Romney Says He Will Ease Some Rules for Immigration
Mitt Romney the presumptive Republican presidential nominee looked to broaden his appeal with Hispanic voters on Thursday by recasting some of hard line position on immigration he took during the primary race for the Republican Party nomination.
Romney said that reform in immigration was a moral imperative. He said he would help immigrants to reunite with families and would allow there to be more temporary work visas. He also said immigrants that earn advanced degrees in the university system in the United States would be eligible for green cards. He said he supported providing legal status to those immigrants who join the military. He promised he would complete the 2,000 miles fence between the U.S. and Mexico border to help keep illegal immigrants out.
His speech on Thursday was much different from the harsh rhetoric he had adopted during the primary race, when self-deportation was his answer to solving the immigration problem.
He also was critical of his rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry for their policies that were seen as friendly towards immigrants. During the primary season, he vowed to veto any Dream Act, which was created to form a path for young undocumented immigrants to become citizens.
Romney’s remarks were his most extensive since an announcement was made last week by President Obama to bypass Congress and grant work permits to younger immigrants. Obama will address the same group of Hispanic leaders on Friday.
The move by Obama significantly complicated the efforts of Romney to reach out to Latinos. In the last few days, his advisers have tried to determine Romney’s best response that could differentiate him from the President without disparaging the policy of Obama, which recent polls showed was popular.