Twitter Snapshot: Mitt Romney Goes on Univision with Jorge Ramos, Maria Elena Salinas by Van Le on 09/19/12 at 7:22 pm
Mitt Romney: If Hispanics Vote Democrat, Nation is in Trouble by Van Le on 09/19/12 at 12:07 pm
This is apparently the Mitt Romney video that keeps on giving.
Yesterday we posted a Mother Jones video in which Mitt Romney talked about how life would be easier if he were Latino (despite the obvious tone-deafness of such a comment coming from a wealthy white one-percenter who actively advocates policies that would make life harder for Latinos). Today MJ has posted a full transcript of that video, containing even more nuggets from that same Romney appearance.
Here’s Romney implying that there are only two types of immigrants in the US, those of PhD caliber and those who are worthless and unskilled:
Oh, I just, we didn’t talk about immigration today. Gosh, I’d love to bring in more legal immigrants that have skill and [unintelligible]. I’d like to staple a green card to every Ph.D. in the world and say, “Come to America, we want you here.” Instead, we make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home. Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you’re welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life. [Audience laughs.] It’s very strange. It’s run by people who don’t understand the words “global competition of ideas,” and our idea has to win, but only if America reigns strong. But with that introduction, I’m going to turn to you for counsel, advice, or questions. Policy questions. Wanna talk about tax policy? Or political questions? How I win? Please.
And here’s him saying that Hispanics voting will result in America’s downfall:
And if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting bloc has in the past, why we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.
“As a nation.” Romney isn’t even kidding here, as he ostensibly was in his “wish I were Latino” comment. He really thinks Hispanics voting for Democrats is bad for the country. And apparently he doesn’t even realize that there’s something he, personally, can do about this, by steering the GOP away from extremist positions like self-deportation and remaking the party into one that’s not hostile to Hispanic and immigrant interests.
If Mitt Romney Was Actually Mexican, Would He Still Support Arizona’s SB 1070? by Mahwish Khan on 09/19/12 at 11:57 am
As we reported, yesterday a U.S. District judge lifted an injunction against the “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s SB 1070 anti-immigrant law, allowing this draconian provision to go into effect. Many agree that the implementation of this provision will involve rampant racial profiling of Latinos in Arizona. No doubt, additional legal challenges will be brought to stop it.
Meanwhile, in the infamous leaked video from a campaign fundraiser, Mitt Romney laments that had his father “been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this,” referring to the 2012 presidential race and his low standing with Latino voters.
The full version of the same video also features Romney dividing immigrant strivers into two categories, and denigrating those on the lower end of the economic scale:
“We make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home. Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you’re welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, hits back:
“If you got your wish and were born of Mexican grandparents, we wonder if you would still view Arizona’s immigration approach as a ‘model’ for the nation? Would you be for a law that would likely cause you and your loved ones to be stopped because of the color of your skin or the ethnicity of your family? Somehow you don’t sound like the kind of guy who can relate to how unfair and unnerving it is to live in a state that sanctions discrimination based on where you are from and what you look like. In fact, your absolute lack of empathy for those trying to build a better life for their families is appalling. Really, is it any wonder you are polling so poorly with Latino voters?”
Good questions. This evening, Romney will take questions from Univisión’s Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas. We’re going to be live-tweeting it here. Given Romney’s past endorsement of the Arizona approach to immigration, his vocal support for the “self-deportation” concept at the heart of Arizona’s law, and his ongoing evasiveness about immigration policy specifics, it will be interesting to see if Mitt’s Mexican fantasy might finally lead to some actual empathy on his part.
Watch the video of Mitt Romney’s immigration promises (below) and check out these five key immigration questions for Romney ahead of today’s Univisión interview.
Judge Allows Racial Profiling to Begin in Arizona, Advocates Continue Fight Against SB 1070 by Mahwish Khan on 09/18/12 at 6:12 pm
A judge in Arizona ruled Tuesday that police can immediately start enforcing the most contentious section of the state’s immigration law, marking the first time officers can carry out the so-called “show me your papers” provision.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton is the latest milestone in a two-year legal battle over the requirement. It culminated in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that upheld the provision on the grounds that it doesn’t conflict with federal law.
Simply put, this means racial proofing will begin in Arizona. There’s no other way to describe the impact of that “show me your papers” provision.
But, the legal fight continues, according to the same article:
A coalition of civil rights groups is awaiting a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on their latest effort to prevent the questioning requirement from taking effect.
“Our next step is seeing what happens with that,” said Linton Joaquin, a lawyer for National Immigration Law Center, one of the groups in the coalition.
The Judge also left the door open for challenges if claims of racial profiling can be proven.
I have a strong feeling this is not the last of it.
Mitt Romney Goes on Univision Tomorrow: Last Chance to Answer Key Immigration Questions by Pili Tobar on 09/18/12 at 2:36 pm
It’s Latino Week for Mitt Romney (and Hispanic Heritage Month for the rest of us), and the Republican candidate is already 0 for 2 when it comes to convincing Latino voters he’s on their side on immigration reform. Romney’s speech before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday was a dud, full of substance-free platitudes on immigration just like we predicted. Then, during an exclusive interview with Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart, Romney ducked and dodged the question of what he would do with President Obama’s deferred action program for DREAMers if elected. Diaz-Balart repeatedly tried to pin him down, and Romney repeatedly made vague promises about putting in place a “permanent solution” via legislation, refusing to state whether he would keep or rescind the policy before such legislation becomes law.
Even the media frenzy around the leaked video from a Romney fundraiser features evidence that, when it comes to immigration and Latino voters, Romney just doesn’t get it. In the video, Romney laments that had his father “been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.” While this may be a joke, it nonetheless reveals a larger truth that he seems incapable of fully grasping: Romney’s problems with Latino voters are not due to ethnicity or tone; they are instead borne out of his hardline immigration policy prescriptions he refuses to disavow.
Tomorrow, Romney will have one last opportunity to address immigration policy and connect with Latino voters, when he takes questions from Univisión’s hard-hitting duo of Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas. Below are some questions we’d like to see Romney finally answer:
What role does Kris Kobach serve in your campaign? Do you still support his vision for immigration policy, which some call “attrition through enforcement” and others call “self-deportation”? Kris Kobach is the Kansas Secretary of State and architect of the immigration approach contained in Arizona and Alabama’s anti-immigration laws, the Republican Party platform, and Romney’s stump speeches during the Republican primary. The heart of this strategy is to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants in the United States that they pick up and deport themselves. Although Romney claimed yesterday that he has “not met” with Kris Kobach, Kobach insists he has “advised Romney directly.” Upon accepting Kobach’s endorsement this past January, Romney’s campaign issued a statement attributed to Romney that read, “I’m so proud to earn Kris’s support…Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country. We need more conservative leaders like Kris willing to stand up for the rule of law. With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem.” Tomorrow, Romney has one last chance to reject Kobach’s support and disavow his immigration policy positions.
Do you agree with the Republican Party platform on immigration? The RNC’s official 2012 platform, authored primarily by Kobach, is grab-bag of hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. The document is filled with references to “illegal aliens” and takes a particularly strong stand against the DREAMer deferred action program, declaring that President Obama’s immigration approach has “undermined the rule of law at every turn” by creating “a backdoor amnesty program unrecognized in law, granting worker authorization to illegal aliens.” Reportedly, some of this language was missing from the first draft, but added in by Kobach and his allies who pointed out that they are “consistent” with your stated positions. Do you agree with the immigration plank of the Republican Party platform in its entirety? Do you agree that the President’s deferred action program has “undermined the rule of law” and that anti-immigration laws like those passed in Arizona and Alabama should be “encouraged, not attacked”?
You have endorsed Congressman Steve King and said “I want him as my partner in Washington.” Steve King has likened immigrants to dogs, cattle, and mass murderers and is most famous for pushing an electrified border fence “with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would simply be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it.” Do you really think that Steve King has the right ideas about immigration policy? Any distinction between Romney and Steve King is a matter of tone, not substance. Romney pledged to veto the DREAM Act while campaigning in King’s Iowa district last December. Both Romney and King share the goal of “self-deportation” for the undocumented population. Both men are strong supporters of the “show me your papers” provisions of harsh laws in states such as Arizona and Alabama. Romney has yet to disavow the stances he touted during the GOP primary or create distance between himself and King’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies of the past. Tomorrow is Romney’s last chance to explain exactly what he and King have in common on immigration policy and what they do not.
Once and for all, can you clarify whether you will keep in place or rescind the Obama deferred action policy if elected? You’ve talked about enacting a permanent solution, but passing a law will take time. What will you do about the deferred action policy in the interim? Despite promising to veto the DREAM Act during the primary season, Romney has refused to state a clear position on what he would do with President Obama’s DREAMer deferred action policy if elected. In June, he told an audience at the NALEO conference that he would “replace and supersede” President Obama’s deferred action program with something more permanent, but has refused to explain what that would be or declare whether he would cancel the policy on Day 1 or keep it in place until a more permanent solution is enacted by Congress. As Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) told the Washington Post, this has led to confusion among eligible applicants: “If Obama loses, people aren’t so sure what’s going to happen to their applications and if they can be used against them…And Romney has not offered any assurances.”
Despite the best efforts of Telemundo’s Diaz-Balart yesterday, the answer remains unknown.
And back to that “permanent solution,” what exactly does it look like? Is it immigration status for DREAMers who join the military, and “self-deportation” for all the rest? What about the parents of DREAMers, and other aspiring citizens who have been here for decades and just need a chance to fix their papers? Is it self-deportation for them as well? During the primary season, Romney strongly supported the radical notion of self-deportation. This approach, also known as “attrition through enforcement,” forms the intent of the state anti-immigrant laws passed by Arizona and Alabama. Despite avoiding the issue in the general election, this is a position Romney has not disavowed. Instead, he’s begun to talk about enacting a “permanent solution,” but failed to state exactly what that would look like. At the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) conference in June and in front of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Romney promised to provide “a path to legal status” for DREAMers that serve in the military, but he failed to divulge any details. The question still remains: when it comes to the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, is self-deportation Romney’s permanent solution?
Latino voters are looking for leadership, not platitudes about “legal immigration.” As Romney continues to duck and dodge when it comes to the specifics on his own immigration policies, Latino voters are left with many vague promises but very little clarity.
Mitt Romney and Kris Kobach: Whose Pants are On Fire? by Pili Tobar on 09/18/12 at 1:42 pm
The relationship status between Mitt Romney and Kris Kobach remains complicated.
Romney claimed yesterday that he has “not met” with Kobach, the infamous architect of the “show me your papers” immigration approach that forms the heart of the Arizona and Alabama state laws, as well as Romney’s articulated “self-deportation” vision for immigration policy.
Despite Romney’s claims yesterday, Kobach is singing a different tune about his relationship with the Republican presidential nominee. As Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian in February 2012,:
Kris Kobach, the source of some of Romney’s most controversial ideas on immigration, has told the Guardian that he has been in direct discussions with the presidential candidate about possible changes to federal policy should Romney win the Republican nomination and go on to take the White House.
Pilkington then quotes Kobach saying:
I have advised Romney directly, and his close team around him, that attrition through enforcement has been working, that self-deportation has been observed in Arizona and Alabama, and that this really does need to be part of our national effort.
Romney and the Republican Party’s transparent attempt to distance themselves from Kobach also rings false in light of their earlier rhetoric about Kobach – and Kobach’s continued prominence within the party. For example, upon accepting Kobach’s endorsement this past January, Romney’s campaign issued a statement attributed to Romney that read:
I’m so proud to earn Kris’s support…Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country. We need more conservative leaders like Kris willing to stand up for the rule of law. With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem.
Additionally, Kobach’s prominence in Romney’s GOP is underscored by his role in authoring the majority of the 2012 RNC party platform’s hardline immigration agenda. At the time, Kobach said of the immigration positions outlined in the platform:
These positions are consistent with the Romney campaign…As you all remember, one of the primary reasons that Governor Romney rose past Governor Perry when Mr. Perry was achieving first place in the polls was because of his opposition to in-state tuition for illegal aliens.
Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
While we’ll leave it up to Romney and Kobach to sort out their relationship, their competing claims open up one of them to a ‘pants on fire’ charge. The question about Romney and Kobach’s relationship extends well beyond who met with who or not. It goes directly to the important issues about what type of immigration policy a President Romney would put in place.