In yesterday’s GOP debate on CNN, Mitt Romney declared that the country should look to Arizona as a model for its policies on immigration. In praise of Arizona’s radical anti-immigrant law SB 1070, Romney said:
“I think you see a model here in Arizona [for immigration enforcement].”
Romney’s latest declaration only adds to his comprehensive list of radical anti-immigrant policies, reinforcing his position as the most radical on immigration in the GOP field. Here are just a few of the positions that help Romney outflank Republican competitors:
In adopting Arizona’s radically anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, as a national model, Romney is promoting the idea that all immigrants should have to carry their “alien registration” documents at all times and that the law should require police to question anyone they suspect of being in the United States illegally, with or without proper cause. Arizona’s law also gives the police the power to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally if that person cannot immediately provide the appropriate documentation.
Calling it a “mistake” to allow undocumented immigrants who have abided by the law and put down roots in society to stay in the country, Romney offered instead a “self-deportation” policy. Making it more difficult for immigrants to obtain employment, the theory goes, “enough of them will leave” for their native countries. As the New York Times wrote, “his scheme for fixing immigration is mass expulsion: a fantasy of ridding the country of 11 million unauthorized immigrants by making their lives unbearable.” In fact, states like Arizona that already promote a “self-deportation” policy have offered “deplorable” results and even “caused a civil-rights emergency.”
Romney also promised, if elected, to veto the DREAM Act—a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for upstanding, undocumented students who have chosen to serve in the military or pursue higher education. Despite the fact that the bill encourages military recruitment and helps reduce the deficit, Romney remains obstinately opposed to its passage.
The extremity of Romney’s immigration position earned him the endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an extremely anti-immigrant Republican whose entire job creation idea boiled down to “deport an illegal alien today.” In endorsing Romney, he said, “We need a president who will finally put a stop to a problem that has plagued our country for a generation.” He added later, “all of the other candidates stand to the left of Romney on immigration.”
The Democratic National Committee has released this video cataloging Romney’s extreme immigration policies. Watch it, and share it with your friends: