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Romney (Yes, Mitt "Self-Deportation" Romney): Republicans Should Pass Immigration Reform This Year

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It’s been a year and a half since the 2012 election, and loser Mitt Romney has been slowly evolving on immigration reform, a key factor in his losing the Latino vote and thus the election.

When we heard from Mitt last November, he’d realized that his approach to Latino voters had self-deported him out of competitiveness, and announced that immigrants should have a chance to “get in line,” whatever that means.

Today in Iowa — where he was campaigning for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst — Romney said he would like to see immigration reform passed this year, before this November’s election.  Here’s the blurb from the Des Moines Register:

Mitt Romney said in Iowa today that he would very much like to see an immigration bill passed into law before this fall’s elections.

“But I think time is running out for that to happen,” Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential candidate, told reporters.

“I do believe it’s important for us, before the presidential contest in 2016, to finally have immigration reform in place,” he said. “I just don’t think it’s healthy for the country to continue to have this issue open and unresolved, particularly with so many families that are waiting for the answers.”

Some families have been “waiting for years and years to understand what the status is of those who have come here illegally in the past, and those that want to come here legally to know what their prospects are.”

Romney thinks people who have come to the United States illegally “should not be given a special pathway to citizenship or permanent residency.” But, he said with a laugh: “I didn’t get elected, so I’m not sure my view is the one that will carry the day.”

Romney’s comments are an important note in a year when House Republicans have used one excuse after another to avoid passing immigration reform.  Romney, perhaps more than anyone else, understands the cost of antagonizing and alienating Latino voters.  It’s a message that House Republicans clearly need to listen to more carefully, since they’ve been so eager to give Steve King so many anti-immigrant votes.