Thanks to Lorraine Osorio and moderator Candy Crowley, immigration finally made it into the second presidential debate on Oct. 16. “Gracias a dios,” we should all say, for we finally got to hear Mitt Romney’s immigration plan and the lies he keeps unloading on the American people!
During the debate at Hofstra University, Osorio asked Romney point blank: “What do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?”
Well, the question seemed to floor Mitt and, as usual, instead of giving a direct answer, the con man in him answered this way, “Let me step back and tell you what I would like to do with our immigration policy broadly.” From there it was the usual BS we heard at the Republican Convention: about how his “dad was born in Mexico and Ann’s dad was born in Wales and is a first-generation American.” Then, against a line straight out of the convention, he said, “We welcome legal immigrants into this country.”
OK! But what about the undocumented and those without green cards who have never committed any crimes beyond overstaying their visas or coming to this country for a better life for their children? Romney’s answer, when he got around to it, was amusing. “I think that we should give visas to people–green cards–rather to people who graduate with skills that we need. People around the world with accredited degrees in science and math get a green card stapled to their diploma, come to the U.S. of A,” he said.
This is the same man who insisted throughout the primary debates he is for self-deportation and would veto the DREAM Act–the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, a bill proposed several times over the years but never passed–and who also said the issue of illegal immigration is relatively straightforward: “Build a fence and have enough Border Patrol agents to secure the fence.”
He also said “the right course for America is for the Justice Department to drop lawsuits against Arizona and other states that are trying to do the job Barack Obama isn’t doing.”
Just February in Arizona, Romney said he “will drop those lawsuits on day one [and] I’ll also complete the fence.”
“I’ll make sure we have enough Border Patrol agents to secure the fence. And I will make sure we have an E-Verify system and require employers to check the documents of workers, and to check E- Verify. And if an employer hires someone who has not gone through E- Verify, they’re going to get sanctioned just like they do for not paying their taxes. You do that, and just as Arizona is finding out, you can stop illegal immigration. It’s time we finally did it,” he added.
Yet on Tuesday night, we heard Romney change his tune for the 100th time and instead said, “The kids of those who came here illegally, those kids, I think, should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the United States and military service, for instance, is one way they would have that kind of pathway to become a permanent resident.”
Wow! The centrist switch is enough to send Romney’s own base running for the borders, especially since we all know how they feel about immigrants. President Obama, good for him, called Romney on his lies and the Republican Party’s own hard-lined view on immigration.
And just to prove the president’s point, Romney meandered off course and used the time to talk about his investments over the last eight years that have been managed by a blind trust, with investments that include many Chinese companies, proving just how important the immigrant vote is to him.
As Crowley quickly reminded him, “We’re way off topic here, Governor Romney.”
The president too, quickly chimed in, speaking for most immigrant Americans and Osorio when he stated, “I thought we were talking about immigration.”
Exactly my thoughts, and I’m pretty sure Osorio was thinking the same thing and was absolutely flabbergasted at the lies of “Slick Mitt”!
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.