Hispanic / Latino

In Second Debate, Romney Continues To Embrace "Self Deportation"

Last night’s debate presented Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney with yet another opportunity to turn his back on the "attrition through enforcement" model of Self Deportation, best embodied by Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation SB 1070. Once again, Romney did not in any way distance himself from his long-held immigration plan, the objective of which would be to make life so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they would simply leave the country. But don’t take my word for it—below are Romney’s own words on the subject.

"Now, let me mention one other thing, and that is self-deportation says let people make their own choice. What I was saying is, we're not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, and take them out of the nation. Instead let people make their own choice. And if they -- if they find that -- that they can't get the benefits here that they want and they can't -- and they can't find the job they want, then they'll make a decision to go a place where -- where they have better opportunities. But I'm not in favor of rounding up people and -- and -- and taking them out of this country."

While it may be true that Romney says (he has a habit of changing his mind) that he is not for rounding up undocumented immigrants and removing them from the country, according to the Immigration Policy Center what he is proposing in "self deportation may actually be worse:

"Mr. Romney explains how he thinks "self-deportation" would work by saying “if people don’t get work here, they’re going to self-deport to a place they can get work.”  "Self-deportation" - or, more accurately, "attrition through enforcement" - goes far beyond denying unauthorized immigrants work. The strategy is currently embodied in state laws that include provisions denying education, transportation, and even basic services like water and housing to anyone who cannot prove legal immigration status. So far, the states that have attempted to roll out this plan have done little more than undermine basic human rights, devastate local economies, and place unnecessary burdens on U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants. "

Romney also went on at great length to distance himself from the idea that he believes that Arizona's self deportation law SB 1070 is a model for the country. Does this mean that he does not support an Arizona-style law for the country as a whole?

Absolutely not. The President rightly pointed out that Romney’s head immigration campaign advisor, Kris Kobach, actually wrote SB 1070, demonstrating the ridiculous nature of Romney’s denial.

"I do want to make sure that -- I do want to make sure that we just understand something. Governor Romney says he wasn't referring to Arizona as a model for the nation. His top adviser on immigration is the guy who designed the Arizona law, the entirety of it; not E-Verify, the whole thing. That's his policy. And it's a bad policy. And it won't help us grow."

That last point in the President’s statement is important, and illustrates that at the end of the day these two candidates could not differ more on the issue of immigration. The President believes that immigrants will help our country grow, as evidenced by his landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This smart and fair move to grant targeted temporary reprieve for young undocumented immigrants is exactly the type of leadership that is missing from the Republican Party on this issue.

Last night that could not have been more clear.

Video of the Immigration Exchange is below:

For background information on NDN's work in this space please make sure to check out NPI Fellow Rob Shapiro's outstanding report, "The Impact of Immigration and Immigration Reform on the Wages of American Workers."

Also be sure to read the following reports by NDN/NPI’s 21st Century Border Initiative: Realizing the Value of Crossborder Trade with Mexico,  examines the rising importance of the export sector and how to strengthen our relationship with Mexico, our nation’s number two export market and Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to the United States,  a tourism report that outlines five steps to help unlock the tremendous economic value of Mexican tourism into the United States.

Check back daily for the latest news and reports in the 21st Century Border Initiative’s Daily Border Bulletin, and follow us on Twitter, @21border.

Thursday, Oct 4 - 21st Century Border Initiative Policy Director to Speak at LULAC Immigration Summit

Tomorrow, Kristian Ramos, the Director of the 21st Century Border Initiative, will be speaking at the National LULAC Immigration Summit in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Room 106 at 11:00 a.m.

The LULAC Immigration Summit will offer insight into the Administration’s advancements in immigration reform and engage in dialogue with other immigration advocates, policy makers, community activists, and LULAC members.

The summit aspires to develop an action plan for comprehensive immigration reform by fostering progressive dialogues among policy makers, community leaders, immigration advocates, LULAC members, and legal minds alike.

Elmy Bermejo, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Making the Economic Case Dirksen Senate Office Building in Room 106 at 11:00 a.m.

•    Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) (tentative)
•    Jeremy Robbins, Partnership for a New American Economy
•    Kristian Ramos, NDN & New Policy Institute

For background information on NDN's work in this space please make sure to check out NPI Fellow Rob Shapiro's outstanding report The Impact of Immigration and Immigration Reform on the Wages of American Workers.

This report presents an accurate portrait of our immigrant population, dispels misconceptions about undocumented immigrants, and reviews the evidence and analysis regarding the wage and other economic effects of both immigration and reforms to provide undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.

Daily Border Bulletin- More Than 30 Olympic Athletes Are Immigrants, Only 16% of Arrested Immigrants Are Recidivist, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

More than 30 U.S. Olympic athletes are immigrants- More than 30 foreigners are on the team representing the United States at the London Olympic Games, and all are living examples of how much immigrants are contributing to their adopted country.

Only 16% of undocumented immigrants are recidivist, study says- A congressional study released Tuesday found dozens of examples of unauthorized immigrants who were released and later arrested in connection with felonies, including murder. About 16% of unauthorized immigrants arrested were rearrested within three years, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which was based on data the Judiciary Committee had subpoenaed from the Obama administration.

NAFTA surface trade goes up in May- Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 8.3 percent higher in May than in May 2011, totaling $83.8 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Daily Border Bulletin- Conference Focuses on U.S.-Mexico trade, Gardener Creates Scholarships for Hispanic Students, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories for today include:

Conference focus on U.S.-Mexico trade- The Border Trade Alliance is organizing a conference to discuss ideas to improve trade between the U.S. and Mexico on Thursday, August, 2nd in Mexico City.

Mexican immigrants creates scholarship fund for Hispanic students- Mexican immigrant Catalino Tapia, who owns a landscape business, created the Bay Area Gardeners Foundation, whose primary goal is to help the children of gardeners go to college.

Undocubus tours the country to call for immigration reform- The “Undocubus,” a bus with undocumented immigrants as passengers, began its cross-country tour from Phoenix, Arizona to North Carolina last Sunday July 27th and it is scheduled to arrive to the Democratic National Convention on September 3. Their goal is to share their stories and call for immigration reform.

Daily Border Bulletin- Texan Democrat Hopeful to U.S. Senate Advocates for Immigrants, Remmitances to Mexico Go Up, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Democratic hopeful to U.S. Senate advocates for immigration reform- Grady Yarbrough, one of the two Democrat candidates to the U.S. Senate in Texas has promised a path to legal status to undocumented immigrants through a new TV ad. 

Sen. McCain asked Romney to tone down anti-immigrant rhetoric- Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) placed a joint call to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in January, urging him to tone down his anti-immigration rhetoric in order to win Hispanic votes in the 2012 November elections.

Mexican immigration to the U.S. declines but remmittances go up- A BBVA Research report highlights that Mexican immigration to the U.S. has remained unchanged since 2008. However, the economic recovery in the U.S. had a positive impact on remittances which reached its highest annual growth rate since 2007.

Daily Border Bulletin- Wisconsin Needs Immigrants, Chinese Immigrants are Second Group of Apprehensions at the Border, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories of today are as follows:

Wisconsin needs immigrants- A consultant on workforce development in Wisconsin recommended Gov. Scott Walker to attract more immigrants to fill job openings.


Immigrants from China are second group of apprehensions at the U.S. borders- Immigrants from China are second to immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries among border-crossers apprehended by the Border Patrol.

Mexican call centers seeks clients in the U.S.- Atencion Telefonica is a Mexican call center that established an American company called America Contact LLC, to sell Spanish-language call center services to U.S. companies from their headquarters in San Diego, California

Daily Border Bulletin- Bill seeks to keep immigrant families together, Latinos are majority of strawberry growers, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Bill seeks to keep immigrant families together- The Help Separated Families Act, H.R. 6128, authored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, addresses the growing number of U.S. born children placed in foster care as a result of immigration enforcement actions, with the intent to keep children of detained or removed parents united with their families.

Latinos in New Mexico file racial profiling complaints- Six people filed racial profiling complaints against the Farmington Police Department and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department over accusations that the agencies used race and ethnicity to inquire about immigration status.

Latinos are majority of strawberry growers in California- Latinos now comprise two-thirds of strawberry growers in California, where 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries are grown.

NDN Backgrounder: Rethinking Immigration Reform: A New Series

Since Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy built the framework for what is called Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2005, the policy and political landscape has changed a great deal.  Pieces of CIR have been enacted, others stalled, others need updating.  In the aftermath of a tumultuous few weeks in the immigration reform debate we found ourselves asking – so if a bill were to move in the next Congress, what would it look like? What problems are we trying to solve now, and where should the emphasis be? Is the original McCain-Kennedy framework still applicable or just something else need to be constructed?  

To take a look at these questions NDN/NPI is launching a new series of events we call “Rethinking Immigration Reform.”  Our first in the series is with a terrific and thoughtful group of experts and advocates from across the political spectrum:

Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO, ImmigrationWorks USA
Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America's Voice

The first in our series of events will take place July 18th, at NDN/NPI's event space, 729 15th St, NW.  Lunch will be served at noon and the program will begin at 1215pm.   Seating is very limited for this event so please RSVP today.

Below please find some background material to help contextualize our conversation.

Politics of the SB 1070 ahead of the 2012 General Elections

Simon's Statement on SCOTUS Immigration Decision Simon Rosenberg 6/25/2012

Simon's take on the politics of SB1070 and the decision by the Department of Justice to declare the law unconstitutional.  The national GOP has gone into big time spin mode on this, declaring that the DOJ suit is political death for "Democrats in the West."   While that scenario is possible of course,  Simon looks at what we know about how this debate has played out in recent years.

Is Immigration a Desert Mirage for the GOP?  by Kristian Ramos, 7/27/2010

This special report acts as an excellent primer on the politics around SB1070. It also explores the idea that many Republican's see the popularity of SB1070 as an opportunity to create a wedge issue out of immigration. The report also focuses on the potential political gains and losses for Democrats in the Fall.

Why Jan Brewer Should Re-Consider Enforcing "Papers Please" Section of SB1070 Kristian Ramos 6/25/2012

Even though the Supreme Court upheld the provision that police officers check immigration status of individuals stopped for ordinary traffic violations, it is increasingly unlikely that Governor Brewer will ever be able enforce the law for a sustained amount of time facing the economic costs and more civil rights' lawsuits.

Moving forward to fix our broken immigration system

NDN MEMO: With Pres Obama Our Border is Safer, Our Immigration System Better  Simon Rosenberg 6/22/2012

This memo highlights the achievements of President Obama of making the U.S. border regions safer; strenghtening workplace enforcement; and the new bold policy to relieve from deportation immigrants who would be eligible to legal status under the DREAM Act proposal in order to focus resources in the removal of immigrants with criminal background.

Simon Weighs In on Current Immigration Debate  Anjani Nadadur 6/22/2012

This report is a comparison on the Obama's and Romney's vision to address the need for an immigration reform and appeal to Hispanic voters at the convention of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Daily Border Bulletin- Texan Pastors plan to create a National Church ID, U.S. facilitates visas to Indian visitors, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories are:

Texan pastors plan to create National Church ID- A coalition of pastors proposes to create an identity card (ID) for undocumented immigrants to prevent them from being detained by police due to a lack of identity documents.

U.S. faciliates visa for tourists from India- In order to attract more tourists from India, the State Department announced an Interview Waiver Program for foreign visitors who were interviewed and thoroughly screened in conjunction with a prior visa application.

Mexico's Ambassadors suggest that Mexico and the U.S. co-host a World Cup- Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan threw out an ambitious, but crowd-pleasing, suggestion: that Mexico and the United States need to co-host the World Cup during a conference organized by the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, a nonprofit group that coordinates philanthropy and collaborative efforts between the United States and Mexico.


Daily Border Bulletin- Texas wants private investment in border crossings, Peña Nieto lost election in the U.S., and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today´s stories include:

Texas Senators push for public-private partnerships for border infrastructure- In a brief tour of two South Texas border cities Monday, Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, used the opportunity to tout a bill he has pending in the Senate that would allow for more public-private partnerships to increase staffing at ports of entry and improve infrastructure.

Peña Nieto lost election in the U.S.- The vast majority of the 40,000 Mexican expatriates who voted in Sunday’s election cast ballots against President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto.

American farmers fear labor shortages- A crackdown on illegal immigration, more job opportunities in Mexico and rising fees charged by smugglers are reducing the number of workers who cross the U.S. border illegally each year to help make up more than 60 percent of U.S. farmworkers.


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