On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new directive to allow undocumented students (between the ages of 15 and 30) to stay in the country and receive work permits. It doesn’t provide a path to citizenship, and it won’t do much to halt the record number of deportations, but as Adam Serwer explains, it’s a big deal.
Now, via TPM, Mitt Romney has weighed in:
“It could be reversed by subsequent presidents,” Romney said. “I would like to see legislation that deals with this issue. And I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he will consider this issue. He said this is an important matter. We have to find a long-term solution. But the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult. If I’m president, we’ll do our very best to have that kind of long-term solution that provides certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of an act of their parents. Thank you.”
Romney won’t say whether his administration would undo the policy. But let’s take a step back. This is the same Mitt Romney who helped run Rick Perry out of the presidential race by accusing of him being too soft on undocumented immigrants—all because Perry thought it was worthwhile to help undocumented kids go to college. This is the same Romney whose top immigration adviser, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has made self-deportation the norm in states like Arizona and Alabama. (On cue, Kobach told Think Progress on Friday that the new policy is “illegal”. Prior to today, Romney would have blasted “certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own” as a roundabout way of declaring “amnesty.” But that was then. Without having the guts to state whether he would or would not revoke the Obama administration’s directive,
Obama Romney has given a good shake to his Etch-a-Sketch—and what was once a clear and certain line has gone muddy.