EXCLUSIVE: Romney Immigration Adviser Calls Obama’s New Policy ‘Illegal’

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), an immigration adviser to the Romney campaign, said President Obama’s new policy to not deport DREAM Act-eligible youth is “deeply troubling.”

Kobach, who wrote the extreme anti-immigrant laws in Alabama and Arizona, told ThinkProgress that the “deferred action” policy was “illegal” because it violates a section of the 1996 Immigration Reform Act. “What the president is describing is a policy that we will refuse to initiate deportation proceedings,” which Kobach said goes against current law.

But Kobach’s position appears to be at odds with Mitt Romney’s position, who did not say if he would reverse the president’s directive protecting undocumented students. Romney also said he agrees with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Earlier today, Rubio said Obama’s announcement would be “welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer,” but called it a short-term answer for the nation’s immigration policy. Rubio has floated the idea of introducing his own version of the DREAM Act, but has not yet introduced a bill.

The comments highlight Romeny’s shift on immigration policy from the GOP primary, where he staked out the most extreme immigration position of the GOP field — including passionate opposition to the DREAM Act — and his attempts to appeal to Latino voters in the general election.