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The 3 Questions That Each Presidential Candidate Should Be Asked During the Debates

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12100344 (posted Oct. 3, 2012)"

Mitt Romney’s public statements on immigration

Barack Obama’s public statements on immigration


Questions for Mitt Romney on immigration for the presidential debates:

1. You've stated that within two years of taking office "we will have the full immigration reform plan" you've proposed in place. To date you have stated that you would veto the DREAM Act, that you are in favor of self-deportation, and that you support visas for graduates with advance degrees. Can you detail for us the main components of your immigration reform package? Specifically, how you will resolve the issue of the 11 million aspiring citizens who don't have legal status?

2. Do you feel that you will have to prioritize immigration reform over other key domestic policy goals in order to ensure that it is put in place within your first two years of office?

3. What will happen to those "DREAMers" who have received work permits if you are not successful?

Questions for Barack Obama on immigration for the presidential debates:

1. You've said that you're "biggest failure" was not getting comprehensive immigration reform done and that you are going to "try to do it in the first year" of your second term. How exactly will you accomplish this while facing, most likely, a divided Congress? Why will your second term efforts be more successful than the first?

2. What other key domestic priorities are you willing to sacrifice in order to get immigration reform done?

3. Your opponent claims that the temporary reprieve you offered "DREAMers" is just a "temporary measure that…will be just enough to get [you] through the election." Why is he wrong? What specific efforts will you make to pass the DREAM Act in a 2nd term?


Mitt Romney's public statements on immigration:

October 2, 1012 Boston Globe article

"Romney's campaign said he would honor deportation exemptions issued by the Obama administration before his inauguration but would not grant new ones after taking office."

October 1, 2012 Denver Post article:

"The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased…Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."

June 21, 2012 Mitt Romney's speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida:

  • "Some people have asked if I will let stand the President's executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President's temporary measure."
  • "I will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner."
  • "As I have said many times, it is critical that we redouble our efforts to secure the borders. That means both preventing illegal border crossings and making it harder to illegally overstay a visa. We should field enough border patrol agents, complete a high-tech fence, and implement an improved exit verification system."
  • "I will work with states and employers to update our temporary worker visa program so that it meets our economic needs."
  • "And if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here - so we will staple a green card to your diploma. We want the best and brightest to enrich the nation through the jobs and technologies they will help create."
  • "That's why my administration will establish a strong employment verification system so that every business can know with confidence that the people it hires are legally eligible for employment."

January 1, 2012 LA Times article
'"The answer is yes,' he said, when asked if he would veto the [DREAM Act] if Congress passes it and he is in the White House."

January 23, 2012 Republican Presidential Primary Debate
"The answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here," Romney said. "We're not going to round them up."

Mitt Romney's plan on immigration from his campaign site


Barack Obama's public statements on immigration:

September 20, 2012 Univision Forum

  • "I am happy to take responsibility for the fact that we didn't get [comprehensive immigration reform] done," Obama said. "But I did not make a promise that I would get everything done 100% when I was elected as president. What I promised was that I would work every single day as hard as I can to make sure that everybody in this country regardless of who they are, what they look like, where they come from, that they would have a fair shot at the American dream. And that promise I've kept."
  • "Jorge, as you remind me, my biggest failure is that we haven't gotten comprehensive immigration reform done," he said. "But it's not for lack of trying or desire."

April 15, 2012 Enrique Acevedo interview of President Barack Obama

  • "I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term. I want to try this year. The challenge we've got on immigration reform is very simple; I've got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it and I've got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it."
  • "We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country; that - and these are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption."

President Barack Obama's plan on immigration from his campaign site

 
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