Former New York Gov. George Pataki has invited fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to join him in a "mano a mano" debate on immigration.
As Trump continues to defend his controversial remarks about illegal Mexican immigrants in the cable news circuit, campaign sources say the billionaire business mogul will not participate in what could be considered a publicity stunt by long-shot candidate Pataki.
Trump is in second place in some polls, both nationally and in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Pataki generally gets less than 1 percent of the vote when pollsters include him at all.
During a roundtable discussion Monday with reporters in New Hampshire, Pataki called Trump's stance on immigration "completely abhorrent" and accused him of using name-calling tactics to conceal what Pataki believes is Trump's lack of detailed solutions.
"We have no idea what Trump plans to do on immigration and it's important to Americans and to the Republican party to have a leader who isn't just insulting an entire class and ethnicity of people," Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo told the Washington Examiner.
Although Pataki has failed to make headway in the polls, he says he's committed to finding "pragmatic solutions that work" when it comes to ameliorating the nation's current immigration system.
The three-term governor believes President Obama's unilateral action on immigration — including granting temporary reprieve to millions of illegal immigrants and broadening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — has created a "perverse incentive" for individuals to enter the country illegally.
Instead, Pataki says legal status should only be provided to those who have "obeyed the law, paid taxes, not been dependent upon government services and have been here for a number of years" and should after the border has been secured.
"The final part of that process will require illegal immigrants to perform at least 200 hours of community service as restitution for breaking the law initially," states a press release from his campaign.
Meanwhile, Trump's immigration platform appears to be limited to his praise or disapproval of other candidates' proposals. The former reality TV host recently criticized Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for being "very weak" on immigration while applauding Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for coming to his defense.
On Friday, Trump described the fatal shooting of a San Francisco woman by a previously deported illegal immigrant as further proof that he is right on immigration.
"This is an absolutely disgraceful situation and I am the only one that can fix it. Nobody else has the guts to even talk about it. That won't happen if I become president," Trump said, according to CNN.