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Romney now turns to scapegoating immigrants

Felicia Persaud | 1/18/2012, 6:23 p.m.
Fresh from a win in New Hampshire, Republican frontrunner Willard Mitt Romney is now zoning...
Letter No. 30: Immigration reform now!

Fresh from a win in New Hampshire, Republican frontrunner Willard Mitt Romney is now zoning in on the biased immigration policies South Carolina has adopted by scapegoating immigrants in order to win the state's primary.

The Mormon high priest, who has so far made absolutely no outreach to the immigrant voting bloc, has sent out mailers in South Carolina letting voters there know he's no flip-flopper on the hot-button issue of immigration.

In fact, as Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams told Summerville.Patch.com, "With Romney's plan, there would be no magnets, no jobs, no holes in the borders" for immigrants.

The stance comes on the heels of South Carolina's new immigration laws, which, like Alabama's, allow police to check the immigration status of a person they suspect may be in the country illegally, among other things. Never mind that this amounts to racial profiling, as even American citizens could be caught up in this suspicion sweep, and that it constitutes a blatant violation of a person's constitutional rights.

Romney seems set to take his same hard-line approach to Florida and Nevada, home to millions of immigrants, and has made it clear that in Romneyland, there will be no room for helping any undocumented.

He has assailed his rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for allowing undocumented immigrants to attend college at in-state tuition rates and said he will not support the DREAM Act. He also slammed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for supporting legalization of those undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for more than 25 years. To Romney, it's simply "amnesty."

"It's a mistake as a Republican Party in trying to describe which people who've come here illegally should be given amnesty, to be able to jump ahead of the line and the people who have been waiting in line," Romney told reporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

No, Mitt Romney, the mistake is taking this hard-line, ignorant, head-in-the-sand approach into Florida and Nevada. Don't let the support of Latinos like Florida Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart and former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart fool you.

The Latino and immigrant voting bloc has been completely alienated by your hard line on this issue, and even if they have to hold their noses and vote for another four years of Barack Obama, that's exactly what they will do.

Until Republicans wake up and notice that the American landscape has changed dramatically and there has to be a rational solution to the issue of illegal immigration beyond hard-line rhetoric, you and the GOP are going nowhere-certainly not to the White House.

So, Mitt, enjoy these silly caucus wins while you can, but scapegoating immigrants, including those who worked for that landscaping company you hired, will not help you win the presidency.

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.