Randy Mastro, former Deputy Mayor under Rudy (and also a prosecutor for Rudy in the Southern District of NY) wades into the immigration fight with this from the NY Observer:
“We have a word here in New York for what Mitt Romney is trying to do here — it is called chutzpah. Mitt Romney as Governor of Massachusetts had three sanctuary cities in his state. And he rewarded them $320 million in state aid. That stands in sharp contrast to the program that we had here in New York City under a longstanding executive order that went back over 16 years before Rudy Giuliani became mayor that recognized we have more than 400,000 aliens here. And that was in fact a policy that promoted public safety and public health.”
The article continues:
“Mastro said the policy ‘ permitted aliens to come forward with information about those committing crimes and it required local authorities to then cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of aliens suspected of committing crimes.’ He added, ‘It was one of the many polices that helped reduce crime in the city and changed us from being the nations’ crime capital to being the safety large city in America.'”
Meanwhile, the Washington Post carries the back and forth, ending with a pro-immigration spokesman saying Romney was “kind of a non-factor” in the immigration wars before the primary. ( Not until this week, by the way, did I ever hear people running for president attributing so much responsibility to state and local officials for immigration control. Only in a country where the federal government has so abdicated its role in controlling the borders could this discussion even be going on.)
I do have to say that from a pure communications standpoint with the very feisty Peter King op-ed (as compared to the rather mild column by Lamar Smith on behalf of Romney) and the immigration ad going up in early primary states the Rudy team has been extremely forceful in pushing back. They do have the benefit of having an actual immigration plan Rudy can talk about and describe in an ad.