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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Meeting the Challenge: Romney's Immigration Record

The post yesterday about the new Iowa poll instigated some rather unrelated discussion where a Tom Tancredo supporter claimed:

Romney has no immigration policy, other than allowing for more HB-1 visas . . .

I don't know why anyone who is fed up with illegal immigration and border security would support Mitt Romney! I challenge Romney supporters to present information and facts that prove Gov. Romney has in the past been tough on illegal immigration! Illegal immigration is an issue that affects this nation's education, healthcare, jobs, economy, crime AND future of our great nation!

Well, I DO love a good challenge . . . but this was hardly that. That's actually a "softball" challenge (now if I were a Rudy supporter or a Huckabee supporter, or a McCain supporter that WOULD be a challenge)

Romney has a VERY solid RECORD on illegal immigration. And he's been consistently better on it than any serious candidate. This record is sinking in with voters as he is capturing the lion's share of voters who list Immigration as their #1 or #2 issue. For proof (as requested) here's a campaign's press release a few weeks back (note the dates and that his record spans over the last 5 years):


FACT: As Governor Of Massachusetts, Governor Romney Took Action To Enforce Immigration Laws.

ENFORCEMENT: In December 2006, Governor Romney Signed A Memorandum Of Agreement With The Federal Government To Allow State Troopers To Enforce Federal Immigration Laws. "Governor Mitt Romney and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ICE, which will give specially trained Massachusetts State Troopers the authority to administer and enforce federal immigration laws in the Commonwealth. " (Office Of The Governor, "Governor Romney, ICE Sign Immigration Enforcement Pact," Press Release, 12/13/06)
[Editorial insert by Jeff Fuller: The Romney critic will say that the above was done in the last month of Romney's term in MA and with the knowledge that the incoming Democratic Governor (Deval Patrick) would overturn the program. That misses the obvious point of this plan being publically announced in 6/06 before anyone knew who the successor would be. It took the Feds 6 months to approve the program. I guess the Romney critic is suggesting that Romney should have just scrapped his plan and work because it wasn't likely to stand? Absurd!. No, Romney felt strongly about the plan and "left his legacy" on this issue. What a successor chooses to do is up to them and they are answerable for such.]

IN-STATE TUITION: Governor Romney Vetoed In-State Tuition For Illegal Immigrants. "Romney also vetoed a number of outside sections of the budget, including:...A plan that would have permitted illegal aliens to pay the same in-state tuition rate at our public colleges and universities as Massachusetts citizens." (Office Of The Governor, "Romney Signs $22.402B Fiscal Year 2005 'No New Tax' Budget," Press Release, 6/25/04)

ENGLISH IMMERSION: Governor Romney Fought Efforts To Weaken Massachusetts' English Immersion Law. "But yesterday, Romney press secretary Shawn Feddeman said the governor will fight all attempts to slow the implementation of English immersion, known on the ballot as Question 2. ... 'He will veto anything that weakens or delays English immersion,' Feddeman said." (Anand Vaishnav, "Romney Firm On English Timetable," The Boston Globe, 1/24/03)

- In June 2002, Mitt Romney Said "The Approach Of English Immersion Is One That I Support. ... I Would Make English Immersion The Educational Norm For All Non-Native English Speakers." (John McElhenny, "Mitt Romney Endorses 'English Immersion' Education Plan," The Associated Press, 6/4/02)

DRIVER'S LICENCES: Governor Romney Opposed Efforts To Give Driver's Licenses To Illegal Immigrants. "'Those who are here illegally should not receive tacit support from our government that gives an indication of legitimacy,' the governor said, echoing arguments that opponents have voiced in the Commonwealth and in other states considering similar license measures. 'If they are here illegally, they should not get driver's licenses,' he said." (Scott S. Greenberger, "Romney Stand Dims Chances Of License For Undocumented," The Boston Globe, 10/28/03)

FACT: Governor Romney Would Take Action To Secure The Borders Through Physical And Virtual Fences.

Governor Romney: "In my view, there are several principles that need to be part of our immigration plan. First, to secure the border..." (Governor Mitt Romney, Interview On The Northern Alliance Radio Network, 1/27/07)

Governor Romney: "You've got to have a wall or fence or electronic surveillance. You have got to make sure we secure our border, that's first." (Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," 9/19/06)

FACT: Governor Romney Supports Strong Reforms To Stop Illegal Immigration And Encourage Legal Immigration.

Governor Romney: "The current system puts up a concrete wall to the best and brightest, yet those without skill or education are able to walk across the border. We must reform the current immigration laws so we can secure our borders, implement a mandatory biometrically-enabled and tamper-proof documentation and employment-verification system, and increase legal immigration into America." (David Yepsen, Op-Ed, "So Far, Romney's Been Most Impressive Republican," Des Moines Register, 7/11/06)

FACT: Governor Romney Opposes The McCain-Kennedy Bill And Any Form Of Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants.

Governor Romney: "McCain-Kennedy Isn't The Answer." "Another aspect of American sovereignty is the security of our borders. The current system is a virtual concrete wall against those who have skill and education, but it's a wide-open walk across the border for those that have neither. McCain-Kennedy isn't the answer. As governor, I took a very different approach. I authorized our state police to enforce federal immigration laws." (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks At The Conservative Political Action Conference, Washington, D.C., 3/2/07)

FACT: Governor Romney Supports A Strong Employer-Verification System That Includes A Tamper Proof Worker Verification Card.

Governor Romney: "First, to secure the border, number two, have an employment verification system. This would be a card - a biometric card - that people who are not citizens would have and before an employer hires a non citizen they would have to look at the card, type in a number on a computer, and get verification from the federal government that this person is eligible for work in the U.S. If they hired someone not so eligible that company would be fined just like not paying taxes." (Governor Mitt Romney, Interview On The Northern Alliance Radio Network, 1/27/07)

FACT: Governor Romney Supports Empowering Local And State Authorities To Enforce Federal Immigration Laws.

Governor Romney Believes More State And Local Police Agencies Should Work With The Federal Government To Enforce Immigration Laws. "Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Tuesday that more state and local police agencies ought to consider making deals with the federal government to have their officers trained in enforcing elements of federal immigration law. ... 'I think it's a good idea for us to communicate that we intend to enforce our laws,' Romney said." (Jacques Billeaud, "Romney: More State, Local Police Should Get Immigration Training," The Associated Press, 3/13/07).

Also, this campaign flyer from 1994 shows that Romney isn't just a "Johnny Come Lately" to the cause of combating illegal immigration. The flyer states that he supported "Tougher measures to combat illegal immigration" way back in 1994 . . . apparently the "least conservative" phase of Mitt's political career.

As far as where Romney will lead us in this area ElectRomneyIn2008's Victor Lundquist listed 4 points (some of which is summarized in the last part of the press release) in the comments section of that post:
1. Tamper-proof Employer verification ID cards (for immigrants only).
2. Any business that employs an illegal alien will receive the same penalty as the business who does not pay its taxes.
3. He will finish building the border wall.
4. He will build up border enforcement big time.

I followed up Vics list with 5 more points in light of more recent statements Romney has made on this subject. Romney has recommended:

5) Trimming Federal funding to Sanctuary cities who are openly opposing the federal immigration laws.
6) Cutting relavent Federal funding to states who create "magnet" policies like in-state tuition breaks and state-sponsored scholarships for illegal immigrants.
7) Opposing Driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in ANY state (would probably seek a Federal statute that would prevent any state from offering such licences)
8) Deporting all illegal immigrants caught breaking the law.
9) "Back of the line" (and/or "go back home first") treatment of illegals wanting to become legalized (plus learning English, paying back taxes, paying a fine, passing a civics test, etc . . .) . . . but all of this without an immediate "pseudo-legalization" like the Z-visa provided.

So, do you think I answered this Tancredo fan's question adequately?

4 comments:

Joseph said...

Jeff,
Great Response, as always.

Jeff Fuller said...

Why thank-you!

Alexander said...

As another Tancredo supporter and one who considers himself fair minded, I believe you made an excellent case for your guy. But Tom Tancredo has taken a lot of heat for even bringing up the subject.
Now that the issue is a number one with the public, Romney's record, which looks better than Rudy or McCain, could reap the benefits.
Give Tom Tancredo the credit he is due. It is hard to discuss an important topic while a good percentage of the population will call you racist.
But if Mitt still thinks we "need"
more H1-b workers than he still does not get it.
Continuing to outsource to India,insourcing H1B
(Indians)and low wage slave labor Mexicans will destroy this country.
Mitt needs to say to me that he will deport illegals before I will leave my candidate.

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