August 21st, 2007
02:57 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney targets illegal immigration, Giuliani in radio ad

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Tuesday stepped up his ongoing attack on cities with what he calls sanctuary policies for illegal immigrants - including rival Rudy Giuliani's home city - with a new radio ad set to air in crucial campaign states Iowa and New Hampshire.

"Immigration laws don't work if they're ignored," the ad's announcer states. "That's the problem with cities like Newark, San Francisco and New York City that adopt sanctuary policies. Sanctuary cities become magnets that encourage illegal immigration and undermine secure borders."

"Legal immigration is great," Romney himself says in the ad. "But illegal immigration, that we've got to end. And amnesty is not the way to do it."

He also advocates in the ad cutting back on federal funds to cities that adopt sanctuary policies.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Full story

Filed under: Immigration • Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. James Claremont, CA

    This coming from a guy running ads in Spanish.

    August 21, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Ricardo, El Paso TX

    Illegal immigration is a crisis that needs to be solved. Legal immigration is one of the foundations of this country. The law needs to be followed and enforced. I'm glad Romney understands the importance of this issue and has ideas fix it. It's better than Giuliani's silly fence idea.

    August 21, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Keith - Atlanta, GA

    Cutting back funding would help solve this problem. Cutting off the flow of money seems to have a way of helping things just work themselves out. America is nearing its breaking point and hospitality quota.

    August 21, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Bob, Long Beach, CA

    It continues to amaze me that even though the Constitution clearly highlights that the federal government sets the laws for immigration local governments continue to do as they please.

    This is the type of situation which existed under the Articles of Confederation and which is why they were replaced with the current Constitution was adopted. It is about time the Federal government started doing their job and went after local governments who choose to thumb their nose at the federal laws. This type of disregard for the laws just contributes to people coming here and illegally and think it is okay that they are breaking the laws doing it.

    August 21, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. David, Salinas, CA

    Yet another flip-flop from a candidate who will say anything to get elected.

    Romney in a November 2005 interview with the Globe, called the McCain/Bush position: "quite different from amnesty, because they required illegal immigrants to register with the government, work for years, pay taxes, not take public benefits, and pay a fine before applying for citizenship...That's very different than amnesty, where you literally say, 'OK, everybody here gets to stay... It's saying you could work your way into becoming a legal resident of the country by working here without taking benefits and then applying and then paying a fine." In the same interview, Romney said it was not "practical or economic for the country" to deport illegal immigrants, adding: "These people contribute in many cases to our economy and to our society,""

    Romney in the March 30, 2006 Lowell Sun, said: “I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country ...Those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.”

    As Governor, Romney used undocumented labor for both Massachusetts Public Works projects and his own yard work.

    August 21, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Mike, Brockton, MA

    Romney will say anything to get elected.

    August 21, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Nate, Denver CO

    Romney is dead right on this one.

    August 21, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    You mean right-wing zealot Mitt, how dare you want our laws to be enforced and wanting tighter border security to keep even terrorists out.

    Terrorism is simply a bumper sticker, a slogan you fool.

    You are a xenophobic hater of the worse kind, pushing legal immigration instead of rewarding people that break our laws.

    I am ashamed to be from Mass.

    August 21, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Linda - Albany, NY

    This is one issue I agree with Romney on!

    August 21, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Justice, Dallas-Texas

    Don't believe everything that is said.
    He sure will not have my vote for sure.

    August 21, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. J, Seattle, WA

    Uh, Romney's website is in espanol. How is this guy going to get anything done on illegal immigration? This guy will say and do anything to get elected. Wake up!

    August 21, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Finally, someone who talks sense about the illegal immigration issue and even has solutions ... and he's a conservative and former governor of a liberal state.

    Gee, maybe Romney can even get Democrats and Republicans to work together again and maybe, GASP, get them to even respect each others views.

    Of course I still believe in the Easter Bunny, but what the heck ... Romney might actually be worth a try.

    August 21, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. james

    not sure why having ads in spanish is inconsistent with being in support of stopping illegal immigration.

    maybe it is if you are a bigot and hate people who speak spanish. but if you aren't you understand teh distinction of the fact that there is value in immigration, that is what has made us strong, but that a nation without borders is no nation at all.

    romney understands this without being a bigot. we wants order and reason in an immigration policy. not chaos and not ability to control it to our advantage.

    August 21, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. T. Shannon. Austin, Texas

    Great Job Mitt... I couldn't agree with you more!!! This is America, not Mexico, South America, Europe or Africa!!! This policy of sancuary cities is destroying this country... End Federal funding to all sancuary cities and then see who starts enforcing the law!!! Great job!!!

    August 21, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. T. Shannon, Austin, Texas

    Stay in Mass and I will help send all the illegals to your town and state!!! Your remarks are not only dangerous and echoed by left wing nuts, but they undermine one of the major problems we are facing as a nation... And terrorism is a bumper sticker... Go back under the rock you live under sir!!! I am refering to this nut case:

    Terrorism is simply a bumper sticker, a slogan you fool.

    You are a xenophobic hater of the worse kind, pushing legal immigration instead of rewarding people that break our laws.

    I am ashamed to be from Mass.

    Posted By Tom – Dedham, Mass : August 21, 2007 4:22 pm

    August 21, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Travis

    Who could possibly be for illegal immigration? I can't even believe this is an issue. Is this a nation of law and order or not? If you don't like the law then change the law, don't ignore it!

    And, yes there are citizens who communicate in Spanish primarily. Therefore, Spanish ads, websites, etc. Shouldn't the Republicans start heavily courting the Hispanic population as Romney is trying to do? But from a "law and order" and "family values, faith" prospective, not the Democrat's "freebies" prospective.

    August 21, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. Pam Eugene OR

    I could not agree more! We need to cut off ALL federal funds immediatly to the santuary cities Individual cities can not pick and choose the laws they wish to obey. If that is the case then they must be willing to give up the benefits. You can't have it both ways.
    I am not voting for Mitt but I sure aggree with him on this issue.

    August 21, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Mark, Princeton, NJ


    I think Tom's post was an exercise in parody and sarcasm.

    If not, the guy has serious issues.

    August 21, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Mark, Princeton, NJ

    Romney is, as usual, right. Secure the border first, then deal with everything else.

    August 21, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Finally something from Romney I can totally agree with.

    Giuliani has a documented history of harboring and advocating illegal immigrants. Rudy has made speeches condemning the NIS and the way they handle illegal immigrants. Rudy sued to overturn a federal law enabling local law enforcement agencies to work with federal authorities in cases of illegal immigration. Then Rudy makes a campaign speech declaring his frustration at the number of illegal immigrants in the United States. Rudy is a complete hypocrite. He should be looking in the mirror and condemning himself for adding to the illegal immigration problem.

    And what is Rudy's comeback? That Romney used a landscaping firm which employs illegal immigrants. I have hired landscaping firms. I have no clue what their employee base is, nor do I have any control over that. Is Romney supposed to screen every employee of every firm he hires to do work for him? Romney's landscaping firm has illegals working for them because of mayors like Giuliani.

    August 21, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Ryan, Provo,UT

    I'm not a romney supporter but he has a decent perspective on immigration. I like that he clearly states that immigration is a good thing, but illegal immgration is not. For some reason, a lot of the other republican candidates have a hard time with this one. Its not about preserving a pure culture or language, or any of those things, its about establishing order and the rule of law at our borders so that we can benefit from legal immigration and immigrants can be protected from abusive hiring practices.

    August 21, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Ryan, Provo,UT

    Also, I'm really surprised at those that claim that Romney's having a website in spanish is in conflict with his views on illegal immigration. There are plenty of legal immigrants, in our country who speak spanish and there are plenty of illegal immigrants who speak other languages. I would hope that those expressing that opinion aren't basing it on any resentment towards hispanics in general, because that's hard to label as anything other than racism.

    August 21, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. DJ, Los Angeles

    Romney is just stating the obvious and making a desperate attack trying to make Rudy a scapegoat.

    I agree with some of the others that Mitt just says whatever he thinks is trendy to get votes. One day he runs television ads in Spanish. The next day he blames city governments for illegal immigration.

    The problem is with American businesses that hire the illegals by the millions. Businesses will do whatever it takes to increase profits and keep labor cost to the bare minimum. That's why Republicans and George Bush have been heavily lobbied by the construction industry among others to allow for work visas and pathway to citizenships.

    These clowns could care less about Americans and having a decent minimum wage that maybe people can survive on. As is – a lot of businesses only hire illegals with bogus documentation because they are the only applicants that are willing to make $7 per hour.

    All they care about is getting big lobby money to bankroll their campaigns.

    August 21, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Kurt Van Wateringen, Martha's Vineyard, Rhode Island

    That Romney-man should focus on pressing domesting problems first. Because I think it's still ridiculous that the Dutch navy had to assist during the New Orleans floodings two years ago during the hurricane Katrina. This goes for other infrastructural problems too.

    Instead, he keeps on shouting the typical old neo-conservative rhetorics. Worse: he sounds like a perfect follow-up of Bush Sr. And that's exactly what the United States of America does not need.

    August 21, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. David, Salinas, CA

    Travis asks: “Who could possibly be for illegal immigration? “

    And it’s a good point, because none of us are, even those of us who support a guest-worker program and a route to citizenship for those undocumented workers here already. (Yes, I know they broke the law and I don’t condone it, but I also don’t compare leaving a poor village to accept an honest job and help your family, with rape, murder and terrorism). I want secure borders to keep the terrorists and the meth-smugglers out. I want a crack-down on over-stayed visas, which are far more costly and dangerous than border infractions. I want a sane and safe and humane and secure immigration policy for the greatest country on earth. But I don’t want to spend a fortune we don’t have, in order to deport people we can’t do without.

    It’s not that I think you ship-em-all-home crowd are bad people. I know you love America and want to protect her. But you don’t get it. You don’t know how things work in my little farm town, and we put the food on your table so you need to understand. I’ve asked this question in five posts and have gotten no answers: If you deport my neighbors, who is going to pick our crops? We can’t just build walls. We need to eat.

    But that’s not my problem with Mitt Romney. I can honestly see taking either side of this issue in good faith. But not both sides. Romney has been on every side of this immigration (and stem-cells and gay rights and abortion and who knows what else). He says one thing to win an election in Massachusetts, and another to win one in Iowa. And that’s not the kind of man that should be President of the United States.

    August 21, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
1 2