President Obama’s announcement that he will ease deportation for the children of some illegal immigrants underscores an area where Mitt Romney was to the right of most of his primary opponents.
While Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both endorsed pathways to legal residency for some illegal immigrants, Romney never did.
Romney has not yet reacted to the news today from President Obama that he will no longer pursue the deportation of many young undocumented citizens that came to this country as children by their parents.
But campaign adviser Kevin Madden suggested he won’t be distracted by this issue and will instead remain “focus(ed) very intently on the issue of the economy.”
“I think the message that he has to Latino voters, Hispanic voters, is going to be related to what he can do to put the country on the right track and how it’s going to help, how it’s going to help folks who want more opportunity in this country,” Madden said on MSNBC Friday just before the president made the announcement in the Rose Garden.
Romney has consistently opposed The Dream Act, which president Obama supports and would create a pathway to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. President Obama’s order does not go that far, but will keep them from being deported.
“I’ve indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act say that people who were here illegally — if they go to school here long enough, if they get a degree here — then they can become permanent residents,’ he said at a GOP debate in South Carolina in January. “I think that’s a mistake.”
At a presidential debate on NBC News in January Romney advocated for a “self deportation” policy.
“The answer is self-deportation,” he responded. “People who come here legally would be given a transition period to work here, but then they would no longer have the documentation to stay here. We’d have a card that says who is here legally. If they’re not here legally, they’re going to find they can’t get work here. Ultimately, with this transition period, they would get in line at home.”