Ever since President Obama announced a new deferred action policy in June, proving some undocumented immigration with a two-year deportation referral and permits, Mitt Romney has refused to say whether or not he would continue the program. Fellow Republicans and a campaign adviser have said Romney would undo the directive, though the GOP presidential candidate has repeatedly dodged the question.
But on the eve of his first debate with President Obama in Colorado, Romney said he would not take away temporary work permits from those who benefit from Obama’s deferred action plan, although it was unclear if he would continue to provide deportation deferrals:
Young illegal immigrants who receive temporary work permits to stay in the United States under an executive order issued by President Barack Obama would not be deported under a Mitt Romney administration, the GOP presidential hopeful told The Denver Post Monday.
“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney said. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”
Following the announcement about the directive, Romney criticized Obama for going around Congress to implement the policy a few months before the election.
During the Republican primary, Romney had said he would veto legislation that provides a path to citizenship. He opposes the DREAM Act, which would add $329 billion to the U.S. economy by 2030, but said he would support a version of the bill to give legal status to undocumented immigrants who served in the military. And Romney has supported harmful “self-deportation” policies to force undocumented immigrants to leave the U.S. instead of “going to round people up.” To fix the U.S.’s immigration system, Romney continues to repeat that he wants to work with Congress on a comprehensive solution, but he gave The Denver Post no details about that plan.