Mitt Romney says he would not deport young illegal immigrants who
were allowed to stay in the United States through an executive order
signed by President Obama.
"The people who have received the
special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year
visa, should expect that visa would continue to be valid," Romney told The Denver Post in an interview published today. "I'm not going to take something that they've purchased."
The GOP presidential nominee vowed to enact a "full immigration plan" that he has proposed before those visas expire.
In June, Obama announced a new program that would allow up to 1.7 million illegal immigrants to receive two-year deferments on deportation
proceedings. They would be allowed to receive work permits during that
time. The Department of Homeland Security has already begun approving
some applications in the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals"
At the time, Romney and other Republicans criticized
Obama for bypassing Congress and implementing the new program via
executive order. Romney suggested politics played a part in Obama's
action, given the role Hispanic voters could play in swing states such
Romney came under fire during the GOP primaries from
Texas Gov. Rick Perry and others for his immigration proposals,
including "self-deportation" in which illegal immigrants would choose to
leave the United States on their own and re-apply to come back legally.
He has since said he would work with Congress to enact a wide
variety of changes that would strengthen the borders and simplify the
immigration process, including the programs dealing with temporary
worker visas and employment verification.