Romney pressed about ’07 statement on immigration

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a tele-town hall with Iowa voters early this afternoon.  A “Richard from North Liberty, Iowa” asked the following question:

I watched the debate last night and your response to Newt Gingrich regarding illegal immigration and amnesty and then this morning on one of the national radio programs I heard a tape of you from four years ago saying you supported a path to citizenship. You know, as a rock-solid conservative what concerns me about you is you seem to change your position a lot.”

(I believe that “tape of you from four years ago” is a reference to something played on Rush Limbaugh’s Show today.  Here’s the transcript of that.)

Here is Romney’s response to Richard from North Liberty:

“I wish you could hear the whole tape. What I said is that everybody who’s here illegally should have a path to citizenship which consists of going to their home country, applying for citizenship or permanent residency just like everybody else and getting at the back of the line, so sometimes when you hear only the first part of an answer you don’t get the full picture. My view has been from the very beginning with regards to those that are here illegally that they should not have any special privilege with regards to becoming a permanent resident of the United States or a citizen of the United States merely by having come here illegally, that they should have to get in the same line with everybody else who wants to come here legally, so I would not prevent them ultimately from becoming a permanent resident, but I’m not going to let them, simply by virtue of being here illegally, get an advantage relative to those who have waited in line patiently. That’s my view. I said that last night to Speaker Gingrich. I do not favor an amnesty program of the kind that he seemed to be describing last night. I just don’t think that those that have come here illegally should be given a special pathway, a special deal that’s any different than anybody else that wants to apply to come to this country legally.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Craig M Cuddy says

    I met a young woman in Mexico that said that getting a visa or green card to get into the US was a virtual impossibility if you were not able to pay off the Mexican officials and buy the false documents required by the US officials. She wasn’t willing at the time to attempt an illegal crosssing because of the fear of the cartels near the borders that force many young women into prostitution in order to pay thier crossing fee. She had seen people that had been captured and forced back into Mexico and that any property they had had before such as old vehicles were taken away by local authorities and they were forced into even worse poverty and conditions because the government doesn’t care about the people and particularly those that had tried to leave. So, right or wrong , I would have to advise Mr Romney that it’s not as easy as just going back home to get the proper permission slip and to many it may be equivalent to a death sentence. It’s a serious problem , but not a simple solution.

  2. Back in the late 1960’s I lived in Orange County California when there was still Orange groves and vast strawberry fields in the county. Thousands of Mexican immigrants were bussed up from Tijuana to work the fields. Cities like Placentia and La Habra developed as the workers setteled in and were encourage to stay so they could work year round. Some became citizens ,most did not, but all of thier children born here did and they are the next generation who are now Doctors, Lawyers , Police Officers , Firemen and all parts of the critical labor force Many of thier Grandparents are still living here as “Illegals” . Would Mr. Romney advocate tearing these elderly people from thier homes and cast them back across the border, load up the old buses, so they could get new permission slips and then come home? It all seems so simple when you address a crowd of angry and frightened white folks. We need leaders not rabble rousers.