Saturday, November 26, 2011

Romney's Immigration Policy

Somebody on Twitter the other day noted that the day Romney clinches the Republican nomination is the last day we hear him utter the words "illegal immigration." I concur. Sorry, but Romney is not a Tom Tancredo ghetto fighter. He is educated with a little dash of Northeast elite, where multiculturalism is a value. Not a vice. Is there anyone out there who really thinks that Romney senses the painful gravity of besiege that the Republican base feels when it sees the Martinez family moving in next door? I don't. In fact, I would submit to you that in the deep recesses of the Mitt Romney mind, illegal immigration is not even on the distant periphery of Mitt's doubts or concerns.

Yet, it is not often when Mitt can clearly get to the right of his opponents, so he fakes sincerity and swings for the fences. And by fences, I mean the tall mighty ones that will keep the illegals out.

Romney's immigration stance is currently nothing more than a slogan and an empty one at that.  Here you can see the logical two-step in action.

Conservative reporter Philip Klein asked Romney campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom a natural follow-up question: Does Romney believe in kicking out illegal aliens who have been here a long time? Fehrnstrom refused to answer, and the exchange that followed is striking:
Fehrnstrom kept continuing to drive the “no amnesty” point home, and I tried to get more details.
I followed up again, asking what “no amnesty” would mean for the people already here.
“Well, first, you have to get turn off the magnets to get them to stop coming.”
Again, I asked about those already here.
“He would not grant them amnesty,” Fehrnstrom said.
“But what would he do with them?” I asked.
He reiterated, “He would not grant them amnesty.”
I asked again, “But what would he do?”
“I just told you, he’s not going to grant them amnesty,” he said.
Again, I said, “That’s not an answer, that’s telling me what he won’t do. What would he do?
“He would not grant them amnesty,” he repeated.
It's like a Laurel and Hardy skit. 

Nevertheless, I am not bummed. I have never voted for a politician with whom I completely agree and therefore I forgive Mitt for this. I will cast my vote for him knowing good and well that President Romney will either continue the status quo or offer, er, amnesty. He won't call it amnesty. He will probably name it Operation Secure Our Border. But he will sneak in the amnesty after "fighting" with the Democrats about it and finally remorsefully announcing to the Limbaugh crowd that he had to give in an inch but didn't want to. 

On every other issue, Romney stands heads and shoulders above the clowns running against him and yet the clowns keeping inching ahead of him in the polls. So in one sense, I want the immigration mongering to work. On the other hand, I long for the days of Ronald Reagan, when at least we spoke about immigrants like they weren't cattle to be prodded out of our lands.

And there is also a political calculation to all of this. Let's hope that Romney's short-sighted immigration bashing doesn't have devastating consequences when Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico vote in the general election. The good news is that Romney is running for President in 2012 and not 2020 or 2024 when demographics will not be kind to the Grand Old Party.

Get it in while you can, Mitt. The times, they are a-changing.


Anonymous said...

As long as Romney prioritizes jobs/economy in the general election, he has no problem becoming the next president of the United States of America. 70% Americans #1 issue is jobs/economy. Romney will do fine.

Socrates said...

I'm glad Romney is pushing the no amnesty vague or not.

It's one of the main issues that brought down Perry and will help bring down Gingrich.

If he wants to get specific, he should WIN the GOP nomination first.

Anonymous said...

I do think Romney will cut off the magnets that encourage illegal immigrants and I do believe he will push to make e-verify mandatory and I do think he will aggressively enforce the border unlike GWB.

In MA, Romney gave the police authority to enforce immigration law just like the Arizona law and Romney voted against instate tuition for illegal immigrants. Sheriff Baboa(sp) of AZ endorsed Romney a month ago because he felt confident that Romney was the one who would enforce current immigration law and the borders.

Gingrich's history shows that he voted for amnesty in 86 and voted against e-verify in the 90's which prevented e-verify from becoming a mandatory tool. Gingrich has also been working at Heritage with someone on amnesty policy.

So I see Romney as being far stronger on illegal immigration than Gingrich if you just review past actions and records.

Anonymous said...

Newt Gingrich: Free-trade Kool-Aid drinker

Anonymous said...

Pablo, I agree that illegal immigration does not animate Romney, but I do believe he's sincere in what he says we need to do.

I've wondered why Romney played the immigration card so strong against Perry, when there were other things he could have used. And in the end, Perry did himself in anyway.

I don't necessarily like him playing it against Newt, either. I actually agree more with Newt on this. I have never understood the base's repulsion to being reasonable on immigration. I just cannot and have never been able to drum up a lot of outrage over illegals.

Mitt and Newt in reality are probably not a whole lot apart on the issue, and the issue is not a burning one. So it all makes little sense to me to use it against each other, other than if Romney sees an opening to put Newt down he needs to take it.


Graham said...

Thoughts on this:

There are about fifty to sixty issues for a candidate to run on. Nobody is going to hit a perfect 100% on all of them--heaven knows I disagree with Romney on certain things--but I'm supporting him based on his skillset and experience being matched to our largest and most daunting challenges at the moment.

It'd be nice to get a black and white "What would he do" answer on illegal immigration. He's addressed it before, saying what programs he'd favor and so forth, but yeah, he's not running out and tackling it head-on. He's branding himself as the Jobs Candidate right now.

Not excusing or justifying a refusal to answer by any candidate, it's just the nature of the beast.

Ashley Jones said...

Totally disagree Pablo. Regardless of where Romney really wants to go with this, he needs to hammer a point:

(1) Promising a path to citizenship for ANYONE (even those here 25 years illegally) is off limits until the border is sealed, because even mentioning the policy when people can still come through an open door creates a magnet for more illegals.

(2) Point out that Newt has promised amnesty. Saying 25 years as a guarantee suggests the true timeline is much tighter--5 years? 10? Also, Newt was only willing to deport those with "no connection" to the USA. How many illegals would that send home? Not one. And Mitt needs to point out that Newt's position has ALWAYS been pro-amnesty.

The next debate is in Arizona. Mitt should take the opportunity to clearly outline Newt's terrible history with illegal immigration and his unacceptable current position.

Like others, I don't know what I'd do with illegals who've established long lives in the USA. However, I'm certain promising them any security when the door is wide open is the WRONG signal to send if we're trying to minimize magnets.

marK said...

Mitt's spokesman's answers make perfect sense. Why do you need a complicated policy? If you shut off the magnets that keep people here, they will go elsewhere.

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Romney defunded sanctuary cities while being Governor. Being President is not being a King. He can have the laws enforced, but then the people have to enforce that. He is right on Immigration.