Colorado Dems pan Romney immigration speech
DENVER — Three Colorado Democrats attending the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in Orlando wasted little time in ripping the speech GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave at the convention Thursday.
Treading lightly before a left-leaning audience, Romney eschewed confrontational language and tone and instead offered what he termed a “strategy for bipartisan and long-term immigration reform” that includes giving green cards to immigrants who earn advanced degrees at American universities; providing a path to legal status for illegal immigrants who serve in the military; and cutting red tape.
But it didn’t matter to state Reps. Dan Pabon and Crisanta Duran, both Denver Democrats, and Councilman Paul Lopez, who all ripped Romney after hearing his speech in person for failing to take a position on the DREAM Act or the recent executive order from President Obama to stop deportation proceedings on young people who were brought to America by their parents.
“Some people have asked if I will let stand the president’s executive action,” Romney said. “The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president’s temporary measure.”
“Romney has proven time and time again that he is the most extreme candidate on immigration this country has seen in some time,” Lopez said on a conference call following the speech.
“Today, Romney tried to etch-a-sketch away the extreme positions on immigration he took during the Republican primary, but he’s not fooling anybody. No matter what Gov. Romney claims, we need to remember the reality: his policies and priorities are not going to help our community or our country out-educate and out-compete the rest of the world.”
Romney criticized Obama for not living up to his 2008 campaign promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but Democrats like Duran argue that the President has done a lot to benefit Latinos.
“Latino families and small businesses were among the worst hit by the recession,” Duran said. “But thanks to President Obama, taxes for small businesses have been cut 18 times, 9,000 Latino-owned small businesses have received SBA loans, and Latino unemployment has declined nearly 2 percent in the past 27 months.”
Most polls show that Romney trails Obama by large margins with Hispanic voters, something that could give the President an edge in swing states like Colorado, Nevada, Florida and Virginia, where Latino populations are growing.
Obama will address the NALEO convention on Friday.