In fact, Romney has been running an ad since Dec. 28 that says “McCain pushed to let every illegal immigrant stay here permanently” while Romney “opposes amnesty for illegals.”
Romney also released a Web ad on Jan. 4 that says “McCain supported this year’s amnesty bill.” And even as the debate was in progress, the Romney campaign sent out an e-mail saying, “Sen. McCain Still Won’t Admit He Supported Amnesty.”
We give credit to Romney for conceding during the debate that the McCain immigration bill “technically” would not have granted amnesty, which dictionaries define as a pardon. But Romney’s denial that his advertising accuses McCain of supporting “amnesty” rings hollow.
ANNOUNCER: Two former governors. Two good family men. Both pro-life. Both support a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage. The difference?
Mitt Romney stood up, and vetoed in-state tuition for illegal aliens. Opposed driver’s licenses for illegals.
Mike Huckabee? Supported in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants. Huckabee even supported taxpayer-funded scholarships for illegal aliens.
On immigration, the choice matters.
Romney began talking about giving troopers the power to make arrests on immigration charges earlier in 2006, but he didn’t sign an agreement with the federal government--a necessary condition for that authority to be granted-- until Dec. 13, 2006. Romney was scheduled to leave office Jan. 4, 2007. Democrat Deval Patrick, who had won the race to succeed Romney, had already said the program was a “bad idea” because troopers were busy enough as it was.
Sure enough, Patrick rescinded the agreement within his first week in office so troopers could “focus on enforcing MA laws.” The policy never had a chance to take effect, because those troopers chosen to carry it out hadn’t yet begun a required 6-week training course
ROMNEY: My view is that we should enforce immigration laws. And this bill, unfortunately, has at least one provision that’s a real problem. It’s the Z visa. It allows people who’ve come here illegally to stay here for the rest of their lives. Not necessarily as citizens; they have to wait 13 years to become citizens. That’s not the point. The point is, every illegal alien, almost every one, under this bill gets to stay here. That’s simply not fair to get put ahead in the line of all the people who’ve been waiting legally to come to this country.
McCAIN: Our legislation does account for people who are here illegally, it does have an employment verification system, and it weeds out those who shouldn’t be here, and it gives others a chance to remain in this country.
A: Well, my view is this. People should have no advantage by having come here illegally.
Q: But you’re not telling them to go home.
A: I am going to tell them to go home, but they start by beginning the process of applying for citizenship or applying for permanent residency. They’re not going to be barred from doing that, but they do not get any advantage by having come here illegally. That’s the key part of what I objected to in McCain-Kennedy, which said that people who are here illegally get a special pathway. My view, 1) secure the border; 2) have an employment verification system; and 3) say to those that are there illegally, get in line with everybody else.
|Other candidates on Immigration:||Mitt Romney on other issues:|
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)