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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Romney on Immigration . . . The Whole Enchilada

Immigration Quotes/Articles:

Speech given at the Heritage Foundation on September 14, 2005 (link is to streaming video and streaming or downloadable audio—mp3 of Romney’s 35 min speech followed by 20+ min of a Q&A session—Topic was actually Homeland Security, but during the Q&A session the topic of illegal immigration came up)—transcription of quotes below is my own:

“I would like to see us, as a nation, bringing in fewer illegal immigrants.”

“I do not like the idea, therefore, of Amnesty; because, I’m afraid, that when you have a regular Amnesty program, of one form or another, you will create a greater incentive for people to come into the country illegally.”

“In my state I’ve said that I will veto any legislation which calls for a drivers license for illegal immigrants.”

“I recently had a bill on my desk last year that said that we should give kids of illegal immigrants who lived in our state a tuition break for our state colleges and universities and I said “No” I vetoed that, it’s one of my few vetoes that has stood up. It’s not that those kids deserve to be discriminated against . . . they don’t. But I didn’t want to create any incentives to have people move to our country illegally. Now, why is that? I’d like to have more people come to our country legally. I love immigrant populations coming to this land. They’ve been an enormous source of our strength.”

“Now I realize that there are some states that rely on immigrant populations to carry out agricultural business. Maybe Pres. Bush’s idea of a guest-pass program may be the right answer for that kind of setting . . . but to have that turn into a permanent citizen status or to encourage illegal immigration is something that we should take care to avoid.”

Source: Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer Nov 1, 2005

“A bill to let children of illegal immigrants pay the same lower tuition rate at state colleges as other MA residents sparked a political sparring match between Democrats and the Romney administration. Romney chastised critics for advocating a bill he said would encourage illegal behavior. Romney said the state's focus should be on helping legal immigrants. Giving children of illegal immigrants a tuition break would act as an incentive to draw in more illegal immigrants to Massachusetts, Romney said.”

Lowell Sun Online

"I don't believe in amnesty," Romney said, using a word voiced by Republicans to describe widespread forgiveness of illegal residency in the United States.

But at the same time, Romney said illegal immigrants should have a chance to obtain citizenship.

"I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country," Romney said. "With these 11 million people, let's have them registered, know who they are. Those who've been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn't be here; those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country."

Boston Globe April 10th, 2006

Regarding immigration, Romney said U.S. borders should be made more secure to keep illegal immigrants from entering. He also said he opposed an amnesty program that would automatically grant citizenship to the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.

"I think that route is not acceptable at this stage," he said. "We should report illegal behavior."

Instead, Romney said, illegal immigrants should be identified and required to apply for green cards, which would allow them to live and work in the United States. Those whose applications are accepted could stay, the rest would be returned to their native countries.

Boston Globe June 21, 2006

Governor Mitt Romney is seeking an agreement with federal authorities that would allow Massachusetts state troopers to arrest undocumented immigrants for being in the country illegally.

Under the agreement Romney is seeking, troopers would have greatly expanded powers: They could check an immigrant's legal status during routine patrols such as during a traffic stop and decide whether the immigrant should be held.

"It's one more thing you can do to make this a less attractive place for illegal aliens to come to work," said Romney.


Keith Steurer said...

Immigration is indeed a sensitive issue here in America. It is hard to stand up against illegal immigration without sounding discriminatory against those that seek to live here in the US. For this reason, it is necessary to stand strong for fairness, safety, and progress. Immigration reform will bring fairness to legal immigrants who lose their jobs to unregulated employment of illegal immigrants. Reform will bring a safe, regulated method to those that wish to enter our country without risking their health or safety. Reform will bring fair wages and benefits to those that come to America legally. Reform will also spark new progress for a growing population of honest workers in this country. For those that do not wish to follow the rules established by reform, there must be a consistent, and pro-active approach to keeping those individuals from entering this country. This must be enforced whether their intent is to work as law abiding residens, or to come in to the country to harm our nation or its citizens.
This will become a major issue in upcoming 2006 and 2008 elections. It will be interesting to watch the democrats use politically correct terminology as flattery rether than tackling the real issue at hand, because they are not willing to take a stand on immigration laws. Not only will their lack of judgement be exposed, but their lack of resolve for guiding the future of this nation towards a safer, more prosperous America.
This will become an even stronger point of strength for republican candidates who have taken a stand on immigration laws, and are actively seeking implementation of these laws. These laws serve not only to protect jobs for those who have made the efforts of immigrating legally into the US, but also protect future immigrants from buying into human smuggling practices and other non-regulated forms of entering the United States. We can all agree that reform is needed, right? Are there still some out there that think if we look "away", the problems will also go "away". Current policies are being skirted, and ultimately ignored. It is time to reform and regulate immigration, and reward those who follow the immigration policies as law-abiding residents of the United States.

Jeff Fuller said...

Great insight Keith! This is a "touchy" subject and there will be large groups of voters who will be unsatsified with any path toward citizenship (and on the other side . . . some who will reject anything but immediate amnesty and thereafter demand preferential treatment as a minority group). Thomas Sowell recently wrote a great article where he argues that many illegal immigrants will have greater rights than most Americans if granted Amnesty. I think that this fact is lost on most people.

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MaxParrish said...

I had high hopes for Romney, until I read and heard his comments on illegal immigration. My first impression, he is a weasel. My second is that he wants to raise immigation quotas significantly (we already have one million a year), and is "an enthusatic legal immigation supporter".

His careful parsing and generalized statements do not impress and if not for his record on tuitions and driver's licesnses I would write him off.

While I am very angry over the effects of illegal immigration, and would just as soon deport the 13 to 20 million illegals (growing a half million every year) I can support someone who is willing to make a clear stand on a reasonable compromise; e.g. the Pence plan.

But Romney is too oily and, like most canididates very disrespectful of the those of us who are very concerned. Another blue suited grifter I fear...

Why can't these politicians stand for something other than platitudes? How about plain talk?

1) No amnesty means no forgiveness. No forgiveness means arrest and deportation.

2) A border means secruity, and serious security means a fence and security zone. Not "cameras".

3) Guest worker means citizenship. It means a secure social security card. I means a limit. It means tracking. It means NO reliance on free medical care, welfare, or public support.

4) A Legal Immigration system means understanding what we need, creating a list of shortages in skilled and unskilled areas, and creating a secure and efficient process of application, immigration, and citizenship or guest workers.

5) It means zero tolerance for BS.

But Romney, like the others, find that kind of talk impossible.