Romney Still Trails Obama on Immigration
Last week Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave a speech at the Los Angeles Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and took part in the Univision Spanish language forum in Florida. In both places, he said that immigration was important for the U.S. and said as the president that he would make a permanent fix for what he called the broken system of immigration that now exists in the U.S.
Most advocates for immigration rights, as well as Hispanic activists, have dismissed Romney’s outreach as way too little, way too late.
Romney’s party remains divided when it comes to immigration and has been that way for decades. The last time a comprehensive immigration reform was considered was between 2006 and 2007.
The question at that time was if you favored a pathway to becoming a citizen or not for between 11 million and 12 million undocumented immigrants. At that time, 23 senators from the GOP voted yes. Today, it would be difficult to find three senators from the GOP that would endorse that path to citizenship, which is called by the majority of people opposing it, amnesty.
Today, the question dividing the GOP is much more broad and fundamental: Do you support immigration or not? Many Republicans feel the U.S. has allowed in too many immigrants and should be restricting the flow of new immigrants. Others believe that legal immigration is a key that has made the country great in many ways including economically through enriching communities across the country.
What is surprising about Romney’s recent speeches is he firmly was in favor of expanding the amount of legal immigration and repudiating the restrictionist wing of the party.