Immigration a Tough Issue for Mitt Romney

Rebekah Metzler, U.S. News, January 5, 2012


The question facing Democratic and Republican strategists alike is how gracefully Romney can perform the age-old pirouette from party primary, where one must pander to the base, to the general election, where one must pander to the center.

Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz took aim at Romney even before Hawkeye state voters caucused on Tuesday night, seeking to highlight the Republican’s vulnerabilities to reporters at an Iowa press conference.


But experts do point to one issue where a position Romney took in the GOP primary may hurt him in the general election, and that’s immigration. The former governor took one of the most conservative positions of any of the Republican candidates when he said all immigrants currently in the United States illegally—estimated to total more than 10 million—should have to return to their home countries before applying for U.S. citizenship. He called a proposal offered by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to allow immigrants with deep ties to their U.S. communities to stay, while deporting “undesirables,” tantamount to amnesty.

In a November GOP debate, Romney said, “Amnesty is a magnet. People respond to incentives, and if you could become a permanent resident of the United States by coming here illegally, you’ll do so.”


As with many issues, Romney’s stance on immigration during this election seems to differ from positions he’s taken in the past. In 2006, while governor, Romney had said, “I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country.” But his campaign maintains the position is consistent—that Romney believes illegal immigrants should return home before starting down the path to U.S. citizenship.

So why might this haunt Romney in the general election?

“A Republican probably can’t win without about 40 percent, minimum, of the Hispanic and Latino vote,” says Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and a well-respected election prognosticator. Sabato adds that the 2008 GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, tallied only about 31 percent support from this voting bloc in his loss to Obama.


Romney’s position has not gone unnoticed by Democrats. On Wednesday, two top House Democrats held a conference call with reporters to denounce both his pledge to veto the DREAM Act as president and his implication that the measure amounts to a “handout.” The proposed legislation would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who arrived in the country as minors, had lived here for at least five years, and had either served in the military for two years or completed four years of college.


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  • wmarkw

    Illegal immigration is an issue on which Republican VOTERS are on the opposite side from Republican DONORS.  Romney’s advantage is being mega-rich.  He doesn’t have to suck up to losing positions for the sake of bucks.

  • Wrong, Larry Sabato.  Not only can Republicans win with under 40% of the Hispanic vote, the Republicans that do win almost always get under 40% of the Hispanic vote.  I actually think it’ll take around 58% of the white vote for the Republican to win, and last I checked, the ratio of voters was 9-to-1 — Lose nine Hispanic votes nationally and all you need is to gain one white vote to be back to square one.  It varies by state.

  • Anonymous

    “I actually think it’ll take around 58% of the white vote for the Republican to win,”

    It will take over 60% of the white vote for the GOP to win in 2012.

    Curious George got 57% of the white vote in 2004 and won a close one.

    McCain got 55 or 56% of the white vote in 2008 and got trounced.

    Demographics have gotten much worse since then and the GOP could get 60% of the paleface vote and still lose in 2012 if enough blacks can be bussed in by their churches (don’t ask where they get the money for busses, you racist).

  • We are truly in an unprecedented crisis if wanting that “illegals go home and apply for visas” is considered the “conservative” position. Just goes to show how spectacularly successful the Cultural Marxist revolution really was.  Hell even those who claim to be illegal immigration usually are forced to add the caveat that they would enthusiastically welcome those immigrants if they came here legally, as if all the problems related to immigration would magically disappear.

    Unfortunately we haven’t moved even close to beginning a national debate on whether legal immigration numbers should be reduced.  

    Can anyone imagine Romney raising the issue? I sure as hell don’t.

  • Sending illegal invaders back to their country of origin before they can apply for citizenship (obama is working on modifying that as I write this) is now considered a “conservative” position according to our treasonous MSM! The day when simply following the law against this illegal invasion is deemed a “conservative” position is a day when people had better wake up before it’s too late!
    I hope I live to see the day when the MSM and public leaders are held accountable for their treasonous actions against White Americans.

    • Zorro

      When they are finally held accountable, they will reply, “We were only following orders”.

      • I have no doubt whatsoever about that Zorro!

  • Anonymous

    Believe it or not, despite the New York Times saying most Americans harbor “extreme” views on immigration, most people believe in enforcing the law and doing what is necessary to preserve the Union. McCain did nothing but listen to “analysts” who told him what he had to do in order to get elected, and it didn’t work. If Romney has some sense of self, any measure of intestinal fortitude, and he is willing to maintain his position in the face of mudslinging, the number of whites he can pick up will negate the kind of servile, bilingual pandering that Gingrich & Co. are doing.

  • Anonymous

    No one can steal a single black vote from Obama. It doesn’t matter if the GOP runs the reanimated corpse of James Brown. For black voters, it always has been, and always will remain an equation similar to the following:

    white republican < Minority republican < white democrat< minority democrat

    Obama is a minority democrat. He could get on TV tomorrow and say, "My first act in my second term will be to reinstate Dredd Scott and to repeal the Emancipation Proclamation," and he would get 96% of the black vote.

  • He has received more than 5 million dollars from investment banks and lawyers. His guns will be stuck to the temple of the white working class, period. He is bought and paid for and he knows what his orders are : Open borders, packed welfare rolls, full amnesty and chain migration.

  • Romney is a well known flip-flooper.

    Why trust Romney on immigration, when even Reagan passed an Amnesty bill?

    The only alternative for a someone who has a Right Wing, White Nationalist, Paleo-Libertarian ideology is to vote for Ron Paul

  • Anonymous

    If you check back a couple of years, you’ll find that Rubio was FOR amnesty before he was against it.

  • Zorro

    I suggest that you watch a new video from the National Inflation called, “The Romney Con”.

    Likewise, Ron Paul receives the most Campaign contributions from the men and women in the Armed Forces, over all other Candidates combined.

    • Anonymous

      Irrelevent.  Did you get lost?  This is a race realism web page, not a Ron Paul fan club blog.  Ironically, Paul’s “liberty” soon becomes statist tyranny once whites become a minority.  Look at California, a state which once voted solidly (moderately consevative) Republicans like Nixon and Reagan.  If America loses its racial identity, the government becomes (it has started to already) a means toward wealth redistribution.  Who’s paying for the majority of the costs graced upon us by the poor immigrant and black, today?  What happens when demographics turn against the “liberty” bandwagon?

      Liberty and prosperity have only been maintained in white, Judeo-Christian nations.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Q. How can you tell when Romney is lying? 

    A. When his lips move.

    Great comment! And exactly correct.  

    Here are my two “favorite” Romney lies:

    I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.

    Ha!  After a Boston newspaper showed they couldn’t have marched together, a spokesman stated:  “George W. Romney and MLK marched together in June 1963, although possibly not on the same day or in the same city!”  

    Mittens then explained:  “If you look at the literature or look at the dictionary, the term ‘saw’ includes being aware of — in the sense I’ve described.  When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there — excuse me, the Super Bowl.”

    Romney supported The Brady Bill, assault weapons ban and Massachusetts’ strict gun control laws.  When he “flipped” to a conservative, he claimed the NRA endorsed him and that he was a lifelong hunter, even though he didn’t own a gun and had never had a hunting license.  “Lifelong hunting” turned out to be twice:  once as a teenager, hunting rabbits with his cousin in Idaho and another time chasing fenced-in quail at a Republican fundraising event.

    Romney’s explanation?  I’m not a BIG-GAME hunter… I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times.

    And, that’s just for starters…


    • In one of the last debates, Romney was praising 2nd Amendment advocates and politics, but in doing so, he used the phrase “gun lobby.”  Dead giveaway — Romney is anti-2nd.  “Gun lobby” is a hobby horse phrase of the left.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Romney had said ‘I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country.’

    Romney doesn’t believe in rounding them up off of his own front lawn!!

    Romney hired illegal immigrants to work in his yard for over 10 years. Three illegal immigrants interviewed by the Boston Globe said they worked on Romney’s lawn for years and that he greets them with a “Buenos Dias.” Two were interviewed back in Guatemala, where they have returned. They made $8 to $9 per hour working 11 hour days. ‘They wanted that house to look really nice,’ said one worker, now back in Copado, Guatemala. ‘It took a long time.’ 

    Guess there will be no “Mitt Romney Memorial Wall” along the Mexican border as Bill O’Reilly suggested.

    Imagine agreeing with Barney Frank on ANYTHING!!

    The real Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsoever. He is the most intellectually dishonest human being in the history of politics.— Barney Frank


    • Anonymous

      Never understood this argument.  If Romney is truly someone with no principle, he’ll be easier to convince to our side than a Santorum who thinks mestizos are good catholics and should be able to come freely, Gingrich who went out of his way to defend a hypothetical illegal, or worst of all Paul who seriously thinks building a Southern border fence will keep Americans IN the US, as if it were the gringos trying to come to the oasis of Northern Mexico that was the problem.

      I’d take someone who *might* be good on the border than anyone else who we know *won’t* be. 

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t Rubio not a natural-born citizen himself (or am I thinking of someone else)?  If so he can’t run for VP…you can’t run for any position where you could find yourself President if you’re not a citizen.

  • Anonymous

    Although I don’t agree with Mitt Romney on many issues, if I knew that Romney would be strong on ending illegal immigration, use enforcement through attrition methods, AND work on a moratorium on legal immigration, I would vote for him because immigration is a very important issue to me. However, I doubt if he will keep his word.

    I would love to see a party like the American Third Position, which advocates for White people, to be a viable party in the future. We cannot depend on the Republicans to advocate for us when the country is heading towards a White minority and the Republicans will foolishly try to attract the votes of Hispanics who will never vote in large enough numbers for the Republican candidates.

  • Anonymous

    Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is offering the GOP helpful advice that they need to pander to illegal alien Hispanics to win the general election.

    Thanks Debbie.

    Do you have any more helpful advice to help the GOP win ?

    Maybe Debbie Wasserman will advise the GOP to embrace affirmative action for all non Whites, Federal hate crime prosecutions against Whites who sing Christmas carols, reparations to Blacks for slavery, stacking the Supreme Court with New York lesbians from Harvard, surrender of US sovereignty to the United Nations.

    Thanks Debbie.

    I think the GOP will do OK without your help.

  • Anonymous

    African countries for Africans.
    Asian countries for Asians.
    Israel for Jews or you’re an anti-semite!
    White countries for everyone or you’re a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionje­­ws!

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

  • No one says a neighborhood that is 100% black needs more diversity.

    No one says a neighborhood that is 100% asian needs more diversity.

    No one says a neighborhood that is 100% oriental needs more diversity.

    They are already 100% diverse.

    All white neighborhoods and only white neighborhoods always need to be more diverse. White neighborhoods only stop needing to be more diverse when there are no white people left in them.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

  • Anonymous

    For any conservative, this year is a best-case scenario.  In my opinion, Paul is the worst case scenario, because he will spend his entire political capital worrying about withdrawing troops.  While I agree the US shouldn’t play the world’s cops, the more pressing issues deal with enforcing immigration and returning the low-IQ mestizos back south of the Rio Grande.  Paul has only given lip service to ending birthright citizenship, something he as a constitutional nut should know the president has little control over, and has repeatedly blamed the government for “racism” (against blacks via drug laws).  Gingrich went out of his way to defend a hypothetical illegal who has been breaking the law for 25 years.  Bachmann is unelectable and too maternal.  Santorum believes the illegal mestizos are good Catholics and his paternalism will lead him to think they can be turned into Republicans.

    It’s Romney or just stay home for me.

  • Anonymous

    Coulter is doing the best with what the field has given, and what I say is that we DON’T know he will be BAD.  All the others still remaining will be, this is a fact.

  • ‘Is there real evidence that Romney will be tougher on immigration?  Ann
    Coulter seems to think so but I am not sure what her assessment is based

    The only possible reason I can think of would be that Romney does not want to see Mormon Utah swamped with ‘Catholics’ from the south (Mexico).

    P.S. Ann Coulter dated some Indian Affirmative Action hire from National Review named Dinesh D’souza, all Racialists and White Nationalists should consider her to be tainted and should not give any credence to her political mewlings based on her past racial treachery.

    • But the Mormon church stabbed Russell Pearce in the back.

      Dinesh D’Souza also stabbed Sam Francis in the back.  I think it was Laura Ingraham and not Ann Coulter that went with D’Souza for awhile.

  • Anonymous

    To the mantraphobes (posters or mods) who remove the occasional short White-Genocide-is-being-committed-by-immigration-and-assimilation mantras that myself and possibly other mantraphiles post (I post them ONLY to articles on immigration!) such as the little “mantra” below, I ask you to please consider that this site not only gives us communal pleasure and instruction, but also instructs visitors who drop by briefly. So while you may be tired of seeing the very few mantras that appear on these threads, visitors may find them interesting on the rare occasion they spot one!

    Thank you.

    African countries for Africans.Asian countries for Asians.
    Israel for Jews or you’re an anti-semite!

    White countries for everyone or you’re a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionje­­ws!

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.———-White GeNOcide

  • Rubio doesn’t want the running mate spot, even though most of the Republican Party wants to give it to him.

    Who will be Romney’s running mate?  Mark these three names down:  Mary Fallin, Susana Martinez, Jan Brewer.  All women Governors from west of the Mississippi.  Romney would go for gender and geographical balance, I think.

  • Anonymous

    The Mexicans are not our problem. They are a small part of the overall immigration problem and nobody is talking about the real problem. Immigration, since 1965, has been a wide open proposition and people from all over the globe are streaming into our country. We are being overwhelmed with these people, who are mostly uneducated and poor (democrats/socialists/marxist/progressives love these potential voters). Even this we could probably rectify. The horrific part of immigration is Islam. The others come to assimilate but Islam comes to conquer. It does not appear that way now while they are in their ‘stealth jihad’ mode but they have been doing this for some 1400 years and we in America are complete novices when it comes to dealing with Islam. We are tolerant and they are intolerant. We give in to them and they just take more and more. They want shariah law to replace our Constitution and rule of law. We stand for life and the golden rule. Islam is a culture of death and love ONLY for the muslim brother, so long as he does not become an apostate; then he will be killed.

    Solving the immigration problem starts with understanding the issues and nobody is talking about immigration other than problems with our southern border. We must solve our larger immigration (as above) before we are blindsided and start looking like Europe where Islam is savaging the continent.

    • BJ

      You are correct in that immigrants since the 1965 Immigration Act came into effect is a detriment to our country. But when you say Mexicans are not a problem and will assimilate, I suggest you take a closer look.  Muslims will never assimilate and that is a given. But, ALL the nonwhite populations in our country IS the problem, including Mexicans. Do some reading.

      • Anonymous

        Good point BJ, but still there are many Mexicans who have assimilated and are good and productive citizens. Muslims will not assimilate and will only be citizens of Islam.