Earlier this afternoon, President Obama announced a new “deferred action” immigration policy that would protect students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to the Department of Homeland Security from being deported.
Confronted with the president’s landmark announcement, Mitt Romney attempted to whitewash his draconian immigration views during a campaign stop in New Hampshire today. Romney told reporters that he “agrees with Marco Rubio,” who has proposed a DREAM Act alternative.
This newfound belief is a far cry from his views during the primary campaign. Here are Romney’s top 5 comments on immigration during the Republican primary:
1. Romney attacked Governor Rick Perry for supporting the DREAM Act, calling it a “magnet for illegal immigration.”: In a Florida GOP debate, Romney accused Governor Rick Perry of engendering a “magnet” in Texas by allowing the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition. Romney maintained that even though many children had no part in their families’ decisions to immigrate to the United States, they should not be able to have the same academic opportunities as their peers. [September 2011, USA Today]
2. Romney pledged to veto the DREAM Act: In December, Mitt Romney promised to veto the DREAM Act if he were elected president. Then during a January GOP debate, Romney called allowing any undocumented workers to gain permanent residency “a mistake.” [December 2011, ABC News]
3. Romney promised to make life so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they would “self-deport.”: At the Florida Republican Debate, Romney said that he would enforce stringent documentation policies that would make it difficult for illegal immigrations to find work, eventually spurring them to “self-deport.” According to Romney, “If people don’t get work here they’re going to self-deport to a place where they can get work.” [January 2012,Huffington Post]
4. Romney rebuffed undocumented young woman who was brought to the U.S. at age 10 and had a 4.0 grade-point average: Romney had a particularly awkward encounter when an undocumented worker demanded to know why he wouldn’t support the DREAM Act. After the young woman informed Romney of her 4.0 grade point average, the former governor was quickly ushered away by aides. [January 2012, The Hill]
5. Romney consults author of extreme anti-immigrant legislation on immigration issues: Romney consults Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and author of harsh immigration laws in Arizona, South Carolina, and Alabama, as an advisor. Kobach is a controversial figure who has become the leading spokesman of the hardcore anti-immigration movement. [April 2012, ThinkProgress]