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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

How Will Romney Reverse the Damage with Hispanic Voters?

Rating: 7 votes, 5.00 average.

We know Mitt Romney is in serious trouble in November due to his incredibly foolish efforts to become the most anti-immigrant major party candidate since World War II. The recent Fox News poll showing him losing by 56 points with Latino voters is the latest evidence of this and if those numbers don't shift dramatically, Romney can say goodbye to any chances of winning Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida and probably other states we're not even thinking about yet.


Winning those voters back won't be easy even for a candidate famous for flip-floppery. He promised to veto the DREAM Act, he condemned Rick Perry for showing some compassion and allowing illegally present kids access to in state tuition at Texas universities, he hired extreme anti-immigrant Kris Kobach to be his immigration advisor and he praised the Arizona immigration law as he was trolling for endorsements in that state.


How do you reverse all of that? Can you? It looks like Romney is at least going to do what he's famous for and completely erase his most recent positions and transform in to the pro-immigration Mitt. A private meeting was recently recorded where Romney told big donors that he was in trouble with Hispanics and needed to figure out a way to get their support. So get ready.


In the last few days, we've gotten a little preview of what to expect:


1. Senator Marco Rubio has been touting a DREAM Act proposal and Mitt Romney has been saying he might consider a Republican version of the DREAM Act.


2. He now claims Kris Kobach is not part of the campaign.


3. His campaign aides are now saying Romney was only praising the E-Verify portions of the Arizona law and not most of the objectionable parts.


4. He is emphasizing business immigration options.


5. Rumors abound of Romney considering bringing on a Hispanic vice presidential nominee.



To be fair, he's been pretty good on the business and employment immigration issues since the outset of his campaign and he's been more consistent than President Obama on that issue. Furthermore, even though the President's rhetoric over the last year has been good and his new emphasis on making the immigration system friendlier to entrepreneurs is welcome, the reality at USCIS, the Labor Department and the Department of State is worse than it has been in years.


On the DREAM Act, the Rubio proposal isn't bad and with some fixes Senate Republicans can probably agree on, it could be even better. The problem is that the bill has virtually no chance of passing in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Rather than attacking the Rubio proposal for not being good enough, Democrats would do better politically if they welcomed Rubio to the negotiating table, but made it clear that they will only take up the bill once the House either passes it or the Republican whip can produce proof that the votes are there.


But Romney may not support the Rubio bill anyway. Kris Kobach just told the Washington Post that he doesn't believe Romney will support the Rubio proposal as it amounts to an "amnesty." Kobach is also claiming his role with the campaign has not changed.


Latino voters would be wise to be skeptical of Romney at this point. And while a Latino vice presidential candidate might be in the works, the lesson of the McCain campaign may be that you can't make a group love you just by choosing someone from their ranks as a Veep candidate. 


If Romney is correct in his claim that he's now the leader of the Republican Party, let him prove it and get House Republicans to start changing their tune. Until then, there's no reason to believe Romney's done anything other than shake the etch-a-sketch.

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Comments

  1. gg's Avatar
    Fact of the matter is both republicans and democrats tried for months using extensive media brainwashing of the public to make believe that immigration was less important to latino voters than economy and jobs. However over the past few weeks polling have suggested otherwise and now both Republicans and Democrats have started to sing to a different tune. Regardless of what Romney might have said or not during the primaries, it is a fact that Democrats were voted to power and provided with full control of both the House and Senate on the promise that they would pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Unfortunately they completely ignored their promise and instead doubled up on enforcement separating thousands of families. Public memory is short but negative things always tend to stick. Right now there seems to be very little appetite to vote since they are more interested in playing political football with immigration rather than crafting sensible immigration laws. So it does not matter whether latino voters support democrats 6:1 , what will have to be seen is how many of them actually go out and vote.
  2. Another Voice's Avatar
    Solid analysis Greg.
  3. Greg's Avatar
    GG - While I'm not thrilled with much of what we saw from the President and the Dems over the last 3+ years, the fact is that they did NOT control the Senate for even a day. As long as we have filibuster rules that allow any bill to be stopped with 40 votes, a majority is no longer 50 votes. It is 60 which is a recipe for stalemate. I blame the Democrats for failing to reform the filibuster rules (mostly out of a fear of what happens if they eventually become the minority). The Democrats could regularly produce 51 votes (including the last time the DREAM Act came up, but that wasn't nearly enough. The only way we'll see change on immigration is when we see filibuster reform or the Republicans grow so fearful of losing elections that they change on their own.
  4. gg's Avatar
    @Greg,

    From senate.gov

    111th Congress (2009-2011)
    Majority Party: Democrat (57 seats)
    Minority Party: Republican (41 seats)
    Other Parties: 1 Independent; 1 Independent Democrat
    Total Seats: 100
    Note: Senator Arlen Specter was reelected in 2004 as a Republican, and became a Democrat on April 30, 2009. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut was reelected in 2006 as an independent candidate, and became an Independent Democrat. Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont was elected in 2006 as an Independent.

    Democrats theoretically had 59 votes just 1 shot of the 60 in the 111th Congress. So its difficult to believe that Democrats who came back to power didn't have enough political capital to convince one republican senator to break the 60 barrier. And then the democrats were able to pass healthcare under similar circumstances which is a more divisive issue that immigration.

    Lets us not forget that there is as much opposition from union lobby within democrats as there is from the extremists elements of the republican right wing which both don't want to see CIR passed.
  5. Greg's Avatar
    gg - If you think getting every member of your party plus the independents to all vote the same way (including some Blue Dog Democrats who always are anti-immigrant), you're not being very realistic. There were more filibusters since President Obama came in to power than in the prior 50 years combined. This is not the Democrats' fault (except for letting themselves get victimized by not killing the filibuster when they had the chance).
  6. JoeF's Avatar
    @gg: You forget that Al Franken was not sworn in as Senator for a long time. 238 days of recount... http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/06/al-franken-norm-coleman-senate.html
    So, even the 57 seats for the Dems did not exist for a while.
  7. Another Voice's Avatar
    GG Also remember that Kennedy was very sick by then and died shortly after which is when Scott Brown made the Senate filibuster proof for the Repuks...
  8. George Chell's Avatar
    "To be fair, he's been pretty good on the business and employment immigration issues since the outset of his campaign and he's been more consistent than President Obama on that issue. Furthermore, even though the President's rhetoric over the last year has been good and his new emphasis on making the immigration system friendlier to entrepreneurs is welcome, the reality at USCIS, the Labor Department and the Department of State is worse than it has been in years."

    Romney's folks have still not answered one question. How is he going to get his ideas past Senator Charles Grassley who bottles up a lot of legislation? Second, is Kobach for legal immigration or is he as bigoted as the racists at FAIR and want to stop all immigration? The bigots at the FAIR, CIS and Numbers USA will not be happy until they get the congress to prohibit the last foreign spouse of US citizens from entering this country. Does Kris Kobach think along these lines? I would not be surprised if he does.

    "Also remember that Kennedy was very sick by then and died shortly after which is when Scott Brown made the Senate filibuster proof for the Repuks..."

    Kennedy was plain selfish. He should have quit in 2008 allowing another Dem Senator to take his place. There are many such people around in the government. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sick as well...and she hangs on for selfish reasons without retiring and giving Obama a chance to appoint a younger person. Instead she hangs on for her selfish reasons and could well give the chance to another GOP President to move the courts to the right.

  9. George Chell's Avatar
    "If Romney is correct in his claim that he's now the leader of the Republican Party, let him prove it and get House Republicans to start changing their tune."

    Convincing Grassley to release his hold on skilled migration bills would be a start! But, no, it is not going to happen.
  10. gg's Avatar
    The point I am trying to make is that its wrong to assume Democrats are pro immigration and Republicans are anti immigration. There is enough opposition on both sides that has become a major road block for sensible immigration reform. There has been no immigration reform for the past 30yrs and any attempts that has been made appear to have come during Republican administrations. The only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that in one case its silent opposition and in the other case its very vocal but both are doing equal damage. In this scenario the chances for any immigration reform is very bleak in the short term future regardless whichever party comes to power as ground realities are not going to change overnight. Several doves on immigration on both sides have either retired, lost re-election or are in tough re-election contests making the math even more difficult.



  11. USC's Avatar
    "We know Mitt Romney is in serious trouble in November due to his incredibly foolish efforts to become the most anti-immigrant major party candidate since World War II"

    The election is not going to hinge on immigration but on whether the American people want a President who is an I-Banker, maintains bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Island and abuses the carried interest provisions of the IRC to bring his tax rate down to 15%.

  12. Jack's Avatar

    "Sending a signal that bringing or sending children to the U.S. illegally will result in full or partial legal status for them will only encourage more people to violate the law," Mehlman said.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75379_Page3.html#ixzz1sdY1Zz3G

    Also, the DREAM Act has nothing in it to prevent the situation from happening in the future. Which makes sense: it's proponents want more magnets and more of the same, not solutions.
  13. George Chell's Avatar
    "There has been no immigration reform for the past 30yrs and any attempts that has been made appear to have come during Republican administrations."

    Wrong! 1990 Kennedy-Rodino Act was the last and that was twenty one years ago. Simpson-Smith tried to roll back Kennedy-Rodino and a black woman by the name of Barbara Jordan gave them cover from accusations of bigotry. However, led by Spencer Abraham, Sam Brownback and Mike DeWine, this attempt was killed.
  14. Another Voice's Avatar
    "Also, the DREAM Act has nothing in it to prevent the situation from happening in the future. Which makes sense: it's proponents want more magnets and more of the same, not solutions."

    That is why CIR is a better choice because you can address all issues.....
  15. Another Voice's Avatar
    On Anti-immigration Laws and the Supreme Court

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-pierson/on-states-rights-and-anti_b_1442997.html
  16. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    This is why there should be an unquoted immigration category for people who came as children and lived in the US for 10 years, went to college or the military. Then, the situation will actually can be prevented. Most other nations have such laws in place, and nobody considers them "magnets". If anything, they are magnets for the good thing.
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