Mitt Romney revealed Tuesday that he would not revoke temporary deportation exemptions granted to young illegal immigrants under an executive action by President Obama, but he also would not issue new protective documents if elected.
“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid,” Romney told The Denver Post in an interview published a day ahead of the first presidential debate of the general election, which will be held in that city.
The debate will cover domestic policy, possibly including immigration.
Technically, the undocumented immigrants Romney described have not received visas; their illegal status has not changed, but they have been granted temporary reprieves from deportation.
Responding to a Globe request to clarify Romney’s statement to The Denver Post, Romney’s campaign said he would not grant new exemptions after taking office. That means the number of people who would benefit from Romney’s position could be minute. In the first month since Obama’s order took effect, only 29 deportation exemptions have been issued, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“Mitt Romney has made it clear: He would not continue the administration’s policy that provides temporary reprieve from deportation for young people who were brought here through no fault of their own,” said Gabriela Domenzain, the Obama campaign’s director of Hispanic press. “This is unacceptable.’’
In June, Obama directed the Department of Homeland Security to stop deporting some undocumented immigrants: people with clean criminal records who are younger than 30 and entered the United States before age 16, who have lived here for at least five years and are enrolled in high school, hold high school diplomas, or are military veterans in good standing. These immigrants can apply for two-year deportation reprieves.
The eligibility requirements outlined by Obama closely resemble those in the DREAM Act, a long-stalled bill that would put young illegal immigrants on a pathway to citizenship. Many Republicans, including Romney, oppose the DREAM Act.
Romney also told The Denver Post that by the time exemption recipients’ documents expire, “we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.” - CALLUM BORCHERS
Romney camp notes Biden remark
Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced Tuesday on remarks by Vice President Joe Biden about “the middle class that’s been buried the last four years,” calling the comment a candid acknowledgment that President Obama’s economic policies have failed.
Biden uttered the phrase in the course of criticizing a tax plan by the Republican presidential candidate and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Some analysts have concluded that their proposal would lead to lower taxes for wealthy Americans and bigger tax bills for low- and middle-income households.
“Look, guys, this is deadly earnest, man,” Biden told the crowd at a rally in Charlotte, N.C. “This is deadly earnest! How they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that’s been buried the last four years?’’
“Vice President Biden made a stunning admission today,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said, “and we couldn’t agree more: The middle class has been ‘buried’ under the last four years of this president’s policies.’’ - CALLUM BORCHERS
Letter seeks extended ballot deadline
MADISON, Wis. — Working to broaden his popularity among military veterans, Mitt Romney’s campaign has sent letters to election officials in Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Vermont demanding that the deadline for receiving ballots from military and overseas voters be extended.
The letters sent on Romney’s behalf by former Veterans Affairs secretary Anthony Principi charge that election officials in the states missed the Sept. 22 deadline for mailing some ballots to such voters.
A fourth letter was to be sent to Michigan officials, according to Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.
The campaign is actively monitoring state and local election officials across the country, he said.
‘‘We want to ensure that our fighting men and women overseas have the right to vote in the time that is given under federal law,’’ Williams said.
The letter-writing effort targets election officials in presidential battleground states such as Wisconsin and Michigan, but extends into others — Mississippi and Vermont — that neither side expects to be competitive on Election Day. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
Record number of gays up for House
NEW YORK — Of the four openly gay members of Congress, the two longest-serving stalwarts are leaving. But their admirers are hopeful about a record number of gays vying to win seats in the next Congress.
Congress could have its first openly gay Asian-American, Mark Takano of California; its first openly bisexual member, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona; and its first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
In all, eight openly gay candidates are running as major party nominees for the House, the most ever, including the two incumbents — Democrats Jared Polis of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island. There is one gay Republican in the group, Richard Tisei, who is seeking John Tierney’s seat in Salem, Mass.
A common denominator in all the races: Neither the gay candidates nor their rivals are stressing sexual orientation.
The departing House veterans are Barney Frank, Democrat of Newton, and Baldwin, who is running for the Senate. - ASSOCIATED PRESS