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Will He or Won't He? Romney Keeps Ducking Questions About Obama Deferred Action Policy

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The Romney presidential campaign continues to duck answering basic questions regarding a potential President Romney’s immigration policy.

Yesterday, Radio Bilingüe featured both Obama and Romney campaign spokespeople on host Samuel Orozco’s Spanish language show.  During the interview, Romney spokesperson Sharon Castillo refused to say whether Romney would keep or rescind the deferred action program for DREAMers–yet still tried to maintain that a President Romney would not deport DREAMers (see translated transcript below).

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

The only way that Romney can promise that DREAMers will be secure is to promise to continue the DREAMer deferred action program if he’s President.  All he has to say is, ‘yes, I will keep the program in place.’

Yesterday’s interview continued a disturbing Romney campaign pattern when speaking to Latino audiences. Castillo strongly suggested a President Romney would keep the DREAMer program in place in an obvious attempt to soften the edges of his hard-edged immigration policy positions.   Then, when challenged, the spokeswoman retreated to evasive non-answers.

Here’s our summary of the Romney campaign’s key points.  No, he won’t round up people.  No, he won’t disavow his pledge to force millions out of the country through a “self-deportation” strategy.  Yes, he will seek a permanent solution.  No, he won’t specify what that solution will be.

Added Sharry:

As demonstrated by the Radio Bilingue interview, the Spanish language press, along with its audience, is not easily fooled by clever but vacuous sound-bites.  If the Romney campaign wants to distance themselves from the very specific stands the candidate took in the primaries – a promise to veto the DREAM Act, calling Arizona’s crackdown a ‘model for the country’ and a pledge to pursue ‘self-deportation,’ then they’ll have to give specific new answers  to the key immigration policy questions facing the country.

America’s Voice has come up with five unanswered questions for Romney to address on immigration, including clarifying Romney’s position on keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place.

See a transcript of the proceedings, as translated by America’s Voice, below:

Gabriela Domenzain (Obama Campaign) – Hi Samuel, thank you very much for having me here but really, I am very intrigued by the fact that we have let the Romney campaign get away with not responding to the question of whether they will deport the 1.2 million Dreamers that could receive Deferred Action or not, that is how you started. On Univision, he avoided the question 3 times, just that week, he avoided the question 10 times, and his spokesperson has still not told us, so I think that we should start with the evasions, I would like to hear the answer from the campaign. Do you still say yes or no?

Sharon Castillo (Romney Campaign) – I am not evading the questions

Domenzain- Are you saying no?

Castillo- The answer is no

Domenzain-Oh ok, that is something that we are hearing for the first time, that is news Samuel. She is saying that Romney would not deport 1.2 million Dreamers that could receive deferred action.

Host- That is something that the candidate has never said.

Domenzain- on Radio Bilingue

Host – The candidate has never said that.

Castillo- The governor was very clear, those people are part of the 11 million that are here. The governor has said that he is not going to round up 11, 12 million people and deport them.

Host – of course, of course, but let me tell you Sharon Castillo, something that he has said, and that is that he would promote the auto-deportation of millions that are here undocumented, what he means is that he would make their lives so miserable that they would have to leave the country, that he has said. This is what is in the records.

Castillo- that is correct but we must take into consideration the context in which he said it. The governor was making the point that the majority of people want to come to this country legally. Nobody wants to come to this country illegally, nobody,

Host- ok, well, we are not going to elaborate things that way, we’re not going to make our lives so complicated. The question is simple, right? While this great immigration problem is solved, will he let young people stay in this country or not. Will he let them stay? Why doesn’t he say he will let them stay? It is very simple. He could say it with one syllable and that is all. He hasn’t done it.