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In advance of the Republican National Convention next week, the political chatter in recent days has refocused on the importance of the Latino vote in the 2012 election. Mitt Romney apparently now has a goal of winning at least 38% of the Latino vote nationwide–despite all the polls that show him garnering as low as low as 22% in recent months. And that was before Republicans spent this week adopting a hardline immigration platform for next week’s convention. The anti-immigrant provisions – which call for the “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants – were added by Kris Kobach, a vocal anti-immigrant activist and advisor to Mitt Romney.
Kobach took it one step further yesterday when he filed a lawsuit filed to block the implementation of the DREAMer deferred action program. According to Elise Foley at Huffington Post, Kobach said “that the campaign was aware of the lawsuit and had not expressed concerns with the plan.” Taken together, this paints a picture of a Republican Party leader (Romney) who is actually a follower on the issue of immigration. It’s time for the candidate speak up, in his own voice and his own words, and be clear about where he stands on important issues.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Romney remains stuck between a nativist rock and a demographic hard place. This is why he is continuing his general election ‘just trust me, but no details’ strategy, substituting vague rhetoric for actual leadership and remaining complicit in the GOP’s shift to the far right on immigration.
While Kobach might be in the driver’s seat for the Republican Party on immigration, there will be plenty of Latinos on the dais at the Republican Convention. Some may even talk about the need for “immigration reform” in general and bash Obama for failing to enact legislation (that Republicans blocked). They’ll follow the Romney general election playbook of saying, “just trust me, I’ll do better than Obama, but I won’t spell out any details.” Meanwhile, Romney’s primary positions will be there in the Party platform, in black and white.
It’s time to hear from the candidate in his own words. Here are three key immigration questions that Romney needs to answer:
According to Sharry:
Given Romney’s avoidance of substantive immigration discussions during the general election, and the impact of his decisions would have on millions of people, it’s time for Romney to state clearly and unequivocally how he plans to treat the undocumented immigrant population in the nation. The American public deserves specific proposals, not calculated avoidance.
Helpful Resources Ahead of Republican Convention