As Mitt Romney tries to moderate his immigration stances in order to win over Latino voters, his campaign released a new ad in Spanish touting the GOP candidate’s promise to fix the nation’s immigration system and to find a “permanent solution” for young undocumented immigrants. But immigrant rights groups are calling for Romney to take down the misleading ad.
Watch the ad in Spanish here:
Frank Sharry, executive director of pro-immigration reform group America’s Voice, told Huffington Post that the Romney’s new immigration ad is a fraud. “The only permanent solution we know Romney will advocate is ‘self-deportation,’ which is code for a purge of millions of hardworking Latino immigrant families,” he said. And Mitzi Castro, an undocumented immigrant from Arizona, took offense with Romney’s use of the term “illegal immigrant.” “How can one stomach that and feel completely safe and trust someone who calls us that?” Castro said.
Romney’s tone on immigration has softened since the GOP primary, when he staked out the most extreme immigration positions of all the candidates and supported the idea of “self-deportation” for his policy. But while he says he will support a “permanent solution” to help young undocumented immigrants, Romney has promised to veto the DREAM Act, and he opposes amnesty.
The new ad’s message echoes Romney’s comments from earlier this month when he tossed a bone to DREAMers and said that he would he would not take away temporary work permits from those who had already received them under President Obama’s deferred action plan. But, Romney clarified, no additional work permits would be issued under his administration. None of them would be needed once the two-year temporary permits expired because he said “we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed” by then — without providing any details about that plan.
Most of the Romney campaign’s Spanish-language ads mention that President Obama did not enact comprehensive immigration reform in his first term — without mentioning the fact that Republicans blocked the DREAM Act in the Senate — but, other than backing policies to make life so difficult for undocumented immigrants that they leave the country, it’s not clear what type of reform Romney wants anyway.