Undocumented Youth Respond to Last Night Debate

Romney: Calling us “illegals” will not get you far in november


HEMPSTEAD, NY – In the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney has dug himself deeper into the hole showing he cannot bring a solution to a broken immigration system. More specifically, Romney refuses to address the 12 million undocumented immigrants already living in the country.

With regards to undocumented youth or DREAMers,  he said he believes a path to citizenship but only through the military channel. There are many DREAMers who would in fact like to serve this country in the military like Alina Cortes who came to the country when she was 9 years old and has dreamed of serving in the Marines.

But there are also thousands of us, educated young people, willing to serve our country as engineers and teachers. Why would governor Romney look outside the U.S. and staple green cards to diplomas when there is already many DREAMers ready to contribute their talents to this country.

Indeed, Mitt Romney continues to adhere to rhetoric on immigration that has alienated the Latino community. While President Obama has his shortcomings on immigration, including deportations, he has made a solid effort to bring reason to the debate.

Indeed, the President highlighted that Romney was more extreme than President George W. Bush. In 2007, Bush supported comprehensive immigration reform, including the DREAM Act. When Romney elaborated “I will not grant amnesty to those who have come here illegally,” this was another confirmation that he would veto the DREAM Act if given the opportunity.

Many DREAMers were watching tonight hoping to see whether Mitt Romney could restore sensibility to the immigration debate. But he demonstrated his lack of sensitivity towards us by calling us “Illegals.” Indeed, our citizen family members were offended by the fact that a national candidate called us, their brothers and sisters, “illegals”.

Under Mitt Romney’s plan, we would be at risk if his policy of self-deportation was implemented.  The reality is that self deportation, as his close immigration advisor Kris Kobach defines, is making our lives so difficult that we would leave on our own. Mitt Romney had the opportunity tonight to move away from the extreme and nasty rhetoric on immigration. He failed to do so.

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