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Romney won't revoke visas for young illegal immigrants

8:22 AM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
AP
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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" program.

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 as Colorado.

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.

USA Today

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