If Steve LeBlanc and Andrew Miga of the Associated Press are to be taken at their word, then we should believe that Mitt Romney, as the one-term governor of Massachusetts, “adopted a mixed bag of immigration policies.”
“He fought against in-state college tuition rates for undocumented immigrants, pushed hard to give state troopers expanded powers to arrest those in the country without documentation, and championed English-only classes for bilingual education students,” the two men wrote this week.
“Yet Romney also showed a more compassionate side,” they said, “personally interceding on behalf of an immigrant teacher facing deportation whose case drew heavy news coverage across the state. In 2004, Romney signed into law a requirement that immigration judges warn non-citizen defendants that pleading guilty to certain crimes could ultimately lead to their deportation.”
Labeling Romney’s immigration record a “mixed bag” is either laughable or criminal. Are we to dub Willard a “compassionate conservative” just because the usually draconian android twice displayed a pulse in his four years as governor of a progressive state?
The immigrant rights advocates in Romney’s own state assert otherwise.
“Overall he has been consistent in his misconception about immigration,” said Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. “We never found him to have a big vision about reform on immigration issues. He lacks understanding and focuses more on politics than policy.”
Willard’s record as governor shows that although he’s capable of showing sympathy for the immigrant experience, above all else, he is a staunch defender of American law — well, maybe not so much corporate law, but definitely immigration law.
“Mitt Romney’s view is that immigration is what built this country and that we should encourage legal immigration, but that we are also a nation of laws and that we should say no to illegal immigration,” Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the AP in an email interview.
No American (except anarchists and crazed gunmen) believes it’s generally alright to break U.S. laws. A country has the right to regulate its borders, just as we’re all in agreement that motorists should obey traffic signals. If the Constitution is the foundation of our society, then our laws represent the actual structure.
But immigration law is a different animal. It’s not a simple matter of “red means stop” and “green means go.” There are human lives at stake. How can a law that makes a 2-year-old girl a criminal be considered just? And what sensible human being would — after that 2-year-old girl grows up, pursues an advanced degree or serves in the armed forces, and starts a family of her own — say she’s not American and target her for deportation?
Something is definitely rotten in the state of Arizona, and all the other states who think adherence to current law supersedes any consideration of morality or justice.
When a nation institutes an unjust legal system, sometimes it’s the law-abiding citizens you have to worry about.