TAMPA - At Monday's Tea Party debate in Tampa, the question posed by an audience member was simple: "What would you do to remove the illegal immigrants from our country?"
The answer is more difficult.
"Unlike Governor Perry, I believe we need to build more fence," said Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum.
Texas Governor Rick Perry shot back, "The idea that you're going to build a wall from Brownsville to El Paso and go left for another 800 to Tijuana is not just reality."
The smattering of boos from that comment suggests the Tea Party audience and most of the other candidates disagree.
"Of course we build a fence," said former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
That line got applause, but a border fence doesn't address the millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S.
Governor Perry's Texas extends in-state college tuition to illegal students -- a policy not popular with Tea Party candidate, Michelle Bachman.
"I think the American way is not to give taxpayer subsidized benefits to people who've broken our laws or are here in the United States illegally. That is not the American way," said Bachman.
Marco Rubio, the only Hispanic Republican in the U.S. Senate, has addressed immigration reform only in broad strokes calling for border control and a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Rubio, while campaigning, also opposed the Arizona-style law for Florida.
Republican political consultant Jamie Miller of Sarasota says the issue can be a mine field for candidates. "It's not a sound bite issue where you can fix it in eight or ten words."
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