Outspoken Immigration Advocate Congressman Luis Gutierrez calls Romney’s Kris Kobach endorsement appallingTuesday, January 31st, 2012
Outspoken immigration advocate Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) called Kobach’s affiliation with the Romney campaign “appalling” and characterized Kobach as the “Dark Lord of the anti-immigration movement” on a teleconference.
From FOX NEWS:
Among the strongest critics of Romney’s seeming embrace of Kobach, is Democratic Congressman Luis Gutíerrez from Illinois. “On the day we observe Martin Luther King’s birth, Mitt Romney and the Republicans are campaigning in the Deep South to restrict the civil rights of immigrants,” Gutíerrez said, “and to continue our nation’s neglect of immigration reform based on the fantasy that 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants could, should, or world leave the United States.”
Gutíerrez was a participant in a telephonic conference to criticize Romney’s approach coordinated by America’s Voice, which advocates for measures that would enable undocumented immigrants to legalize their status.
“On the day we observe Martin Luther King’s birth, Mitt Romney and the Republicans are campaigning in the Deep South to restrict the civil rights of immigrants.”
- U.S. Rep. Luiz Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat
“That Mitt Romney is [campaigning] with Kris Kobach,” Gutíerrez said, “the architect of the anti-immigration wave of bills at the state and local level, the author of the Arizona and Alabama bills, a man affiliated with the anti-immigrant movement’s worst elements, and the Dark Lord of the anti-immigration movement — is appalling.”
Several efforts — via telephone and e-mail — to get a comment from Romney campaign officials were unsuccessful.
Romney has said he opposes measures that would give undocumented immigrants any kind of break. He said he opposes the DREAM Act, a measure would allow some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to earn legal status if they went to college or joined the military.
Kobach is a chief architect of some of the strictest state-level immigration laws in the country, including those of Arizona and Alabama. Parts of such laws have been blocked by judges from taking effect until they make a final decision on the constitutionality of states adopting their own immigration measures. The U.S. Justice Department has sued the states, saying that immigration is solely a federal matter.
Immigration has been one of Romney’s central campaign issues – he has pushed a hard-line position on the matter in an effort to draw a contrast against himself and GOP rivals who’ve taken a less tough stance on certain immigration issues.
Romney attacked GOP rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a debate last year for allowing undocumented students in his state to attend college at the same rate as legal U.S. residents and citizens. The exchange, in which Perry came off less firm and confident than Romney, has been cited as having helped topple Perry from his once leading position among the GOP presidential contenders.
Romney also has gone after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has said he supports allowing undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for 25 years or longer – and meet certain criteria – a chance to work legally in this country.