Last night, the two US presidential candidates sparred in a feisty town hall showdown. The second debate was driven by questions from undecided voters in the audience. The succinct questions were at times met with scripted diatribes and attacks. But, each answer revealed important insights into the candidates' stances on important issues.
When it came time for immigration, there was one quote that stood out. Check out the whole transcript from last night.
Question: What do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?
Romney: "I will not grant amnesty to those who have come here illegally."
How has this position shifted from our June coverage of Romney at the National Association of Latino Elected And Appointed Officials? This is what he said then:
"As president, I would reallocate green cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof," Romney said. "And we will exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents."
But does this apply to the individuals that we have covered, under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy initiative? Last night Romney made it clear:
"I won't put in place magnets for people coming here illegally. So for instance, I would not give driver's licenses to those that have come here illegally as the president would."
As for the kids that grew up here, Romney suggests a subtle alternative to DACA:
"I think, should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the United States and military service, for instance, is one way they would have that kind of pathway to become a permanent resident."
He also said that, If elected, he would do something that Obama (or anyone else) has never been able to do; have comprehensive immigration reform enacted soon:
Romney: "I'll get it done. I'll get it done. First year..."