Obama issues an executive order that is his most egregious assault yet on the separation-of-powers foundation of our constitutional system, regardless whether the subject matter was immigration or tiddlywinks, and Mitt Romney’s big problem with it is — wait for it … — that it is a mere “stop-gap measure” not a “permanent solution.” Romney is intentionally ambiguous about his intentions; his advisors — who won’t get their stories straight, probably on purpose — give similarly weasel assurances to the disparate factions they are courting; and the only thing you can really be sure about is that Romney is committed (or, at least, as committed as Romney ever gets) to the Bush/GOP Establishment dream of — all together now —comprehensive immigration reform.
From the Daily Mail:
Top Hispanic adviser says Romney would KEEP Obama’s ‘Dream’ plan to allow 800,000 illegal immigrants to stay in U.S
A top Hispanic adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign has said that the presumptive Republican nominee would keep in place President Barack Obama’s controversial order to halt the deportation of up to 800,000 young illegal immigrants.
For the past week, Romney has repeatedly declined to say whether or not he would repeal the order, based on the DREAM Act and allowing to stay those under 30 brought into America illegally by their parents but who have since led productive lives. Speaking to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) annual conference on Thursday, he again sidestepped the issue. ‘Some people have asked if I will let stand the President’s executive action,’ he said. ‘The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President’s temporary measure.’ Obama’s order, he said, was a ‘temporary measure that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election’. But Romney gave no indication whether he would maintain that temporary measure while pursuing a broader solution to the immigration issue.
Speaking to MailOnline after Obama’s speech to NALEO, however, Jose Fuentes, a co-chair of Romney Hispanic Steering Committee and a former Attorney General of Puerto Rico, said that he believed Romney would not repeal Obama’s order. Asked whether his assumption would be that Romney would keep the order that Obama put in place last Friday, he replied: ‘Yes, he would make it a part of a comprehensive reform and make it permanent.’ Pressed to clarify whether he thought the order would remain pending that comprehensive reform being achieved, he responded: ‘If you’re saying that you’re going to make it permanent and that you’re going to fight to make it permanent, I think that’s a pretty good assumption.’
This contrasted sharply with the words of Ray Walser, co-chair of Romney’s Latin American Working Group, who told the Telegraph on Thursday: ‘My anticipation is that he would probably rescind this directive were he to be elected in November.’
Romney has a very delicate line to tread. Many conservatives have denounced Obama’s order as unconstitutional and a de facto ‘amnesty’ for illegal immigrants. But he needs to attract Hispanic votes in key states and senior figures like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have made clear they favour the substance of the order, if not Obama’s timing, method and intention.
Asked whether Fuentes was correctly stating the campaign’s position, Romney’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded: ‘Governor Romney has been clear he will put in place a long-term solution that will supersede President Obama’s stop-gap measure.’
Full story here.
Here’s Romney in a GOP debate last November, when he was ripping Newt Gingrich for proposing a humanitarian exception to deportation for a sympathetic class of illegal aliens who had long-standing roots in the U.S.:
But to say that we’re going to say to the people who have come here illegally that now you’re all going to get to stay or some large number are going to get to stay and become permanent residents of the United States, that will only encourage more people to do the same thing…. People respond to incentives. And if you can become a permanent resident of the United States by coming here illegally, you’ll do so. What I want to do is bring people into this country legally, particularly those that have education and skill that allows us to compete globally.”
And then there’s this account of Romney’s immigration stance, from the HuffPo, just a few short months ago:
Anyone in the United States in violation of federal law should go back to his or her country of origin, Romney said Wednesday during a tele-town hall with Iowa voters.
The former Massachusetts governor noted that he favors a “path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants, but added that “consists of going to their home country, applying for citizenship or permanent residency just like everybody else, and getting back in the line.”
“They should have to get in the same line with everybody else who wants to come here legally,” Romney said.
In 2007, Romney had also talked of undocumented immigrants returning to their country of origin, but back then he didn’t appear to favor that approach for all. In the end, his comments in a key Dec. 16, 2007, interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” were jumbled and unclear.
“They should have a set period during which period they sign up for application for permanent residency or for citizenship. But there’s a set period whereupon they should return home. And if they’ve been approved for citizenship or for a permanent residency, well, that would be a different matter. But for the great majority, they’ll be going home,” Romney told Tim Russert in that interview.
So the question becomes: Is there anything, other than Romneycare, that Mitt won’t, er, evolve on?