De Leon: Romney is Out of Touch With Voters on Immigration

GOP candidate Mitt Romney

GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney is cementing his hardline stance on immigration.

He has touted the endorsement of Kris Kobach, Kansas’ Secretary of State who helped author the draconian immigration laws of Alabama and Arizona. He reiterated his unrelenting position on unauthorized immigrants and DREAMers—young people who stand to benefit from the DREAM Act—at the GOP presidential debate Monday.

“I absolutely believe that those who come here illegally should not be given favoritism or a special route to becoming permanent residents or citizens that’s not given to those people who have stayed in line legally. I just think we have to follow the law, I think that’s the right course,” he said when asked by Fox News political analyst Juan Williams whether he was alienating Latino voters. Romney did say “I love legal immigration.”

“I would veto the DREAM Act, if provisions included in that act say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents,” Romney added after applause from the audience.

“I think that’s a mistake. I think we have to follow the law and insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else.”

He ended by stressing that “to protect our legal immigration system we have got to protect our borders and stop the flood of illegal immigration and I will not do anything that opens up another wave of illegal immigration.”

It won’t help Romney win Hispanic votes. Somos Republicans, the largest Hispanic republican group which says it has 6,000 members, endorsed Newt Gingrich this week, the one candidate who supports a limited path to residency for some undocumented immigrants.

Who is Romney even trying to appeal to? According to the latest Gallup poll, only three percent of Americans say immigration is the most important problem facing the country today, reported Jon Clifton, Gallup Social and Economic Analysis deputy director at an immigration symposium in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

Clifton said that based on Gallup’s latest findings, lingering unemployment, the federal budget and continuing economic malaise are more worrisome to Americans than the perceived scourge of unauthorized immigration trumpeted by some on the far right.

Its true that almost two thirds of those polled say they are “dissatisfied” about the level of immigration to the U.S. Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of NDN, a think tank and advocacy organization, believes that immigration will be an issue in the upcoming Presidential elections because it is a hot button topic, especially in key southwestern states that will be contested in November. Clearly, Romney is placing his bets that reaching anti-immigration voters in those states is more important than the Hispanic voters who live in them.

Rosenberg, another panelist at Tuesday’s symposium, said that immigration is at a deeper level a “surrogate for growing diversification of society.” It is “about race, culture and how we are changing.”

He believes that with the election of an African American president, “the country has passed on to a new place in race,” but he contends that “we have not digested it yet as a country.”

Mitt Romney, rather than helping us process these seismic social and cultural shifts is calcifying the toxic immigration debate by insisting on an uncompromising position, a stance not taken by previous Republican presidents and candidates.

Ronald Reagan signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 which legalized the status of millions of unauthorized immigrants. President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain supported comprehensive immigration reform that included border enforcement and a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants.

If Romney’s braggadocio proves to be real, then he will be presenting a very different Republican Party from that of Reagan or Bush. Is pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment the direction the Republican party, and this country, should be going?

You can follow Erwin de Leon on Twitter or read his blog.

Feet in Two Worlds is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Sirus Fund.

  • Dave Francis

    By now most business are
    self-conscious of the federal program E-Verify? It distinguishes US citizens
    and legal residents from illegal labor. Although not seamless, it has a 99.6
    success rate and obviously will overtime become even more constructive to business
    that believes in the “Rule of Law.” Opponents in both the business
    sector and even on Capitol Hill have released a torrent of abuse against the
    application. That includes the Liberal voice in the press that even citizens
    are being rejected from a job after hiring? 
    The E-Verify program’s capability does reject counterfeit documentation
    and specious ID and it is possible that even lawful individuals can be
    rejected? SO–THEY GO TO THE SOCIAL
    SECURITY OFFICE TO BE EXONERATED? ONLY ILLEGAL LABOR WILL AVOID TURNING TO SSA
    FOR RESOLVING THIS ISSUE.

    The open border conspirators are losing, as they eventually will as in
    Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah and other states that care
    about the financial survival for its true residents, defend their rights in the
    courts? As E-Verify is perfected it needs to become a permanent tool in the
    incomplete arsenal of immigration enforcement–which will also include ‘The
    Birthright Citizenship Bill.” E-Verify will become the true Messiah of the
    unemployed American Worker, until the day comes that every American who desires
    a job—is employed? It needs to reach out to every company, big and small,
    in our country and every individual who works there? E-Verify eventually will
    expel foreign national from the workplace, without any financial appropriations
    on any large scale.

     

    These people will self-deport
    when they cannot be hired anymore. Businesses facing huge fines and prison will
    be the ultimate deterrent. In time as it will save our ailing schools, health care,
    home mortgages, government welfare systems and the forever rising car insurance
    premiums for uninsured motorists.  Illegal immigration is the major cause of
    unfunded mandates forced on U.S. taxpayer by a judicial system, unbound by the
    written demands in our Constitution—paid for by taxpayers.  Look to
    NUMBERSUSA website for honest answers, which includes the fiscal costs to
    taxpayers for a Obama’s underhand new general AMNESTY. Study the Senators and
    Republicans who are seemingly anti-US American Worker and see their immigration
    grades, including the 4 finalist in the race for presidential electability? Graded
    by stance on illegal immigration the following can be observed at NumbersUSA.

     

     

    Newt Gingrich (G-D) has fallen
    behind, as he has recommended a form of Amnesty, when hundreds of thousands of
    legal latent immigrants wait in torment for a entry visa—year in, year out. Santorum
    (G-A-) on the other hand, supports a
    fence along our Southern border. He does not back mass deportations for illegal
    immigrants, but he wouldn’t offer them amnesty. Mitt Romney (G-C+) unyielding pose
    on illegal immigration and has embraced Kris Kobach, former law professor and
    architect of a law to rid Arizona of illegal aliens. Kobach called Romney “the candidate who
    will finally secure the borders and put a stop to the magnets, like in-state
    tuition, that encourage illegal aliens to remain in our country
    unlawfully.” Romney said that as president he would veto The
    Dream Act.” Ron Paul (F) stated he would
    recall U.S. troops from abroad and have them patrol the U.S.-Mexican
    border.  He opposes a border fence, quarrelling that it would be more precarious
    by keeping people in America than by keeping foreigners nationals out?

    THIS IS NOT THE TEA PARTY AGENDA AND GINGRICH
    IS FALLING FAIL TO THEIR PLATFORM OF NO AMNESTIES, NO SANCTUARY CITIES, NO MORE
    CHAIN MIGRATION OR DREAM ACT BILLS? AND CERTAINLY NOT THE CONGRESSIONAL SECRETIVE
    CAMOUFLAGE OF BRINGING INTO AMERICA, STRINGS OF NEW IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE NOT
    HIGHLY SKILLED WORKERS, BUT DEMANDED BY CORPORATIONS. THEY TOO CAN BECOME THE
    WELFARE PARASITE IF THEY BECOME UNEMPLOYED.

    ANOTHER CATEGORY IS THE FAR AVANCED SKILLS
    THAT ARE IN SPECIALIZED OCCUPATIONS AND FORESEEN SEEN AS A TAXPAYERS WELFARE
    PROBLEM AND SHOULD BE GRANTED EXPEDITED VISAS.

     

    “The Birthright Citizenship Bill”
    has grown out of a challenged need to reclaim the American sovereignty of the people’s
    right, of who should be granted citizenship? The 14th amendment was entrusted
    to the laws of the courts, which has been badly misinterpreted that any child
    born within the jurisdiction of United States soil should be guaranteed this
    right? No baby whatsoever should be granted this right if either infants
    parents owe allegiance to a foreign country? Either parent should be a
    birthright American or naturalized as an American citizen. A probable 340,
    000 women come to the U.S., smuggling unborn babies for intent on placing
    the highly expensive yoke of the child’s upbringing for taxpayers to foot the
    bill.  Steve King’s (R-IA) Birthright
    Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R.140) would amend the law so the unborn babies of
    illegal aliens smuggled deliberately through borders or by international
    flights should be disqualified for citizenship. 
    The cost to hospital services and an array of welfare payments and
    entitlements is the most costly for US taxpayers totaling billions of more
    dollars annually. The current unfunded mandates are over $113 billion a year
    for supporting other countries poverty. 

     

    Now the federal government wants taxpayers to
    cover a general Amnesty that would cost $2.4 Trillion dollars when completed,
    while both political parties last August tricked the American public by voting
    for this new rise in the debt ceiling. Don’t be mislead about this spending
    spree as US Senator Mitch
    McConnell (R-KY) and majority speaker John Boehner (R-OH) played taxpayers for a bunch of
    Uneducated idiots, giving President Obama the vote to piece-meal increments of
    funding to the tune of  $2.4 trillion
    dollars, instead of severing this money fund. Once again the people have been
    given the run-around and everybody who voted for raising the debt, should be
    thrown out of office—including so-called TEA PARTY Representatives who went
    along with this lie. THE TEA PARTY WILL NOT BE DECEIVED AND LIED BY ITS OWN
    LEADERS.

     

    Study the website of JUDICIAL WATCH is a public watchdog group Promoting
    Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in Government, Politics and the Law.
    They uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to
    account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.
    Finally CAPSWEB informs the public about the coming nightmare of OVERPOPULATION
    that is already exhibiting itself in our deteriorating infrastructure. TELL
    YOUR POLITICIANS THAT YOU HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE ISSUE ON ILLEGAL
    IMMIGRATION BY CALLING WASHINGTON AT 202-224-3121

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OK46YND5XA5BV4QYJPLC5JK5OE Hacim Obmed

    The Samos Republicans and the rest of the Mexicans can keep there stinking votes. It will render the immigration lobby completely powerless when the Romney administration comes to power. Those who vote for the opposition cannot expect position or influence in the new government.  This is the best and most honest way they we as americans can regain control over who we want coming into our country and becoming citizens.

  • RobGinChicago

    Mitt Romney has maintained close ties with Kris Kobach for many years.  Kobach was his advisor on immigration enforcement matters during Romney’s previous run for the Presidency.  Romney was mightily impressed with the draconian enforcement measures implemented by former Attorney General John Ashcroft on the advice of Mr. Kobach.

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