Mitt Romney: Not Healthy Congress Hasn't Passed Amnesty
On Friday, failed 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said it wasn't healthy that Congress has not passed amnesty legislation that the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of American workers.
"I do believe it's important for us, before the presidential contest in 2016, to finally have immigration reform in place," Romney said, according to The Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs. "I just don't think it's healthy for the country to continue to have this issue open and unresolved, particularly with so many families that are waiting for the answers."
Romney said he was not for a "special" pathway to citizenship and reportedly added "time is running out for" Congress to pass amnesty legislation this year.
This week, President Barack Obama asked Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to delay the administration's deportation review until the end of summer. At a Capitol Hill press conference on Friday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said that House Republicans had to have some "action" by the Fourth of July on amnesty legislation. Otherwise, Gutierrez said Congress will probably not pass amnesty legislation this year and Obama will have to unilaterally sign executive actions to ease deportations.
Romney was in Iowa to campaign for Senate candidate Joni Ernst before Tuesday's primary. Ernst, who has received support from the Tea Party and establishment wings of the party, is leading the race, but she needs to get at least 35% of the vote to secure the nomination. During a Senate debate on Thursday night, Ernst said she was not for amnesty.
The Chamber of Commerce, which has pushed Congress to act on the Senate's amnesty bill, supports Ernst. But Ernst has also received endorsements from the Senate Conservatives Fund and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has staunchly opposed amnesty and is one of the most popular politicians in Iowa with voters on both sides of the aisle. A poll released last week by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling group found that 90% of "somewhat liberal" voters in Iowa view Palin favorably.
There is not that much enthusiasm for Romney, though. There weren't too many Iowans who turned out to see him.