jeb Bush take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, left, speaks as Marco Rubio looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, left, and Donald Trump talk before the start of the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
2016 Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., and Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, walk on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. The main debate of the top 11 GOP contenders in the polls follows the 'kids' table' debate of candidates who didn't make the cut. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republican presidential hopefuls, (L-R) retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, real estate magnate Donald Trump, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, arrive on stage for the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie, right, John Kasich, center, and Carly Fiorina enter the stage prior to the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with reporters after the presidential debate at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second of presidential debates(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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