Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) issued the following statement reacting to reports that Gov. Mitt Romney will not revoke work permits issued to young immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. First reported by the Denver Post, Romney said he will honor work permits issued under President Obama's special program for DREAM Act-eligible youth ("DREAMers") granting them a two year reprieve from deportation. Congressman Gutierrez recently announced a series of workshops to be held in Chicago on Oct. 6 in conjunction 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:
Mitt Romney is looking at polls in Colorado, Nevada, Florida, North Carolina, and a lot of other places and realizing that winning enough Latino voters to win those states does not fit with his threats to veto the DREAM Act and to make racial profiling laws in Arizona and the Deep South models for the country. Mitt Romney has been saying he wants 12 million immigrants to leave the United States by deporting themselves. Latino voters and a lot of other folks hear that kind of talk and they run in the opposite direction.
It tells us all we need to know about Mitt Romney that he sees fundamental fairness and decency for immigrant children who grew up in America as nothing more than a "purchase" he doesn't want to cancel. Protecting these young immigrants from being deported sounds no more important to Mitt Romney than protecting someone who bought a sweater at the mall. I have news for Mitt Romney: you don't "purchase" fairness, you earn it, and these young people earn it every day of their lives. That is why I am helping young immigrants sign up and encouraging anyone who is eligible to fill out the application.
Regardless of Romney's motives, it should be clear to those eligible that it is safe to apply even in the unlikely event that Romney wins the White House.