RSS
Is Mitt Romney softening his stance on illegal immigration?
The GOP nominee who once advocated "self-deportation" suggests that he'd let many young illegal immigrants stay in the country for years
 
Immigration activists protest outside The Grand America in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Mitt Romney holds a campaign event on Sept. 18.
Immigration activists protest outside The Grand America in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Mitt Romney holds a campaign event on Sept. 18.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Mitt Romney has stated clearly for the first time that he won't deport young illegal immigrants who obtain temporary work permits under an executive order from President Obama. "The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased," Romney tells The Denver Post. "Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed." During the GOP primaries, Romney took a tough stance against illegal immigration, urging people who had entered the country illegally to leave on their own ("self-deportation"), and slamming Texas Gov. Rick Perry for letting illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition at public universities. Is Romney softening his opposition to illegal immigration to try and woo undecided Latino voters?

Romney is Etch A Sketch-ing for votes: Surprise, surprise, says Janet Shan at Hinterland Gazette: Romney is flip-flopping yet again. For months, he wanted to show all illegal immigrants the door. Then, once he had the nomination in hand but still lacked support from his party's base, he "refused to discuss the issue." Now, he's "trailing miserably among Hispanic voters," so he's suddenly softening his stance. Just wait, though. Once the "extremists" cry foul, he'll pull out the Etch A Sketch again.
"Mitt Romney waves white flag at Hispanic voters, won't overturn Obama's deferred action immigration plan"

Cut Mitt some slack. This is not a flip-flop: Romney isn't softening his position or shifting gears, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) tells The Washington Times. He's just saying that he'll let a "very small number of people" — young immigrants brought to into the country illegally as children — stay put while he works on passing comprehensive immigration reform of his own — which is something Obama has failed to do himself. If anything, we should applaud Romney for finding a sensitive way to handle these "cases that tug at your heartstrings."
"McDonnell: Romney's new comments on immigration unlikely to move needle"

Romney is softening, but it won't work: "Wooing Latino voters is crucial for Romney in many swing states, particularly Colorado," says Rebekah Metzler at U.S. News & World Report. And so far, Romney is falling far short of his goal to snag 38 percent of the Latino vote. These latest comments mark an obvious shift in his tone on immigration. Still, his vague promise of comprehensive immigration won't do him any good until he has spelled out what that reform is, and how he plans to push it through Congress.
"Romney tries to soften immigration stance, but is losing Latinos"

Read more political coverage at The Week's 2012 Election Center.

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week