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Romney Campaign Press Release - The Romney Agenda: Enforcing Our Immigration Laws

December 14, 2007


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Governor Romney's Plan To Reform Our Immigration System:

Today, In Iowa, Governor Mitt Romney Discussed His Plan To Enforce Our Immigration Laws And Reform Our Immigration System. America's immigration system is broken. Governor Romney believes we must enforce and reform our immigration laws so that we can end illegal immigration. America will always welcome legal immigration, but as a nation we also insist on the rule of law. To reform our immigration system and enhance America's national security, Governor Romney will:

- Secure The Border. Governor Romney will follow through on the Congressional commitment to build a physical and technological fence along the southern border, and secure other points of entry throughout the country. He will also increase border control enforcement and resources.

- Implement A Mandatory And Enforceable Employment Verification System. Governor Romney will issue a biometrically-enabled and tamperproof card to non-citizens and create a national database so employers can easily verify the legal status of non-citizens in this country.

- Hold Employers Accountable. Governor Romney will make it easier for employers to verify legal status and work authorization of non-citizens through a federal database. Employers will be held accountable if they hire illegal immigrants with stiffer fines and penalties.

- Reject Amnesty. Governor Romney opposes amnesty or any special path to citizenship for those here illegally. He opposed each version of the McCain-Kennedy legislation as the wrong approach and a form of amnesty. Amnesty did not work 20 years ago, and it will not work today.

- End The Magnet Of "Sanctuary Cities." Governor Romney will cut back federal funding to cities that are "sanctuaries" for illegal immigrants and who refuse to comply with federal law or aid federal law enforcement. Sanctuary cities tell those who are here illegally that the laws of this country do not matter and become magnets for illegal immigration.

- Oppose Any Special Benefits For Illegal Immigrants. Governor Romney opposes giving driver's licenses or in-state tuition to those here illegally. He believes states should not provide those types of incentives. As President, he will cut back federal funding to states that do so.

- Promote State And Local Partnerships With Federal Immigration Officials. Governor Romney believes more state and local authorities should work with the federal government to enforce immigration laws. This builds off of his experience in Massachusetts where he deputized the State Police to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and enforce federal immigration laws.

- Improve Interior Enforcement. Governor Romney will provide additional resources to enforce existing immigration laws throughout the nation. We cannot be serious about our immigration laws until we provide the resources needed to enforce them. Governor Romney supports the Administration's steps to strengthen the enforcement of our current immigration laws.

- Teach English In Our Schools. Governor Romney believes we must teach English in our classrooms because to be successful you have to speak the language of America.

- End Chain Migration. Governor Romney believes we should end the policy of chain migration that says if a child is born here to illegal immigrants then, by right, the entire family is brought in based upon that child's citizenship. As a nation we can limit family sponsorships while at the same time promote legitimate family reunification.

- Encourage Legal Immigration. Governor Romney will streamline the visa system to recruit and retain skilled workers in high demand by U.S. companies. He will also welcome the best and the brightest from around the world to our universities. We must stop illegal immigration so we can encourage legal immigration.

THE ROMNEY RECORD: Governor Romney Took Action To Enforce Immigration Laws:

ENFORCEMENT: In December 2006, Governor Romney Signed A Memorandum Of Agreement With The Federal Government To Allow State Law Enforcement To Enforce Federal Immigration Laws. (Office Of The Governor, "Governor Romney, ICE Sign Immigration Enforcement Pact," Press Release, 12/13/06)

- Governor Romney: "The scope of our nation's illegal immigration problem requires us to pursue and implement new solutions wherever possible. ... State troopers are highly trained professionals who are prepared to assist the federal government in apprehending immigration violators without disrupting their normal law enforcement routines." (Jonathan Saltzman, "Romney OK's Pact So Troopers Can Arrest Illegal Immigrants," The Boston Globe, 12/14/06)

DRIVER'S LICENCES: Governor Romney Opposed Efforts To Give Driver's Licenses To Illegal Immigrants. (Scott S. Greenberger, "Romney Stand Dims Chances Of License For Undocumented," The Boston Globe, 10/28/03)

- Governor Romney: "Those who are here illegally should not receive tacit support from our government that gives an indication of legitimacy. ... If they are here illegally, they should not get driver's licenses." (Scott S. Greenberger, "Romney Stand Dims Chances Of License For Undocumented," The Boston Globe, 10/28/03)

IN-STATE TUITION: Governor Romney Vetoed In-State Tuition For Illegal Immigrants. (Office Of The Governor, "Romney Signs $22.402B Fiscal Year 2005 'No New Tax' Budget," Press Release, 6/25/04)

- Governor Romney: "The point is pretty clear, which is are we going to have an incentive that taxpayers pay for individuals to come into our schools and get a break on tuition, or are we not? And in my view we follow the law. And if you believe we should change the law, then do that. But don't say that we have a law and then don't follow it." (Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes, 11/2/05)

ENGLISH IMMERSION: Governor Romney Fought Efforts To Weaken Massachusetts' English Immersion Law. "But yesterday, Romney press secretary Shawn Feddeman said the governor will fight all attempts to slow the implementation of English immersion, known on the ballot as Question 2." (Anand Vaishnav, "Romney Firm On English Timetable," The Boston Globe, 1/24/03)

Mitt Romney, Romney Campaign Press Release - The Romney Agenda: Enforcing Our Immigration Laws Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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