Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
After avoiding directly answering any questions from the media about his position on immigration policy since last Friday when President Obama announced his "DREAM Act-Lite" policy, Willard "Mittens" Romney today finally stated his position at the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
Romney spent months attacking his Republican primary rivals for being soft on illegal immigration. Today he called for loosening some immigration restrictions and reiterated a proposal for a path to legal status for some in the United States illegally who have served in the military. Romney calls for loosening immigration restrictions:
Romney said he wants to open the country to more legal foreign workers. But he said he did not plan on keeping in place the new order by President Obama halting deportations of hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to the country when they were children.
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“Some people have asked if I will let stand the president’s executive order,” Romney added. “The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president’s temporary measure.”
Riiight. Mr. "Self Deport" who said he would veto any DREAM Act if it came to him as president is suddenly going to propose a "long-term solution" to immigration that would allow more foreign workers into the country? Romney's anti-immigrant policy advisor Kris Kobach, the author of SB 1070, must have had a stroke when he heard that.
These Latino legislators are not stupid, Mittens, they know you are willing to say anything in a pathetic attempt to pander to them.
Among the ideas laid out Thursday by Romney: lifting caps on skilled worker visas and speeding the processing of applications for temporary agricultural work visas.
He showed a willingness to achieve that end, at least for those who have served in armed forces.
“Mitt Romney believes that young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children should have the chance to become permanent residents, and eventually citizens, by serving honorably in the United States military,” a Romney campaign release states.
Romney has endorsed legal status for military service members before. In declining to go beyond that position Thursday, he signaled that he was not backing down from his past opposition to the DREAM Act, the legislation that would put many more young illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.
So now the DREAMERS have to be conscripted into military service to have any path to citizenship? What are we going to call this, the DREAMER Draft? That's pretty rich coming from a Vietnam War draft dodger who spent the height of the Vietnam War vacationing in Paris while living in a mansion.
Romney continued to dodge the key question: What about the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S.? He failed to address this issue.
Attendees who listened to the speech gave the presumptive GOP nominee a mixed reaction as he spoke, highlighting the diverse views among Hispanic voters. Some booed Romney, and others applauded, when he pledged to repeal the national health care law; and Romney’s remarks on immigration reform in particular drew a broad range of reactions.
Trini Lopez, the mayor of Socorro, Tex., said that among the “enticing offers” to the Latino community laid out by Romney on Thursday was his proposal to reform the work visa system. Even so, Lopez said, before he makes a decision on who to vote for on Election Day, he needs to hear personally from Obama, who addresses the summit on Friday.
Others, such as Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, voiced skepticism.
“If that message was heard a few months ago, it would mean more today,” Valenzuela said of Romney’s advocacy for broader immigration reform. “But if that message was heard a few months ago, he probably would not be the Republican nominee.”
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Romney, who has staked out a hard-line anti-illegal immigration stance since his first presidential campaign in 2008, faces a steep challenge. Democrats are armed with multiple video clips from Republican primary debates in which he hit his opponents for supporting measures such as charging in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.
Romney trails badly in polls behind Obama among Hispanic adults, by a 30 percent to 68 percent margin, according to Washington Post-ABC News polling.
President Obama addresses the NALEO summit on Friday.