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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: elected officials

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June 20, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Mitt Romney’s immigration choice


A Tea Party supporter makes clear her views on illegal immigration at a public event in November 2009. (Photo courtesy of Flickr member katerkate.)

Mitt Romney has arrived at his first general election crossroads.

President Barack Obama on Friday announced his administration would grant work permits to the children of illegal immigrants, provided the children came to America before they were 16 years old and have no legal troubles. This was an executive-branch act, controversial but seemingly within the limits of the law.

Yesterday a Bloomberg poll found that almost two-thirds of likely voters support the president’s decision, and that independent voters do so by a 2-to-1 margin. Another poll in five key “battleground” states suggests that Obama’s action has — at least initially — elevated enthusiasm among Latinos to vote for the president in November.

But the Tea Party base of the Republican Party is not close to on board. In the GOP primary, Rick Perry was torn apart for a relatively moderate position on immigration, and Romney ran to Perry’s right by encouraging illegal immigrants to “self-deport” themselves back to their countries.

But now it’s the general election, and Romney must choose: party base or independents?

He hasn’t decided yet. But he will have to.


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