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Today’s editorial in the Washington Post blasts Mitt Romney’s handling (or better put, mishandling) of the immigration issue and offers some cogent advice to the candidate himself:
[I]f Mr. Romney really wants to make inroads into Mr. Obama’s lead among Hispanics, what he needs is an immigration policy that is fair, cogent and economically rational. That would be a refreshing change from his stance of the past six months, during which he first embraced harsh rhetoric and draconian policies, then tried to fuzz it away at the margins.
It also points out the hypocrisy behind the Republicans’ current talking point on this issue—you know, the one that blames President Obama alone for the fact that Congress has failed to pass immigration reform. The editorial gets all the nuances exactly right:
Mr. Obama, for his part, has failed to make progress on his 2008 campaign promise to enact sweeping immigration reform that would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. And he has angered some Hispanics and immigration advocacy groups by stepping up the pace of deportations.
But he is right that the main hurdle to a meaningful deal on immigration — one that would tighten enforcement and acknowledge reality by extending some form of amnesty to 11 million undocumented immigrants — is the uniform opposition of congressional Republicans, including those who once favored such an approach.
The editorial concludes with a scathing indictment of Romney’s leadership:
Both candidates acknowledge the reality that 11 million illegal immigrants will not be made to disappear, though Mr. Romney seems to wish that somehow they would, on their own initiative. Yet only the president has embraced the goal of enacting legislation that recognizes the U.S. economy relies on the 7 million undocumented immigrants in the labor force, most of whom have been in the country for a decade or more and many of whom have American-born children.
As for Mr. Romney, saying he would solve the problem is not the same as presenting a blueprint to do so. By fudging the specifics, he has made clear that he really has no policy at all and indicated that a Romney presidency would turn a blind eye to the nation’s broken immigration system.
The full editorial is available here.