November 13th, 2007
03:01 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney hits Democrats and Republicans on immigration issues

Romney was critical of his rivals from both parties Tuesday.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took shots at his GOP and Democratic rivals Tuesday, accusing several of them of being soft on illegal immigration.

"There's a sanctuary state of mind that [New York Sen.] Hillary Clinton, and [former New York City] Mayor Giuliani, and [former Arkansas] Gov. Huckabee have," Romney said at a news conference. "They have provided - or support the idea of providing - tuition breaks to illegal aliens to institutions of higher learning, and that sanctuary state of mind flies in the face of the rule of law."

Clinton is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, while Giuliani and Huckabee are challenging Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.

A Giuliani campaign spokeswoman fired back, and criticized Romney for his own track record on the issue of illegal immigration.

"Once again Presidential Trail Mitt Romney completely ignores the record of Governor Mitt Romney," Maria Comella, Giuliani's deputy communications, said in an email statement. "Under Governor Mitt Romney the number of illegal immigrants skyrocketed, while he recommended millions of dollars in state aid to numerous sanctuary cities and to companies employing illegal immigrants, not to mention the illegals working on his own lawn."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Tim, Arlington, VA

    The real question is whether Flip Romney will change his position in a week or two?

    November 13, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Kyle T. Nashville

    Crack down on the businesses hiring Illegals? where is the tax money going to come from after that happens? The government has failed to secure the border, failed to incorporate good safegaurds to help employers hire legal workers and now you want to punish the companies that followed the government rules? Businesses have invested billions of dollars in hiring and training workers who are working on forged documents unbeknown to the employer. Amnesty should be given to employers to be able to keep their workforce of forged documented workers until new replacements can be trained to take over the jobs of the illegally documented worker. I agree with Romney in principle 100% I want to hear how we will deal with the 13 million illegal workers in the US already, Know who will replace them. They fill an important role in this country but they need to be law abiding.

    November 13, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Disillusioned Republican, NC

    More fear politics.

    Fear of the illegal aliens taking away all those lawn mowing jobs...

    How about Health Care, how about the Economy, how about a truly inventive way to fix Social Security?

    No, more from Flip-Flop Mitt – fear the Mexicans – they want your women too....... I think I will vote Democratic this year – fool me once shame on you, fool me twice – it's another Bsh by a different name.

    November 13, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Cheap shot and shallow thinking on the part of Romney. What is his plan for deporting the 20 million illegals in the country? Who says that Mexico would even accept them? They don't have to. How are we going to prevent them from returning the next day?

    I had a friend who owned a restaurant in El Paso. Just before lunch, her cook, dishwasher, and waitresses were rounded up by Immigration. They were all back at work for the dinner shift.

    My comment to Romney supporters is this: how are you going to remove 20 million aliens from America? How do you plan to round them up? How long will it take? What parts of the Constitution will have to be suspended so you can kick in doors wherever illegals are suspected of hiding? How are you going to handle the riots in the southwestern states when you start to deport the relatives and friends of millions of legal residents and citizens? It is one thing to talk tough and another thing to actually do something.

    Romney, being a corporate guy, will do nothing but talk. Corporate profits are built on cheap labor. He is lying to his supporters, but he's done that plenty of times. He's good at it.
    "Don't you want our own children to receive the help first?" – wm., marietta , ga

    No child in this nation should lack education, medical care, or good nutrition. The child is not guilty of any crime. Even the cold, flinty hearts of Conservatives should soften up a little for children, whether the child's name is Edward or Eduardo.

    November 13, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. enock kebati, Rosemount, Minnessota

    John, your jelous over the Clintons is A blessing to them. You will be a bigger losser come next year.

    November 13, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Teresa, Tallahassee, FL

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Yes, people who hire illegals are breaking the law just as much as anyone who enters the country illegally. Let's adopt a two-prong approach to this issue and hold businesses who provide the jobs just as accountable as the people they are employing.

    November 13, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Ben, San Diego, CA

    To Greg,Dalton,GA
    And so are the companies, hotels, restaurants, Wal-Mart’s, Target’s and the such who hire them knowing that they are in the country illegally. Which in turn makes you a criminal for conducting business with these companies and businesses. Unless of course you provide for yourself at all these different levels. So are you boycotting these businesses or are you just full of hot air??

    November 13, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Neill C., Montgomery, Al

    I don't even get tuition breaks. And I'm a citizen.

    November 13, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Mike

    It's pretty obvious that several of the Canidates And most of our Congress doesn't understand the definiton of "Illegal" that's why they refer to them as "Undocumented".And that bringing them out of the shadows is going to solve anything.Their duty is to serve Americans first,but most of them want to serve and help illegals before those American Citizens they were elected to serve.America needs to wake to fact that we must fix our own problems before those who are not here legally.

    November 13, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Hank, Fort Myers, FL

    So what kind of a deal would he make? Not better than American citizens...O.K. so your deal would be equivalent? Is this a line in the sand on illegal immigration or simply a better compromise? Sounds like a whole lotta nothing trying to look like a whole lotta something.

    November 13, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. I. Wonder, Miami, FL

    Why does Romney look so smarmy smiley?

    November 13, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Daniel, NY

    New primary poll from Nevada has Romney running much stronger than before and challenging Giuliani... in what is a sign that Romney's appeal is going national now.

    November 13, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Tom Dedham, Mass

    I hired someone to put up siding on my house and it turned out that many of the crew was illegal, so would it have been alright for me to tell the contractor that I didn't want illegals anywhere near my house.

    Would you be happy if I did that or how about Mitt saying that to his CONTRACTOR?

    Guiliani and his campaign are flat out lying about the sanctuary city BS, a few city councils in our more BLEEPED UP areas took it upon THEMSELVES to declare themselves sanctuary cities and Romney was vocal about his being against it as Governor.

    The Ghouliani campaign needs to focus on how they are going to beat Romney after he wins the first 3 primaries and how to change his 9-11 only script.

    When people look at his record and his history, it will be Romney and Liz Dole VS whatever is left of Sillary.

    Look forward to it.

    November 13, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Mountaineer, Morgantown ,WV

    Romney is a bigot promoting hate. People without proper documents (It is a better word to describe them) are fundamental for the economy of this country

    November 13, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. TRM

    There shouldn't even be any further discussion about this. Enforce existing laws and that's that.. what in the heck is the deabte? Cut illegals off from all assistance and jobs and they will leave on their own...

    November 13, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Chris, Macomb IL

    I'm not really sure how Romney can attack Huckabee here. His website clearly states his position on immigration and frankly it's air tight.

    In particular it says "The Governor opposes and will not tolerate sanctuaries for illegals."

    Frankly I like that Huck has a method (fair tax) by which illegal immigrants will have to pay taxes.

    It would be nice if all those tourists and illegal immigrants were helping to pay our taxes. I love the idea.

    Go Huck!

    November 14, 2007 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  17. Dave Lexington, KY

    Give him a break about the illegal immigrants landscaping his lawn. It's like you believe people have the words "I'm an illegal immigrant" posted on their forehead.

    November 14, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. The Wood Wizard L V, NV

    While most may agree with is argument, there may be some of US who cannot help, but to doubt this mans sincerity. Meaning he is known as a person that has supported a landscaping company that hires illegal immigrants and many of them claimed he would greet these illegal immigrants laboring on his estate in their native language other than English.

    We hear you politicians speak your double standards; so do not tell US you are going to be hard on illegal immigration while they are at your home tending to your pretty manicured grounds while out you are out of the home splurging on $300.00 manicured hair cut and strutting on the streets campaigning wearing $1,500.00 attire.

    If you are against illegal immigration then do not support any legally licensed and/or illegal immigrant licensed company owned all across this nation and the people that hire people that are not legally documented in the United States.

    IF YOU (candidate nominee for president); or any other Politian along with legally licensed employers here in the U. S. do not cater and/or hire illegal (aliens); immigrants, including ones with expired visas still here illegally. These people in the U. S. here now would not have a legally justified or fair reason to be here in the United States.

    Show US some good reasons for all Politian’s currently committed and truly concerned about the welfare of legal American citizens; why these current Politian’s; that have not enforce laws they have created for our cities, towns and villages too enforce immigration laws and also to develop new consequences’ for legally licensed employers that continue offering employment to illegal immigrants’ and there growing numbers???!!!

    November 14, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
1 2