In Romney’s Call for Bipartisanship on Immigration, Survey Says: No

Jun 25, 2012 3:34pm

For those on the Romney campaign who crafted the candidate’s statement in response to today’s immigration ruling on the Supreme Court, a brief lesson in recent history might be in order.

Romney’s statement: “Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy.”

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But here’s the chaser: In 2007, President Bush drafted a bill with John McCain (both Republicans) and Ted Kennedy (a Democrat) to change immigration laws. The legislation couldn’t get past the U.S. Senate, though Democrats and Republicans in the upper chamber did come together to vote both for it and against it. Conservatives called the bill amnesty.

“I had hoped for a bipartisan accomplishment,” Mitch McConnell, then the minority leader, said at the time. “What we got was a bipartisan defeat.”

The year before, a similar bipartisan immigration measure failed in Congress because Republicans didn’t want illegal immigrants to become citizens.

Even the main immigration effort debated now, the so-called Dream Act, drew support from both sides of the aisle. Marco Rubio, the young GOP senator from Florida, had been crafting legislation but was sidelined after President Obama eased the rules on deporting some illegal immigrants.

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