MILFORD, N.H.—Mitt Romney said he believes President Obama's decision to allow as many as 800,000 young illegal immigrants to apply for work permits and temporary legal status will ultimately make it harder for immigrants to gain permanent citizenship.
Making a short statement to reporters after a campaign event here, Romney said he believes Obama's executive order is merely a temporary fix.
"I believe the status of young people who came here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and resolved on a long term basis so that they know what their future will be in this country," Romney said. "I think the actions the president took today make it more difficult to reach a long term solution because an executive order is, of course, just a short term matter than can be reversed by subsequent presidents."
Romney, who spoke to reporters for just over a minute, said he "agrees" with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has called for a "long-term solution," and vowed, if elected, to offer "clarity" to immigrants who came here through "no fault of their own" but by their parents' action.
Romney ignored shouted questions from reporters, who asked if he would roll back Obama's policy if elected or if he views his Democratic opponents as motivated by politics.
The Republican nominee's statement came after reporters repeatedly pressed the campaign for a reaction to Obama's news. His campaign initially offered no reaction and suggested Romney would remain silent on the issue. But the candidate had a change of heart after today's second stop on his bus tour, offering a brief statement to his traveling press corps.
Romney immediately walked away from the microphone when he was done making his remarks, but didn't enjoy an immediate escape. As reporters shouted questions, the Republican nominee fumbled with the door of his campaign bus, but he was locked out. Aides immediately rushed to knock on the door to alert his driver to allow the candidate back in, as his staff awkwardly laughed.