In Pueblo, CO, President Obama took Mitt Romney to task for his self-deportation immigration policy, and called the Dream Act the right thing to do.
While highlighting the differences between Romney and himself, Obama said, “Mr. Romney believes in something called self-deportation. Thinks Arizona is a model for immigration laws across the country. I think we did the right thing to say that a young person who comes to America, is brought here, comes here, trains here, is friends with our kids, is going to school with our kids is American in every single way except for a piece of paper should have a chance to be part of the American family. That was the right thing to do. We’re going forward, not backwards.”
President Obama spoke about his Executive Order implementing parts of the Dream Act as the right thing to do, because Mitt Romney’s policy alternative is especially harsh, cruel, and morally reprehensible . Self-deportation is one of those innocent sounding terms that the right is good at dreaming up. In a January Republican debate Romney described it as people deciding that they would rather go home because they can’t find work in the United States.
Romney made it sound like self-deportation would be a matter of individual choice and liberty, but that is not really what the policy is about. Romney’s plan would implement an electronic verification system that would take any and all benefits including things like the ability of children to attend school away from anyone who isn’t in the country legally.
The escalated criminalization of immigration would leave immigrants like those covered by the Obama Executive Order with the choice of either moving to a country that they have familiarity with, or turning to crime if they decide to stay in the United States at any cost.
The reason why Obama leads Romney by 44 points with Latino voters is because Romney has adopted an extremist immigration policy designed to cater to the far right. In a swing state like Colorado, Latino voters will be very important to Obama’s ability to carry the state again.
Mitt Romney would like to never hear the words self-deportation again. The Romney campaign is already planning on using the Republican convention to court Latino voters, but that effort is likely to go nowhere as long as Obama keeps reminding them about Mitt Romney’s self-deportation solution.
It looks like the only person facing deportation, self or otherwise, is Mitt Romney on Election Day.