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Now that we’re certain Mitt Romney will be the Republican Nominee for President it gives weight to every statement he makes. When he schedules a stop along the campaign trail he isn’t just spouting rhetoric to rally support, he’s stating policy objectives.
That is why his recent comments on immigration are so unsettling; not only for the future of the nation but, more immediately, for his chances at getting elected.
Last week Candidate Romney said that he would Veto an article of legislation called the “DREAM Act” if he were to become president. D.R.E.A.M. is an acronym for Development, Relief & Education for Alien Minors. This bill has been kicking around the US Senate for the past decade (things move slowly in that chamber). In short, it is a path toward citizenship for immigrants. Applicants must obtain a U.S. High School Diploma and serve at least two years in the U.S. Armed Forces before being granted a “Temporary Residency Visa” which lasts six years. Within that period they must either serve a four year term of service in the Armed Forces or obtain a Degree in an accredited University. Then they can apply for “Permanent Residency” and eventually Citizenship.
This bill is a long-term solution to our crisis of immigration. The United States currently has more than 12 million unaccounted illegal immigrants. We have no resources for deporting even half of these people, let alone stopping the flow. A guarded fence is not a solution either since many of these people cross into private land on the Mexico-USA border. Building and maintaining a fence on that land would be a legal and logistical nightmare with unimaginable challenges. And you can forget the idea of reclaiming that land for government use. Not in this country.
So here was an idea which even Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio (Florida) supports: offer illegal immigrants a path towards legal residency as long as they either serve in the military or seek to educate themselves for the service of this country. Apparently this solution is too lenient for some.
Sentiment against illegal immigration has reached a fever pitch in this country, not the least because of the current economic climate. The general tone is “Why train someone who wasn’t born here to do something that I can do”.
Now here’s why it’s a problem for Romney. The Dream Act is overwhelmingly supported by American Hispanics – broadly speaking, American Citizens with Latin American and Caribbean background. These people vote. And their numbers are growing, by as much as 3 – 5% per year by some projections. No other demographic even comes close to those numbers. They are now at approx 26% of the voting population. All legal citizens. All registered voters.
In 2000 Karl Rove, Chief Strategist for George W. Bush, recognized that the Evangelical Christian demographic was a sleeping giant. Those people brought approximately 8% of W’s 2000 victory and 14% of his win in ’04. The Latino vote is even larger and growing.
If Romney is going to take this race seriously he needs to stop paying lip service to the anti-immigrant contingent and start talking to the fastest growing electorate in the country.
By Joseph Bono
- Freedom in the City on 22nd May with JP Floru on May 22, 2013 12:30 pm
- The Freedom Association’s Magna Carta Pimms and Politics Cruise on June 15, 2013 12:30 pm
- Conservative Renewal Conference on September 14, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on September 30, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on October 1, 2013
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