Romney’s Immigration Stance Will Hurt Him

mitt romneyMitt Romney may well be on his way to the Republican nomination, but he’ll have a hard time getting further than that because of his position on immigration.

Romney’s hostile stance against even immigrant children who arrived here when they were very young does not sit well with Latinos, to say the least.

Like all voting groups, Latino registered voters represent a heterogeneous bunch of individuals with diverse political viewpoints and backgrounds, from liberal to moderate to conservative. This includes Chicanos from East Los Angeles, Puerto Ricans from the Bronx, and Cubans from “Little Havana” in Miami.

However, as a voting bloc, Latino voters tend to support the rights of undocumented immigrants and vote Democrat at a higher rate compared to all registered voters. For instance, according to a recent poll from the Pew Hispanic Center, while 42 percent of all Latino registered voters favor a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, only 24 percent of all registered voters support this position. Also, in a hypothetical matchup between President Obama and Romney for the 2012 election, an overwhelming 68 percent of all Latino voters favor Obama, while only 23 percent support Romney.

Obama gave Romney an opening with Latinos, as 59 percent of Latinos disapprove of Obama’s inhumane deportation policy of breaking up families. But Romney didn’t take it.

Instead, he has tacked to the right on the immigration issue. He has denounced Texas Gov. Rick Perry for approving in-state tuition for immigrant students, claiming this represents a magnet for illegal immigration. He recently vowed to veto the DREAM Act, which would enable children of undocumented immigrants to become citizens if they go to college or serve in the military. And he opposes any amnesty for undocumented immigrants, despite their daily contributions to this country.

Alvaro HuertaAll undocumented immigrants, Romney says, should return to their country of birth and then get in the back of the line if they want to re-enter the United States legally.

These views do not endear Romney to Latinos, who represent a growing — and perhaps pivotal — voter bloc.

Romney’s anti-immigrant stance may be helping him win the Republican nomination but is spoiling his chance to win the White House. He may have plenty of time on his hands, after November, to ponder that irony.

Alvaro Huerta

Alvaro Huerta, Ph.D., is a visiting scholar at UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center.

Republished with the author’s permission from The Progressive.


  1. Peter says

    Like all voting groups, Latino registered voters represent a heterogeneous bunch of individuals with diverse political viewpoints and backgrounds

    Latinos are willing to vote for anyone that will help Hispanics benefit at the expense of others. That’s racism, pure and simple.

    It looks like we’re going to have to elect a Republican president if we want to stop illegal immigration. Too bad Democrats keep pushing for amnesty for lawbreaking illegal aliens. I’d prefer to vote Democratic, but I’m sick of seeing illegal aliens destroy this country, then cry for amnesty and the Dream Act to force Americans to fund college for their kids at the expense of our own. If it takes a Republican to stop this abuse, then so be it. Democrats have brought it on themselves by giving away the house to illegal aliens.

  2. SK says

    Latino voters tend to support the rights of undocumented immigrants..

    Their rights? Latino voters support more than just RIGHTS for illegal aliens, they want us to accept them and give them amnesty. The vast majority of illegal aliens are Hispanic, and American Latinos who support them do so simply because they are racist.

    They think it’s just fine for illegal aliens to jump ahead of the rest of the people waiting to immigrate. They want us to spend tax dollars making their lives better after they break into our country. They force our schools to hire extra teachers and teach in Spanish, in spite of the fact that every other immigrant group that came to this country learned English. They want us to pay for children of illegal aliens to attend college (the Dream Act), then reward them with citizenship for taking college seats and public funding away from our own kids.

    The real question is, why are liberals always voting against their own interests by supporting candidates who want to give amnesty to illegal aliens?

  3. James says

    Finally, Romney stands up for what’s right. . . I never thought I’d live to see the day. . .
    Doesn’t mean I’d ever vote for him, but he’s earned a small portion of my respect.

    Keep up the good work – kill the dream act, deport the Criminal Trespassers and their criminal offspring.

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