Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) issued the following statement reacting to reports that Gov. Mitt Romney changed his mind again and now pledges to stop accepting applications for President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if he is elected President. After weeks of questioning, Romney indicated he would not revoke the work authorization and two year reprieve from deportation issued under President Obama's special program for DREAM Act-eligible youth because they had "purchased" it by paying a $465 fee. Yesterday, Romney said he would end the program and not accept new applicants if elected. Congressman Gutierrez will hold a series of workshops Saturday, Oct. 6, in Chicago with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to assist applicants for the program. Rep. Gutierrez is the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a national leader on the immigration reform issue. Rep. Gutierrez' statement:
Every day Mitt Romney demonstrates more clearly that he is hostile to America's immigrants. First, he reluctantly said he would support young immigrants who benefit from Barack Obama's deferred action policy only because he didn't want to take away something they "purchased," -- as if the ability to live in the only country you've ever known is no more important than buying a sweater at the mall. Now he tells us it's just a one-day sale, by flip-flopping on his flip-flop the next day, saying that if he becomes President he will stop accepting applications for President Obama's policy.
Immigrants have no reason to wonder what would happen to them if Mitt Romney is elected. Romney stands proudly with the most extreme, anti-immigrant elements of the Republican Party and refuses to consider even the most sensible and fair relief for America's immigrant community.
It is absurd that a 90 minute debate on domestic policy and the economy would not address immigration at all, not even in passing, especially when Latino voters are considered the key demographic that will determine who sits in the White House. The moderator dropped the ball, the President missed an opportunity, and Romney dodged a bullet.
The American people are clear that they don't think our immigration policy should be held hostage to the Romney fantasy that 11 or 12 million immigrants must leave the country and believe that immigrants should have an opportunity to be in the U.S. legally and eventually apply for citizenship. Yet Romney is saying he would resume deportations for every young person raised in the U.S. who has no line to stand in to get legal.