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Where Obama and Romney Stand on Immigration

October 28, 2012
Plain English Version

President Obama and Governor Romney have different views on immigration.

They spoke about immigration during the second debate.

They agreed on making it easier for some immigrants to come into the country.

Governor Romney wants to make it easier for educated immigrants to enter the country legally. He said, “I want to give visas to people – green cards, rather, to people who graduate with skills we need.”

President Obama said “the first thing we did was to streamline the legal immigration system, to reduce the backlog, make it simpler and cheaper for people waiting in line…” He wants to make it easier for these people to come here and add to the economy.

The candidates differed on undocumented migrants.

The governor said, “We are going to have to stop illegal immigration.” He would use the E-Verify system and penalize employers who hired undocumented workers.  He also said he would discourage these workers by not allowing them to get driver’s licenses.

President Obama said, “…We put more border patrol on than anytime in history and the flow of undocumented workers across the border is actually lower than it has been in 40 years.” The President said that he does want to deport criminals.

The candidates differ on the Dream Act, which is a path to citizenship for young people. They also disagree about the deferment program for young undocumented residents.  Governor Romney said he would veto the Dream Act and stop the deferment program.

Governor Romney also said, “I would not grant amnesty to those who have come here illegally.”

About young people, President Obama said “they understand themselves as Americans in every way except having papers. And we should make sure that we give them a path to citizenship.”

Governor Romney criticized the President for not getting immigration reform passed as he promised to do when running in 2008. The President said he tried but could not get support from Republicans in Congress.

Transcript from the American Presidency Project

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