Obama vs. Romney 101: 5 ways they differ on immigration

President Obama has staked out positions favored by Latino voters on immigration issues. Mitt Romney has tried to cast himself somewhere between the staunchest anti-illegal immigration activist of his party and Obama. Here are the two candidates' positions on five issues:

3. Deportation

Charles Dharapak/AP/File
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the NALEO conference in Orlando, Fla., on June 21.

Obama's "DREAM Act lite" executive order in June was only the latest and most dramatic attempt by the White House to limit deportations. Previously, Obama had directed immigration agents to use discretion in deportation proceedings – focusing only on hardened criminals.

But there is little evidence to suggest that immigration agents have listened. The Obama administration has deported more illegal immigrants in its first three years – 1.1 million – than any administration since the 1950s. Moreover, independent analysts combing through federal data have found it impossible to confirm whether the "criminals" the administration says it is deporting actually are actually criminals. 

In a Republican presidential debate in January, Romney suggested that "self-deportation" is the ultimate solution. He described that as the point when "people decide they can do better by going home because they can’t find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here. We’re not going to round them up.”

He has since departed from that terminology, but his speech at NALEO spoke of similar principles: tightening oversight of businesses and the border to make illegal immigration in the US a less-appealing option. 

Mr. Gittleson sees this as a fundamental tenet of a potential Romney immigration strategy: greater emphasis on border security and the deportation of undocumented individuals, “probably with less discretion in terms of prioritizing criminal aliens."

3 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.