Democratic Reps. Rip Romney on Immigration

Newt Gingrich and Mitt RomneyMark Bialek/Zuma

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Democratic Reps. Silvestre Reyes and Charlie Gonzalez (both of Texas) ripped presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday for embracing a harsh immigration policy that panders to the Republican Party’s right flank.

As Adam Serwer wrote after Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate, Newt Gingrich shocked the world by coming out as a relative moderate on immigration policy. Gingrich argued that the United States should offer an exception for unauthorized immigrants who’ve lived here for years, and not deport them. Romney, whose front-runner status is under attack by a more-credible-seeming-by-the-day Gingrich, struck back quickly, stating that he would not back a policy that grants amnesty to undocumented immigrants, or one that offers them tuition aid or access to employment opportunities.

In a conference call on Wednesday, Reyes, Gonzalez, and Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt accused Romney of flip-flopping on immigration policy over years. They cited his past support for a proposal from Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2005 that included a pathway to citizenship and beefed up border security. “In today’s political climate, he feels the need to oppose any kind of humane policy, no matter how it betrays the legacy of our nation,” Reyes said.

Romney has now effectively “placed himself in a camp that is deportation-only,” Gonzales said. “We know that is not a workable solution, not practical, not pragmatic. But most of all, it just doesn’t serve the economic interests of this country.” That, Gonzalez said, undermines Romney’s purported business acumen. “What he’s espousing sets us back as a nation,” Gonzales continued.

Gonzalez said that he fully expects Romney to come out in support of the harsh, Republican-backed immigration policies enacted in Arizona, Alabama, Utah, and Indiana. “Romney is somebody who once claimed to support comprehensive immigration reform,” said the Obama campaign’s LaBolt. “Now…he is the most rightwing presidential candidate in recent presidential history on this issue.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate