What became clear as the Republican presidential candidates debated immigration in tonight's Orlando debate is how much they disagree with Gov. Rick Perry on how to address it.
Over several minutes, the candidates debated three different immigration issues: requiring employers to check the immigration status of new hires, allowing illegal immigrants to receive subsidized tuition and building a border fence.
On all three issues, Perry is on one side and at least some of the other candidates are firmly on the other.
The first question was on requiring employers to use the E-verify system to confirm the status of new hires.
Newt Gingrich said the federal government should outsource the service to a company like Visa who would be able to manage it without producing any fraud.
Mitt Romney also said he supports a program "like e-Verify"
Perry wasn't asked about e-Verify but he is on the record as being critical of the program. It's not a new position for Perry. Back in 2010, in a Republican debate against primary opponents Debra Medina and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Perry was dismissive of the program.
"It would not make a hill of beans’ difference in what’s happening today," Perry said at the time.
Next, the debate shifted to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Texas was the first state in the nation to pass such a law back in 2001 and Perry supported it.
Romney slammed Perry for supporting the measure.
"We have to turn off the magnet of extraordinary government benefits like a $100,000 tax credit -- or, excuse me, discount for going to the University of Texas. That shouldn't be allowed," Romney said.
Perry accused those of not interested in supporting such a program as lacking "heart"
"We need to be edcuating these children because they will become a drag on our society," Perry said.
Santorum accused Perry of building a straw man argument over whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to go to college. Santorum said Perry was ignoring the real criticism: that Texas chose to subsidize the tuition of those students.
Santorum and Perry than argued over buliding a border fence. Santorum is for it. Perry only supports it in strategic areas.