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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney says he would honor Obama's work permits for children of illegal immigrants



Mitt Romney said in an interview with the Denver Post published today that he would honor work permits issued to children of illegal immigrants under the Obama administration's "deferred action" program.

"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 told the newspaper. "Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."

Romney had previously refused to say where he stands on the permits, including a Univision forum in Miami last month. The permits would allow some qualified immigrants to avoid deportation and was in line with goals of the DREAM Act. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio had been working on legislation to grant legal status to some but did not put forth legislation and Obama this summer announced his program. The first permits, good for two years, are now being issued.

Rubio has criticized the move, saying it will make immigration reform more difficult.

Still, the program -- it's actually not a visa as Romney says -- has proved very popular among immigrants and Romney's new stance reflects the importance of the Hispanic vote.

The Obama campaign said;

“Romney’s latest immigration pivot raises more questions than it answers. He still has not said whether he would continue the Administration’s policy that provides a temporary reprieve from deportation for young people who were brought here through no fault of their own. Would he side with his extreme anti-immigration advisors and repeal this measure? What would he do with those who qualify for deferred action but haven’t received it? Would he deport those who have received a deferment when the program expires after two years? We know he called the DREAM Act a ‘handout’ and that he promised to veto it -- nothing he has said since contradicts this and we should continue to take him at his word.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 3:36pm]


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