After last night’s Univision Forum appearance, some news outlets are reporting that Mitt Romney has softened his position on immigration reform. This just isn’t true.
Governor Romney had ample opportunity to soften his position last night. But he stuck to his extreme self-deportation position, defended Jan Brewer’s SB1070 approach, and refused to embrace the Administration’s “Deferred Action” relief for DREAM eligible youth.
Some have suggested that Romney’s comments about not “rounding” people up somehow illustrated a softening of his position on immigration. While this approach is supported by many in the Republican Party, Romney’s position has never been to round up and deport undocumented immigrants. Thus the need for “self-deportation,” a strategy which calls for making the life of undocumented immigrants so miserable that they voluntarily leave the country.
In fact when asked about his self-deportation stance, Romney went into extensive detail about the importance of giving undocumented immigrants the choice to leave.
So nothing changed last night. Mitt Romney confirmed the rightward drift of his party on the issue of immigration reform, and offered a full throated defense of “self-deportation,” a policy stance at odds with years of GOP leadership on this issue by Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and John McCain.