Romney’s immigration record haunts him

by Carlos Vargas | July 13, 2012

by: Cesar Vargas J.D. and Ryan Campbell J.D

On Face the Press, Mitt Romney avoided the question of whether or not he would roll back President Obama’s new immigration policy giving the most vague, polite brush-off answer he possibly could — not once, not twice, but three times. Under the new DHS directive, undocumented youth would no longer be subject to deportation and eligible for work authorization. Romney went on to assail the directive as a temporary fix motivated by politics, and that he would come up with some permanent legislative solution. The problem that Republicans don’t want to face, however, is that his “permanent” solution is virtually non-existent leaving policies like the unpopular “self-deportation” to fill the void.

While Romney’s immigration stance during the 2012 GOP primaries contributed to his lack of support amongst Latinos, his early immigration record supplements his rhetoric against the undocumented. In 2004, Romney supported a $3 million fund-raising effort for “Team Reform”, a statewide radio and television ad campaign designed to elect GOP candidates. For Team Reform, he financed radio and television ads concentrating on issues like blocking in-state tuition for undocumented students.

When Romney was up against Mike Huckabee in the 2008 election cycle before being knocked out by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), he attacked Huckabee for his tuition stance. “Giving a tuition break to the children of illegals that are here illegally when citizens are having to pay a higher rate, that makes no sense to me at all and that’s something Mike Huckabee supported when he was governor of Arkansas,” Romney said. Politifact rated this a “half-truth” because Huckabee signed into law a measure which allowed undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition if they were residents and would qualify but for their immigration status. He went on to elaborate how he vetoed a similar measure in Massachusetts as Governor, bragging about denying undocumented students of his state their best chance at a college education. Coincidentally (yet unsurprisingly), that was the same campaign season that he was employing notorious Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the chair of his Arizona campaign. The Department of Justice is currently suing Arpaio after allegations that his department racially profiled Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols.

Looking at Romney’s recent performances… READ MORE