On Tuesday, the Mitt Romney appeared to soften his tone on the immigration issue indicating that he wouldn’t deport young immigrants who have been the beneficiaries of the Obama administration’s deferred action for childhood arrivals program (DACA). Until then, Romney had been rather vague about the program which helps DREAM Act eligible youth stay in the country and live without immediate fear of deportation, indicating that he would possibly support a military only DREAM Act, telling Latino audiences that he would provide a solution for the immigration problem, and even being evasive about the DACA program when questioned directly by Maria Elena Salinas at the Univision forum just a few weeks ago.
In an interview with the Denver Post, Romney stated, “The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased. Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”
On Wednesday, the Romney campaign clarified those remarks indicating that Romney would honor the visas granted under the Obama administration but that he wouldn’t continue the program if he became president.
The Obama campaign’s Director of Hispanic Press, Gabriela Domenzain, responded with this in a statement, “After more than 100 days of evasion, Mitt Romney has made his extreme immigrations position even clearer: he would end the Administration’s deferred action policy immediately upon becoming president and would veto the DREAM Act, which would provide a permanent solution for young people brought to this country through no fault of their own. What, in Mitt Romney’s mind, makes a young immigrant less deserving of this temporary reprieve from deportation on January 20th than he is on October third? This latest clarification is yet another reminder to Hispanics that Mitt Romney is the most extreme presidential nominee on immigration in modern history and is against any sensible solution to fix our broken immigration system.”
Romney’s latest attempts to soften his tone on the immigration issue may be motivated by his dismal polling with Latino voters. A new Latino Decisions poll shows that Romney is expected to receive only 23.3% of votes cast by Latino voters, while President Obama is expected to receive 76.7%. Romney’s campaign had set a goal of winning 38% of the Latino vote.