Romney For President Holds Press Conference On Illegal Immigration

Manchester , NH – Today, led by Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Maricopa County [AZ] Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a group of national and local leaders held a press conference stressing the importance of ending illegal immigration. The leaders touched on Governor Romney's record of enforcing immigration laws, his proposals to end illegal immigration and Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) past support for giving Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants.

Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) On Senator John McCain's Record:

Congressman Tancredo: It's A Fact That Senator McCain Supported Social Security Benefits For Illegal Immigrants. "Also part of the McCain plan was definitely to give people who have been in this country illegally for years, it was to give them Social Security benefits for the time they worked here if they had gotten the amnesty that he proposed. … He [Senator McCain] would have in fact given people who were here illegally Social Security benefits for the time that they worked if they were to get the amnesty they proposed."

  • Sen. McCain Joined Sens. Clinton And Obama In Voting To Give Retroactive Social Security Benefits To Illegal Immigrants Who Would Be Granted Amnesty. "Specter, R-Pa., motion to table (kill) the Ensign, R-Nev., amendment no. 3985 that would bar illegal immigrants currently in the country from claiming Social Security credits for work done in years before they are assigned a valid Social Security number." (S. 2611, CQ Vote #130: Motion Agreed To 50-49: R 11-44; D 38-5; I 1-0, 5/18/06, Clinton, McCain, And Obama Voted Yea)
  • UPI : "Illegal Aliens Could Collect Social Security Benefits Based On Past Illegal Employment." "Illegal aliens could collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment if a U.S. Senate bill passed Thursday becomes law. That would be the case even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents…" ("Senate Votes Social Security For Illegals," United Press International , 5/19/06)
  • "The Senate Voted Yesterday To Allow Illegal Aliens To Collect Social Security Benefits Based On Past Illegal Employment - Even If The Job Was Obtained Through Forged Or Stolen Documents." (Charles Hurt, "Illegals Granted Social Security," The Washington Times , 5/19/06)

Congressman Tom Tancredo: "John McCain Is Not Simply Part Of The Problem. John McCain Is The Reason We Have The Problem."

Maricopa County [AZ] Sheriff Joe Arpaio On Governor Romney's Record:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: "Unfortunately, We Have A U.S. Senator From That Important State [Arizona] That Doesn't Give Much Emphasis To This Most Important Problem." "I like his [Governor Romney's] stance on illegal immigration. If you recall, he's probably the first Governor that did make arrangements with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for that type of training that ICE and we do. I give him a lot of credit for that. … It is an important problem in the state of Arizona and the whole country. That's one reason I support the Governor, versus many other reasons too. Unfortunately, we have a U.S. Senator from that important state [Arizona] that doesn't give much emphasis to this most important problem."

  • In December 2006, Governor Romney Signed A Memorandum Of Agreement With The Federal Government To Allow State Law Enforcement To Enforce Federal Immigration Laws. (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Governor Romney, ICE Sign Immigration Enforcement Pact," Press Release, 12/13/06)
  • Governor Romney Opposed Efforts To Give Driver's Licenses To Illegal Immigrants. (Scott S. Greenberger, "Romney Stand Dims Chances Of License For Undocumented," The Boston Globe , 10/28/03)
  • Governor Romney Vetoed In-State Tuition For Illegal Immigrants. (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Romney Signs $22.402B Fiscal Year 2005 'No New Tax' Budget," Press Release, 6/25/04)

Rockingham County [NH] Attorney Jim Reams On Governor Romney's Plan:

Rockingham County [NH] Attorney Jim Reams: "We're very frustrated that nothing has been done. I'm here supporting Governor Romney because he's a can-do person, and he understands this issue and he wants to fix it. I'm here to say please fix it. The entire system is frustrated with the failure to do so. I'm confident that Governor Romney will make it happen."

  • Secure The Border. Governor Romney will follow through on the Congressional commitment to build a physical and technological fence along the southern border, and secure other points of entry throughout the country.
  • Implement A Mandatory And Enforceable Employment Verification System. Governor Romney will issue a biometrically-enabled and tamper-proof card to non-citizens and create a national database so employers can easily verify the legal status of non-citizens in this country.
  • Hold Employers Accountable. Governor Romney will make it easier for employers to verify legal status and work authorization of non-citizens through a federal database. Employers will be held accountable if they hire illegal immigrants with stiffer fines and penalties.
  • Reject Amnesty. Governor Romney opposes amnesty or any special path to citizenship for those here illegally.
  • End The Magnet Of "Sanctuary Cities." Governor Romney will cut back federal funding to cities that are "sanctuaries" for illegal immigrants.
  • Oppose Any Special Benefits For Illegal Immigrants. Governor Romney opposes giving driver's licenses or in-state tuition to those here illegally. He believes states should not provide those types of incentives. As President, he will cut back federal funding to states that do so.
  • Promote State And Local Partnerships With Federal Immigration Officials. More state and local authorities should work with the federal government to enforce immigration laws.
  • Improve Interior Enforcement. Governor Romney will provide additional resources to enforce existing immigration laws throughout the nation.
  • Teach English In Our Schools . Governor Romney believes we must teach English in our classrooms because to be successful you have to speak the language of America.
  • End Chain Migration. Governor Romney believes we should end the policy of chain migration that says if a child is born here to illegal immigrants then, by right, the entire family is brought in based upon that child's citizenship.
  • Encourage Legal Immigration. Governor Romney will streamline the visa system to recruit and retain skilled workers in high demand by U.S. companies. He will also welcome the best and the brightest from around the world to our universities.