The Romney Record:
A Record Of Enforcing Our Immigration Laws
In Massachusetts, Governor Mitt Romney Took Action To Enforce Immigration Laws:
In December 2006, Governor Romney Signed A Memorandum Of Agreement With The Federal Government To Allow State Law Enforcement To Enforce Federal Immigration Laws. "Governor Mitt Romney and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ICE, which will give specially trained Massachusetts State Troopers the authority to administer and enforce federal immigration laws in the Commonwealth." (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "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)
- In June 2006, Governor Romney Announced That He Would Seek A 287G Agreement With The Federal Government. "Days after Attorney General Tom Reilly reaffirmed his promise not to hunt down companies that hire illegal immigrants, Gov. Mitt Romney has decided to take matters into his own hands. Romney, who is considering a run for president in 2008, has asked his legal counsel to explore the possibility of entering into an agreement with the federal government that would authorize state troopers to arrest illegal immigrants, said spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom yesterday. " (Rebecca Fater, "Romney: State Troopers Should Have Power To Arrest Illegal Immigrants," Lowell Sun, 6/22/06)
Governor Romney Vetoed In-State Tuition For Illegal Immigrants. "Romney also vetoed a number of outside sections of the budget, including:...A plan that would have permitted illegal aliens to pay the same in-state tuition rate at our public colleges and universities as Massachusetts citizens." (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "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)
Governor Romney Opposed Efforts To Give Driver's Licenses To Illegal Immigrants. "'Those who are here illegally should not receive tacit support from our government that gives an indication of legitimacy,' the governor said, echoing arguments that opponents have voiced in the Commonwealth and in other states considering similar license measures. 'If they are here illegally, they should not get driver's licenses,' he said." (Scott S. Greenberger, "Romney Stand Dims Chances Of License For Undocumented," The Boston Globe, 10/28/03)
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. ... 'He will veto anything that weakens or delays English immersion,' Feddeman said." (Anand Vaishnav, "Romney Firm On English Timetable," The Boston Globe, 1/24/03)
- In June 2002, Mitt Romney Said "The Approach Of English Immersion Is One That I Support. ... I Would Make English Immersion The Educational Norm For All Non-Native English Speakers." (John McElhenny, "Mitt Romney Endorses 'English Immersion' Education Plan," The Associated Press, 6/4/02)
Governor Romney's Plan To Reform Our Immigration System:
To Reform Our Immigration System, 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 An Enforceable Employer 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 and work authorization status 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 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.
- 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.
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