Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will pledge to Hispanics on Monday that if elected he will fix the troubled U.S. immigration system in an appeal to a rising voter bloc that overwhelmingly favors Democratic President Barack Obama.
Romney’s immigration remarks to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be aimed at shoring up a weakness in his candidacy: the fact that a huge majority of Hispanics support Obama.
“Americans may disagree about how to fix our immigration system, but I think we can all agree that it is broken,” Romney will say.
In excerpts of his speech released by his campaign, Romney did not get into the specifics of how he would patch up a deep divide between Democrats and Republicans on the approach to repairing the U.S. immigration system.
After promising during his 2008 campaign to take on the immigration issue, Obama never followed through, leading to disappointment among various Hispanic groups.
Romney will point to Obama’s inability to work on the problem as a failure.
“Candidate Obama said that one of his highest priorities would be to fix immigration in his first year in office. Despite his party having majorities in both houses of Congress, the president never even offered up a bill,” Romney will say.
Romney will vow to “work with Republicans and Democrats to permanently fix our immigration system,” while stressing that any plan must first ensure the integrity of U.S. borders—a problem on which the Obama administration says it has already made progress.
“I believe we can all agree that what we need are fair and enforceable immigration laws that will stem the flow of illegal immigration, while strengthening legal immigration,” Romney will say.
“While national unemployment is 8.1 percent, Hispanic unemployment is over 10 percent. Over two million more Hispanics are living in poverty today than the day President Obama took office,” Romney will say.