On Monday, Mitt Romney said if he becomes president, he would allow illegal immigrants who receive temporary work permits under President Barack Obama’s deferred action program to remain in the United States.
“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 Denver Post. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”
Romney said unlike Obama, he would “propose a piece of legislation which will reform our immigration system to improve legal immigration so people don’t have to hire lawyers to figure out how to get here legally.”
“The president promised in his first year, his highest priority, that he would reform immigration and he didn’t. And I will,” Romney said.
Obama, by fiat, enabled certain illegal immigrants who came to this country when they were young to apply for temporary work permits. To qualify, illegal immigrants had to arrive before their 16th birthday, be 30 years of age or under, have no criminal record, have been in the country for six years and be in school or have at least a high school degree.
Hispanics make up nearly one in ten voters in Colorado and have not been as enthusiastic for Obama as they were in 2008. Romney has a better chance of winning the state if Hispanics have fewer reasons to vote for Obama.