When the candidates weren’t fighting with each other over ethics and campaign financing Romney did try to put the spotlight on immigration with his new ad. There have been blogs by others and those here which previously have criticized his claim that he “deputized troopers” to enforce immigration laws. Now an independent group from the Annenberg Public Policy Center charges him with puffery. Factcheck.org says: “Romney began talking about giving troopers the power to make arrests on immigration charges earlier in 2006, but he didn’t sign an agreement with the federal government – a necessary condition for that authority to be granted – until Dec. 13 of that year. Romney was scheduled to leave office Jan. 4, 2007. Democrat Deval Patrick, who had won the race to succeed Romney, had already said the program was a ‘bad idea’ because troopers were busy enough as it was.Sure enough, Patrick rescinded the agreement within his first week in office so troopers could ‘focus on enforcing Massachusetts laws.’ The policy never had a chance to take effect, because those troopers chosen to carry it out hadn’t yet begun a required six-week training course.” These folks also criticize his new found focus on sanctuary cities, contending: “Romney might well get tough on sanctuary cities in the future, but he didn’t when he was governor.During his tenure, at least four Massachusetts cities enacted or renewed legislation declaring themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.”
Frankly I think Romney is justified in advocating an end to sanctuary cities and encouraging federal-state cooperation. But by going after Rudy so hard on sanctuary cities when he had a bunch of his own( I think there are now 5, not 4 which have come to light) and overselling his own enforcement program he opened himself up to some criticism.
UPDATE: The Factcheck.org analysis is being pick up elsewhere. Howard Kurtz
chimes in: “”But despite the ad’s tough talk, he took no action for most of his term against cities such as Cambridge that declared themselves sanctuary cities that would not report immigration violations to federal authorities. Romney’s authorization of specially trained state troopers to arrest illegal immigrants took place two weeks before he left office.”