Congresswoman and Romney supporter Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Miami) disagrees with Romney on his opposition to immigration reform.
Miami Herald columnist Adres Oppenheimer spoke with Rep Ros-Lehtinen on Romney's opposition to immigration reform and she warned fellow Latinos not to assume Romney's mind can be changed on immigration.
In an interview last week, I asked Ros-Lehtinen how can she, as a Hispanic, support Romney’s “horrendous” — my word — stands on immigration.This sort of thing should be obvious but voters seem endlessly capable of believing that no matter how many times a candidate lays out his position on a given issue, what he will really do is honor that voters unspoken position on the issue.
I was referring to Romney’s opposition to the Dream Act that would grant a path to legal residence to up to 1.8 million students who were brought to this country as infants by their parents and were raised as Americans, or his call for seeking the “self-deportation” of 11 million undocumented immigrants, which many of us fear would amount to making life impossible for all Hispanics regardless of their legal status.
To my surprise, Ros-Lehtinen, a conservative Republican who supports Romney, told me: “I agree with you. I am in a position that is opposite to that of Mitt Romney on immigration, totally. But I think that, in this election, the most important issues will be first the economy, then creating jobs, and third, the economy and creating jobs.”
Asked whether she believes Romney adopted hard-line positions to win over the ultra-conservative wing of his party, and that he will shift to the center if elected president, Ros-Lehtinen said, “Nobody should vote for Mitt Romney thinking that he will change his positions.” She added that nobody should cast a vote for Romney thinking that “he says x, but he will do y.”
“He says he does not support the Dream Act, and I wouldn’t want somebody to vote for Mitt Romney [thinking] that I and Mario Diaz-Balart [R-Miami], and others will make Mitt Romney change his mind. It’s not possible,” she said.
“Mitt Romney says he does not support the Dream Act, and I think he is a person who stands by what he says, and won’t change his mind,” she said.