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Bloggings: Are There Two Mitt Romneys On Immigration? If So, Which One Would Be In Control Of Immigration If Elected President? By Roger Algase

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There is a joke among classicists concerning the identity of Homer, the presumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, about whose life nothing is known. Some scholars think that these two epics may have been written by different people. Others think that there may have been more than one writer for each epic, or that they may be compilations of old folk literature.


Acording to the joke, however, Homer did not write either of these poems. Instead, they were actually written by a someone else, who by coincidence also happened to be named Homer.


With regard to immigration, the conventional wisdom is that there are two Mitt Romneys. One is the hard line Mitt Romney of the Republican primary debates, who attacked Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich from the right for being too soft on unauthorized immigrants, praised Arizona's immigration law as a model for the nation, promoted the idea of "self-deportation", took advice from Kris Kobach and threatened to veto the DREAM Act if it ever passed Congress.


The other is the "kinder, gentler" Mitt Romney, the "compassionate conservative" who is opposed to mass deportation, wants to make legal immigration so easy that there would be no need for immigration lawyers (perhaps not such a bad idea), who would supposedly continue to uphold President Obama's DREAM initiative if elected president, and who is attacking Obama from the left for the president's failure to push hard enough for comprehensive immigration reform. Which of these two Mitt Romneys would set immigration policy if elected to the White House? 


A better question, however, is whether there really are two Mitt Romneys on immigration. Or is it more accurate to say that there is one, Janus-faced, Mitt Romney on this issue? As the whole country knows, Romney told the following to the Denver Post on October 1:


"The people who have received the special visa [sic] that the president has put in place, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased [sic]. Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan I've proposed." 


An Internet search shows that this comment produced two opposite types of headlines in the media. One group of headlines said that Romney has promised to continue Obama's DREAM initiative if elected. The other group of headlines said that Romney had promised to end that same DREAM initiative and replace it with an immigration reform plan.


In reality, the above statement says neither, but superficially, it can be interpreted either or both ways. However, as pointed out in my comment in the October 3 ID, the only concrete promise in the above statement is to honor the two-year temporary reprieve from removal, which, as also reported in ID this week, has so far been granted to a grand total of exactly 29 people.


Granted, the above statement does promise to being about "full immigration reform". But does this bear any resemblance to the bipartisan CIR bill which was killed by Senate Republicans in 2007 because of its "amnesty" provisions? Romney's immigration reform plan, as described in his same statement to the Denver Post, is as follows:


"I will actually propose a piece of legislation which will reform our immigration system to improve legal immigration so people don't have to hire lawyers to figure out how to get here legally." 


This is all well and good. At least it sounds a lot better than the current system where immigration lawyers have to charge a lot of money for time wasted in responding to incompetent RFE's which never should have been issued involving clearly approvable cases.


But the above statement only mentions "legal" immigration. What about the other kind? Is there a new Mitt Romney, or even the old one with two different faces when it comes to the estimated 11 or 12 million unauthorized immigrants in America today?


To answer that question, we need to take a look at Mitt Romney's immigration website. To be continued.





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