Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) reacted to news out of Washington that the Director of Hispanic Outreach for Mitt Romney's campaign admitted that Romney "is still deciding what his immigration position is," according to several news reports. The following is a statement by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a strong immigration reform proponent.
Here's a suggestion for anyone who wants to run for the highest office in the land: come up with an immigration policy before you compete in 30 or 40 primaries. Of course, the truth is that Mitt Romney has an immigration policy. He said that laws like those passed in Arizona were models for the country and he promised to veto the DREAM Act. He received his campaign talking points from the strictest opponents of immigration and immigration reform and dug himself a very deep hole with the American mainstream and with voters who follow the immigration issue closely, like Hispanics.
Now, as he is hitting the erase button on everything outrageous he said during the primaries, he cannot even say what his basic approach to immigration will be? That isn't just sad, it is disappointing to the millions of Americans whose lives are in limbo because our immigration issues are unresolved and loved ones are deported, kept out, or locked up for years.
Mitt Romney can either support a policy based on pure fantasy to drive 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants and their families out of our communities or he can be for getting them in the system, on-the-books, and incorporated into American society. He either supports the current barriers to legal immigration that feed the black market and smugglers or he supports a sensible legal immigration policy. And he is either for maintaining the record-breaking rate of deportations destroying American families and putting American children in foster care, or he is for fixing what is broken.
This goes way beyond Hispanic outreach and really says a lot about the kind of man he is.