While the Internet is all aflutter about whether a Daily Caller reporter interrputed the president’s Rose Garden remarks on immigration today, it is probably more fruitful to discuss the long-term effects of the revised policy. One thing worth considering is what impact, if any, this will have on Mitt Romney. Let’s look at the early indications.
First, Romney has strongly identified himself with Marco Rubio — who was proposing his own DREAM alternative — on the immigration issue. “I’d like to see legislation that deals with this issue, and I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he looked at this issue,” Romney has been quoted as saying. “He said that this is an important matter, that we have to find a long-term solution, but that the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult.”
Second, Romney has taken the Rubio line that a “long-term solution” is preferable to Obama’s temporary fix: “I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis, so they know what their future would be in this country.” In fact, Romney criticized Obama for issuing an executive order, which can be rescinded by subsequent presidents — and according to several reporters, he did not answer questions about whether he intended to reverse this order himself.
During the primary campaign, Romney supported the attrition through enforcement strategy of dealing with illegal immigration, talking about self-deportation. He was advised by the man who helped write Arizona’s SB 1070 law and has been supported by noted restrictionists like Bay Buchanan. Romney’s opposition to the DREAM Act was a turning point in his race against Rick Perry, who supported a state version of the law. This could represent movement and fluidity in Rommey’s immigration stance, which bears watching.