Mitt Romney criticized President Obama’s decision to give legal status to young adult illegal immigrants today, saying that the executive action had made it “more difficult” to bring about a “long-term solution.”
“I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis, so they know what their future would be in this country,” Romney said. “I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, just a short-term matter – it can be reversed by subsequent presidents.”
“I’d like to see legislation that deals with this issue, and I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he looked at this issue,” he added. “He said that this is an important matter, that we have to find a long-term solution, but that the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult. If I’m president, we’ll do our very best to have that kind of long-term solution that provides certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of the action of their parents.”
During the primary, Romney came off as quite hawkish on illegal immigration. Rubio, however, has been working for months on a new DREAM Act that would give those who were brought here illegally as a children legal status in the United States. Romney’s comments suggest that while he won’t support Obama’s method of bringing about legal status for young adults, he may be open to passing either Rubio’s DREAM or some similar bill.
UPDATE: It’s worth noting that, according to a couple of reporters, Romney was asked if he would reverse Obama’s order if he was elected — and didn’t respond.