Implicit in Romney’s recent statements regarding Obama’s illegal administrative amnesty is that he agrees with the broader goals of the Dream Act. He would just rather Obama had worked with Congress for a “long-term” solution instead of a short-term executive order “that can be reversed by subsequent presidents.”
Once upon a time, Romney spoke with clarity and authority on the issue. In fact, it was only 5-8 months ago that he slaughtered other Republican candidates during primary election debates over the issue of illegal immigration. We put together a montage of some of his greatest hits. It is incontrovertibly clear from his statements that he opposed the DREAM Act and any effort to grant citizenship or permanent legal status to those who do not return to their country of origin.
It’s a bit appalling how that can change within a matter of a few months. Then again, that’s politics!
ROMNEY: And I have indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act to say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents.
I think that’s a mistake. I think we have to follow the law and insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else.
Look, I want people to know I love legal immigration. Almost all of us in this room are descendants of immigrants or are immigrants ourselves. Our nation is stronger and more vibrant by virtue of a strong legal immigration system.
But to protect our legal immigration system we have got to protect our borders and stop the flood of illegal immigration and I will not do anything that opens up another wave of illegal immigration. [Concord, NH debate 1/8/12]
ROMNEY: And with regards to those that have come here illegally now, we’re not going to round them all up and deport them, but we’re also not going to give them a preferential pathway to become permanent residents or citizens. They need to go back home, apply for citizenship, apply for permanent residency, like everyone else. Coming here illegally should not give you an advantage being able to become a permanent resident of the United States. [Myrtle Beach, SC Debate 1/16/12]
ROMNEY: And I have indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act to say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents. I think that’s a mistake. I think we have to follow the law and insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else. [Debate in Tampa, FL 1/23/12]
Romney on Rick Perry’s DREAM Act in Texas
ROMNEY: It’s an argument I just can’t follow. I’ve got be honest with you, I don’t see how it is that a state like Texas — to go to the University of Texas, if you’re an illegal alien, you get an in-state tuition discount. You know how much that is? That’s $22,000 a year.
Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you are an illegal alien go to the University of Texas. If you are a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn’t make sense to me. And that kind of magnet –
draws people into this country to get that education, to get the $100,000 break. It makes no sense. [Debate in Orlando, FL on 9/22/11]
Is there any doubt that Romney must overturn Obama’s amnesty if he is to fulfill his campaign pledge?