« Oregon Ed. Official: Results for English-Learners 'Unacceptable' | Main | Children of Black Immigrants Faring Well in Early Years, Study Finds »

Romney Would Keep Obama's Deportation Relief Intact

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said young undocumented immigrants who've been granted relief from deportation and received legal work permits would not be deported if he wins the White House.

Campaign 2012

In an interview with the Denver Post on Monday, Romney said he would not rescind the approvals given to undocumented immigrants under the Obama administration's deferred action policy that has made it possible for as many as 1 million young people whose parents brought them as children to the United States to seek temporary relief from deportation and gain work permits.

Romney, who for more than three months has avoided saying what action, if any, he would take on the policy if elected, told the newspaper that he would honor the "special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa." He said those immigrants "should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased." He went on to say that he would ensure that his "full immigration reform plan" would be in place before those visas expire.

So while he would honor the deferred action approvals already made, would he keep the policy in place for future applicants? That remains murky. Still, Romney's remarks signal a less rigid position on immigration policy than he's previously touted. Perhaps he had the large Latino electorate in Colorado—an important swing state this election—in mind as he answered the question.

The Obama campaign issued a blistering statement in response to Romney's interview with the newspaper. "Romney's latest immigration pivot raises more questions than it answers," said Gabriela Domenzain, the director of Hispanic media for the Obama campaign. "We know he called the DREAM Act a 'handout' and that he promised to veto it—nothing he has said since contradicts this, and we should continue to take him at his word."

The federal DREAM Act—which has been stalled in Congress for years because of staunch Republican opposition in the Senate—would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Tens of thousands of eligible immigrants have already applied for deferred action since it took effect in mid-August, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has begun granting work permits and deportation relief. Eligible applicants must have arrived in the United States before they turned 16, be under the age of 30, and have been living here for five or more years. They also have to demonstrate, among other criteria, that they are currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or be in the military.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Charles: ELLs in our state ARE required to take State standardized read more
  • Melissa: Maybe I'm just becoming jaded, but this feels to me read more
  • Anonymous: Are you kidding me....UNO is an organizaion that literally destroys read more
  • Meg Baker: Are any schools using ACCESS scores for purposes other than read more
  • Dr. Mendoza: This is great news i must say. Hopefully this DREAM read more