Romney won’t say if he’d repeal Obama immigration rule
June 17th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
8 years ago

Romney won’t say if he’d repeal Obama immigration rule

(CNN) – Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, wouldn’t say Sunday whether he’d repeal President Barack Obama’s decision to stop deporting certain young illegal immigrants.

In an interview, Romney would say only that his administration would seek longer-term solutions to the problem of illegal immigration, and that Obama’s new directive, announced Friday, was temporary fix.

“He was president for the last three-and-a-half years and did nothing on immigration,” Romney said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Two years he had a Democrat House and Senate, did nothing of a permanent or long-term basis. What I would do, is I’d make sure that by coming into office I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the children of those that have come here illegally.”

Pressed whether that meant he would reverse Obama’s decision, Romney said only that the directive would be rendered void by new, longer-term rules.

“It would be overtaken by events if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution, with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals such that they know what their setting is going to be, not just for the term of a president but on a permanent basis,” Romney said.

The GOP candidate added that he would assess whether or not to repeal Obama’s rule while new his new law was moving through the legislative process.

“My anticipation is I’d come into office and say we need to get this done, on a long-term basis, not this kind of stop-gap measure,” Romney said.

The rule change, which came during a Rose Garden announcement Friday, will allow people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military to apply for a two-year deferral from deportation.

Romney said the timing of the shift, coming less than five months ahead of November’s general election, pointed to political motives on the part of the president.

“I think the timing is pretty clear, if he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three-and-a-half years, not in his last few months,” Romney said.

Asked by host Bob Schieffer if he made the change “for politics,” Romney said, “That's certainly a big part of the equation.”

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe said the immigration rule change was “not a political move.”

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Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Mitt Romney
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Four more years of THIS?! NO WAY!!

    Immigration change not political, Plouffe asserts

    This is why Obama will NOT be re-elected. Everybody knows the statement above is a complete lie. The American people are tired of being lied to after 4 years of lies. Obama and everybody around him can't tell the truth because the truth is he is a complete failure that cannot run on his record of failure. Instead he's trying all of this BS to bribe people for their support, even if it means breaking and ignoring the laws of this nation.

    End the failure, end the lawlessness. End the Obama Dictatorship. Elect Romney, a proven successful competent leader.

    June 17, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Romney is a fraud !

    As Rick Santorum said during the primaries if Romney won the GOP nomination , America would much better off voting for President Obama ! Romney stand's for nothing and he flip flops on everything ! What a jellyfish Romney is !

    June 17, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Chris

    I cant see how even the most hardened supporter of the President can say that the move was not political. We can debate whether it is a good move or not, whether it is humane or not, whether it is lawful or not, etc, etc, but it is political nonetheless.

    Having lived in Chicago most of my life, the move is very Blago-esque and just screams of political opportunism.

    The optics of it are very unseemly.

    As for Romneys response, my first inclination is to say that he will NEED to directly answer that question at some point. However, Romney (for better or worse) is thriving by playing a game of "rope a dope" and staying on course of his economic message without really commenting of committing to outside social issues. It is an interesting choice that normally, I feel, would doom a candidate, but so far it seems to be working for him.

    June 17, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Romney is a fraud !

    Romney fails to mention in his statement about the timing of President Obama's announcement , that President Obama was handed the worst set of circumstances in decades ! He used the majority of his first term working to stabilize the country after Bush drove us off the cliff ! Immigration policy and other domestic issues were all pushed back in order to bring us back from the abyss that Bush nearly put us in !

    June 17, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. King

    these repubs tactics are repugnant to the logical person, but they seems to fool the gullible all the times. these repubs have been slamming the president immigration reform ever since Scott brown took the Senate and started philabusting every policy the president brought forward, in the president first year. the repubs will lie and said the president had a filabusterproof Congress for 2 year's, but the facts will say it was only a year. he made.momentous accomplishment before Scott walker came into power the following year. Obama took a stock market crash and reverse it, he stopped the bleeding of 800 thousand jobs lost, he took a 9 point economic retraction and made it into a 4 point increase, he ba out a financial sector that was falling off the cliff, Obama did all of this before Scott came a year later, and gave the repubs the philabusting Senate that had killed the recovery, because the repubs claimed they were moving too fast.

    June 17, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Thomas

    a proven successful competent leader.

    How is that? Facts only..

    June 17, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Core republican Values

    Romney should enter the London Olympics in the Freestyle Hypocrisy event. He is a shoe-in for the gold.

    June 17, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Myviewis

    I think anyone that believes that coming into our country illegal committed Breaking & Entering which is a crime should reverse this change to immigration. The man that just crossed Niagara Falls had to have his passport on him when he arrived to the Canadian side because Canada expected him to produce his passport to enter Canada, so why don't we require the same of all people entering our country? We have to show our passport when entering Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Argentina, Honduras, Dominican Republic and obtain permission to stay in their countries. The same goes for Finland, England, Spain, Germany, Austria. Why don't we ask the Native American Indians who own the USA what they think, it is their country afterall?

    June 17, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Critical of Pres. Obama having empathy for kids? Just think, God raygun gave ALL of them amnesty.

    Romney won't make any commitments unless he becomes pres. Then he will do what Kochs, Rove, and Norquist tell him. It's that simple. He's a puppet.

    June 17, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Myviewis

    Already the Latinos in my neighborhood are talking about this being the best political campaign move they've ever seen. I agree with them that this move just beat Romney out of the White House because Obama now carries the Latino vote which is huge. Noone can go up against the Latino vote, they are a powerful number.

    June 17, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. The Funky Truth

    You wanted Globalization, here it is, there is no longer the United States of America, with the influx of Mexican, Central and South American immigrants, its just America. Get used to it, coming soon to your neighborhood near you. Learn to speak Spanish.

    June 17, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Rupert Murdoch = Josef Goebbels

    It isn't political. The President is still hard at work. This provides two years for congress to make these people's path to citizenship into law. Two years that they can concentrate on their studies without the constant, nagging, emotionally disruptive, painful thought of deportation. Keep up the good work, Mr. President!

    June 17, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    “He was president for the last three-and-a-half years and did nothing on immigration,” Romney
    G.W.Bush was president for 8 years, during the time Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John McCain (two powerful senators from both parties) proposed the immigration bill it died in the senate
    The fact is nothing will get done in the house or senate

    June 17, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Catmandew

    Here we go again dems making every excuse as to why Obama did not get to it earlier.It is ILLINOIS politics at their best last minute changes to please a bloc no long term fix!Obama says it is not a political 100% sure it is bet your bottom dollar!

    June 17, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Myviewis

    By the way, those of you who disagree with me I'm a Former-Foreigner, now a US Citizen and I had to go through the whole long process as well as my parents and siblings to enter the USA legally and stay legally and become a US Citizen. Yes, I did not skip the test, I took the test. No reason these people shouldn't have to go through the legal process to enter our country. Besides, Mexico is financially doing well, many Americans live there as well as they live in Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc... These countries are showing up even having a higher education than the USA so why would these kids need to be in our schools when their schools are better than ours according to the reports?

    June 17, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Malory Archer

    Romney is a fraud !
    As Rick Santorum said during the primaries if Romney won the GOP nomination , America would much better off voting for President Obama !


    Someone from the Obama campaign should find a film clip of that and run it as a campaign ad in all 50 states.

    June 17, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    2012 best, smart political move is “change policy in deporting undocumented immigration”
    Obama nailed it , this is pure political moved but I love it
    GOP has to find way to come out, it will be real hard

    June 17, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Larry L

    “He was president for the last three-and-a-half years and did nothing on immigration,” Really? We've deported more illegal immigrants during President Obama's first term than during the entire Bush debacle. We're also drilled more domestic oil and killed waaaay more terrorists – including most of the "big dogs".

    Romney will not commit on that question because he continues to flip-flop and give absolutely no specifics on his vision. That spoiled preppy is running on a flood of fat-cat money and offers Americans nothing but sound-bites and contradictory statements.

    June 17, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |

    What ever Obama is for romney is againest it ,just like the republican bafoon party in congress ,that's why nothing gets done and why they need to get kicked out in Nov ,romnycare the clown is to secretions and nobody knows what he will do if elected and can't see his tax returns ,do you trust this bafoon???? And he signed a pledge to the crook lobbyist rover nitwitquest and how many other pledges to how many other dirt bag lobbyist,a first in history for a presidential canadate. No thanks!!!!!!!!!!

    June 17, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. porchhound

    RUBIO is pro-amnesty
    ROMNEY is pro-amnesty
    BOTH are big government RINOS

    why bother in Novembe...I am voting down-ticket onlyr

    June 17, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    the repubs will lie and said the president had a filabusterproof Congress for 2 year's, but the facts will say it was only a year.


    And he never really even had that. Senator Al Franken's seat was contested by that pathetic rethug loser norm coleman and he wasn't sworn in until July 2009, by which time Senator Ted Kennedy had already left the Senate due to failing health. So the myth of the "filabuster-proof majority" is just that – a myth.

    June 17, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. jack878

    Obama violated his oath of office by not enforcing our immigration laws. Obama stop your hispandering and do your job.

    June 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Tony

    Romney does not want to be pinned down on the immigration issue because he wants the Latino vote too. As for what he said about immigration during the primary, he was just trying to appease the Tea Party people so that he could win the nomination. Come on, people, this is Romney we are talking about. He never means what he says.

    June 17, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    Obama violated his oath of office by not enforcing our immigration laws


    Ignorance is a curable disorder jack. All you have to do is educate yourself. Unless you're afraid of facts?

    June 17, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |

    To secretive ,romney should get on the clown bus and go home ,how can you vote for somebody you don't know what they would do about anything,oh ya,,the Ryan plan cut everything,probably the worst thing to do for the economy !!!

    June 17, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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