Back in June, President Obama unveiled a new immigration policy, which included using the executive branch's prosecutorial discretion to implement many of the goals of the DREAM Act. What did Mitt Romney think of the move? He's been reluctant to tell anyone.
It took him four months to think of an answer -- no Profile In Courage Award for you, Mitt -- but as of yesterday, Romney finally has a response.
Young illegal immigrants who receive temporary work permits to stay in the United States under an executive order issued by President Barack Obama would not be deported under a Mitt Romney administration, the GOP presidential hopeful told The Denver Post Monday."The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased," Romney said. "Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."
I don't mean to sound picky, and I'm delighted Mr. Self-Deportation was willing to say something about this, but I'm afraid this position doesn't actually tell us much. The good news is, we now know Romney, if elected, intends to allow those receiving a two-year visa now to keep that visa.
The bad news is, we still don't know whether he'd keep the policy in place, extending the same visas to other eligible immigrants. We also still don't know what that "full immigration reform plan" would look like. We also still don't know if he'd start deporting Dreamers after two years if Congress fails to pass this mysterious "full immigration reform plan." We also still don't know why he thinks immigrants are "purchasing" visas.
For that matter, we also still don't know why Romney would veto the Dream Act, which used to enjoy bipartisan support, if it reached his desk.
That said, this certainly appears to be an Etch A Sketch moment for Romney. After a year in which he's positioned himself as the most anti-immigrant presidential nominee in generations, Romney is now trying, at least a little, to appear slightly more forgiving. Whether Latino voters fall for the ploy remains to be seen.