Mitt Romney: A Leader To Turn Off The Sanctuary Magnets

Phil Gingrey
|
Posted: Dec 17, 2007 4:51 PM
Mitt Romney: A Leader To Turn Off The Sanctuary Magnets

Our borders and ports of entry are hemorrhaging with illegal immigrants, and the American people are ready for a president that will have the courage to stand up and lead. America needs a president that will come to the White House with new ideas and demand results. For years, our country has maintained a system that both encourages and ignores lawlessness and we can no longer afford to keep the status quo. Mitt Romney has the values, vision and track record to provide the much-required leadership our nation needs to address this current crisis.

We are a nation of immigrants, but we also have an obligation to protect our national security, economic wealth and citizens. With an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now residing in the United States – and hundreds of thousands of more arriving every year – Americans are sick of political rhetoric and thirty second sound bites. We are looking for someone with a record and reputation to solve this situation, and I emphatically believe Mitt Romney is our man.

Governor Romney first and foremost believes the most important step in addressing illegal immigration is to effectively and immediately secure our borders. He will work to carry out the promise Congress made to the American people to build a physical and technological fence along the southern border – a fight in which I am proud to have been a leader in Washington.

However, Governor Romney is the only presidential candidate that realizes in order to secure the borders, our country will need to build more than just a fence. We need to build an infrastructure and implement policies in our states and our cities that will not attract, but instead discourage illegal immigration. Mitt Romney understands this vision and worked as Governor to create this environment in Massachusetts. He opposed giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and fought to have English taught in classrooms. In 2004, he vetoed a plan that would have granted illegal immigrants the benefit of in-state tuition. He is the candidate Americans can trust to stop the incentives that encourage individuals to illegally cross our borders every day.

Unfortunately, there are too many cities and states in our country that willfully grant illegal immigrants taxpayer funded benefits. Whether this is access to government healthcare, social welfare programs or in-state college tuition – all of these benefits attract millions of individuals illegally into our country. Border security is paramount in our fight against illegal immigration, but we need a president committed to a broader vision of ending the incentives. We can no longer afford these policy positions, which have led us into the crisis that we face today.

Rudy Giuliani is a credible Republican candidate, but his position on illegal immigration causes me concern. Mayor Giuliani has consistently stood behind New York’s policies with regard to illegal immigrants. He has stated that New York City was not a sanctuary city. However, in fact, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service last year listed New York City as a sanctuary city.

In Congress, I have been a leading opponent to a piece of legislation called the DREAM Act, which among other things would give illegal immigrants the benefit of in-state tuition. I have been greatly disappointed to hear that another Republican candidate, Governor Huckabee, proposed a similar policy in Arkansas.

I understand some people may view these as compassionate policies or stances taken in the best interest of their cities or states. But in reality, they are the very misguided incentives that have drawn more and more illegal immigrants to our country every year. Put simply, they are bad for America.

Our country needs a president that respects every dime of our hard earned money and works tirelessly to give back as much as they can. Washington doesn’t need any more politicians who refuse to make the tough choices needed to secure our borders and protect our tax dollars – believe me, I already work with plenty of them. Instead, we need a leader who will stand up for what is best for this country and not what makes for nice political rhetoric. Governor Romney has the experience that will bring about the change needed in Washington to provide the American people the kind of results they deserve.