Speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention in Los Angeles on Monday night, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finally addressed immigration. For the most part, his campaign thus far has avoided tackling immigration issues.
In his 26-minute speech during the convention, which was attended by Hispanic business owners, he focused on the importance of small business, cutting government spending and balancing the budget. Toward the end of his address, he talked about immigration in general terms. He said the current immigration system is broken and must be fixed. He said he wants to control the borders. He said he wants to establish an employment verification system.
He referenced two important issues: permanent immigration reform and immigrants in the military.
In terms of immigration reform, he first alluded to Deferred Action by saying the following: “In the midst of a difficult re-election, President Obama created what he calls a “stopgap measure” for children who were brought here illegally, through no fault of their own. Instead of playing immigration politics with these children, I will pursue permanent immigration reform.” The implication here seems to be that if Romney wins the election in November, he will not continue President Obama’s executive order that established the Deferred Action program, DACA. But since he doesn’t give a definitive statement, it is still difficult to know exactly whether he would do away with DACA.
When speaking about immigrants serving in the military, he said he wants to make sure that they have the opportunity to become permanent residents of the country. If these men and women are serving the United States and risking their lives to do so, Romney says they have earned the right to make their life in America legally.