On Friday, Team Obama released the following advertisement criticizing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for not staking out a definitive position on the president’s controversial (and unconstitutional?) executive order granting temporary status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.
In many ways this is a savvy political maneuver on the president’s part. Indeed, if Mitt Romney supports the executive order (which, I think, will be interpreted as a form of amnesty) he will no doubt alienate conservatives. On the other hand, if he explicitly opposes the order -- or vows to rescind it upon securing the presidency -- I suspect Hispanics will be less inclined to vote for him. This puts Team Romney in a precarious position, to be sure, forcing the campaign to address immigration reform much earlier than they may have originally anticipated. In any event, the presumptive Republican nominee did in fact address an audience of Latino lawmakers and elected officials yesterday in Florida, informing the American people precisely where he stands on the issue of immigration.
There are at least three crucial points Mitt Romney raised during his remarks. (1) President Obama had the opportunity (and the means) to tackle comprehensive immigration reform during his first presidential term. He failed. (2) The economic policies of the last three years have left the Hispanic community disproportionally unemployed; in fact, 2.3 million more Hispanics now live in poverty. This, in effect, begs the all-important question: are Latino voters better off today than they were three and a half years ago? (3) President Obama’s temporary solution to fixing our immigration woes (i.e. his executive order) is fundamentally flawed. For example, the parents of young illegal immigrants recently granted temporary status are still being deported from the country at increasingly alarming rates. Romney, by contrast, pledges to “put in place his own long-term solution” that, among other things, strengths legal immigration, secures the border, implements an employment verification system, and promotes strong families.
In sum, Governor Romney may have been hesitant -- even evasive -- over the last week or so, refusing to answer any questions directly regarding his position on the president’s controversial fiat. But now that he’s introduced his own sweeping reforms, however, it seems the Hispanic community is warming up to him. Remember, President Obama has already broken one solemn pledge to fix the nation’s broken immigration system. And so, given his horrendous track record -- and slew of broken campaign promises -- why should he be trusted now? That's a question every American should be asking themselves every day from now until November.