Although his website says he’ll “enforce the law” and “address the 11 million illegal immigrants in America in a civil and resolute manner that respects the rule of law,” GOP candidate Mitt Romney will honor President Obama’s recent amnesty for “young” illegal aliens.
According to the Washington Times, Romney has promised illegals he will not deport those who received the Obama amnesty, and will also pass immigration reform during his first 18 months in office.
Support for Obama’s amnesty is no surprise given Romney’s leftist position on immigration, which he discloses in great detail at his website.
Please, Stay a While
Reported the Times, Romney said “he will not deport illegal immigrants to whom President Obama has granted temporary legal status under his new non-deportation policy, and also set a deadline of passing a broader immigration bill in his first 18 months in office.”
It marks the first softening of Mr. Romney's immigration stance since he took a hard line in the primaries, saying illegal immigrants should not gain legal status.
Romney ducked the question of whether the amnesty will stand as policy, the Times said. “But on Monday he told the editorial board of the Denver Post that those who received ‘deferred action’ — an official notice that they are not going to be deported and can live and work in the U.S., though they are not actually deemed to be here legally — ‘should expect the visa to continue to be valid’ if he is elected.”
“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,” Mr. Romney said. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed.”
Mr. Obama’s deferred action plan took effect Aug. 15, which means Mr. Romney has given himself a soft deadline of summer 2014 to get an immigration bill through Congress.
On Immigration, Romney on the Left
Romney is clearly angling for the “Latino” vote, and trying not to appear “racist,” as those who demand “immigration reform” call those who want the border with Mexico sealed.
But his position is consistent with the material at his website. “America is a nation of immigrants,” the immigration section begins, peddling the the standard neoconservative line. It continues,
We are not a nation bound by ethnicity, but one bound by the idea that all people are endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That idea brought many of our forefathers to America and moves so many today to wait in line to come to our country. Welcoming newcomers who share our ideals and work hard to secure a better life for themselves and their families is part of our heritage. A strong legal immigration system is an integral component of what makes America exceptional.
According to Romney, Americans lack the brains and talent to fill the “high-skill” jobs on which its modern economy depends. “We do not grant enough visas to high-skill job creators and innovators our economy needs to make up for labor shortages and gaps in skills,” the website avers.
Plus, the current system sends away the great majority of the over 300,000 foreign students who are earning advanced degrees at U.S. universities. And the system for bringing in temporary, seasonal workers is so cumbersome and time-consuming, that too often an employer finds that harvest or tourist season passes before temporary worker visas are approved.
So Romney will open the borders for those from abroad with advanced degrees. “To ensure that America continues to lead the world in innovation and economic dynamism, a Romney administration would press for an immigration policy designed to maximize America’s economic potential,” the website promises.
Foreign-born residents with advanced degrees start companies, create jobs, and drive innovation at a high rate. While lawful immigrants comprise about 8 percent of the population, immigrants start 16 percent of our top-performing, high-technology companies, hold the position of CEO or lead engineer in 25 percent of high-tech firms, and produce over 25 percent of all patent applications filed from the United States.
Romney's website claims the “the United States is projected to face a shortage of 230,000 science and technology workers by 2018.”
At the same time, we have set the caps on high-skill visas so low that, for some countries, an entire year’s quota has been filled in an hour. Mitt Romney will ask Congress to raise the caps on visas for highly skilled immigrants.
The website also says Romney will “discourage illegal immigration” by completing a “high-tech fence” to stop border jumpers. Then again, the website vows to unite families on a “timely basis” and “speed the processing of applications by eliminating the red tape that is keeping immediate families apart.”
Mitt Romney will work with Congress to give legal permanent residents the same priority as citizens when applying to bring husbands, wives, and minor children to the United States.
Mitt Romney will reallocate green cards to family of citizens and legal permanent residents.
The amnesty that Romney will honor took effect on Aug. 15. Almost immediately, hordes of illegals lined up to claim squatter’s rights on U.S. soil. About 1.7 million illegals are eligible, the New York Times reported. They were required to meet a short list of criteria. An illegal must be under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012, but had to have entered the U.S. illegally before age 16. He must also have lived in the country since at least June 15, 2007 and been here on June 15, 2012. The criteria also require school attendance or graduation or military service. An illegal cannot have committed a “felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors,” and he cannot “pose a threat to national security or public safety.”
President Obama announced the policy in June after a year of preparatory work that included his top deputies announcing they had no intention of enforcing immigration laws, and indeed had essentially declared the DREAM Act law. That full-scale amnesty failed in the U.S. Senate in December, 2010.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she had implemented the DREAM Act’s criteria to justify permitting illegals to stay in the country. Then, John Morton, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told his agents that they had “prosecutorial discretion” to ignore border jumping.
In August, 2011, Obama halted more than 300,000 deportations. Less than a year later, he gave illegals a free pass to stay in the country.
Photo: Romney campaign photo from his website