Pete WilsonJoins Kris Kobach & Lamar Smith on Romney Endorsement List

Mitt Romney’s campaign unveiled recently the endorsement of former California Governor Pete Wilson (R). Wilson’s endorsement joins that of Romney immigration advisor and Alabama/Arizona “papers, please” law architect Kris Kobach and leading congressional mass-deportation champion Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) “in an illustrious pantheon of anti-immigrant endorsers”, according to America’s Voice.

 

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said, “Isn’t Romney supposed to be a facts guy?  Didn’t any of his so-called smart operatives tell him that Pete Wilson has lower approval ratings in the Latino community than the devil himself?  Combined with his embrace of Kris Kobach and Lamar Smith, Romney’s message to Latino voters seems to be the same message he is sending to Latino immigrants: get lost.”

As a refresher, here’s some background on the Romney campaign’s leading anti-immigrant endorsers.

·  Pete Wilson – the Man Who Turned California Blue:  As Governor, Pete Wilson championed California’s Proposition 187 in 1994, which would have kept undocumented immigrants from enrolling in public school or using other public services.  The proposition passed, but was struck down by the courts.  The most lasting impact was political, as the Prop. 187 battle helped to mobilize Latino voters, turning what was a purple state into a solid blue state ever since and helping to make Pete Wilson a figure forever remembered by Latino voters.  As Maria Elena Durazo, head of the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO,told the Washington Post, “We ran against Pete Wilson for years after he was out of office.”  Perhaps Gov. Romney should ask his supporter Meg Whitman,  California’s 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee, about the effects of a Pete Wilson endorsement.

·  Kris Kobach – the Man Behind Arizona and Alabama’s “Papers, Please” Anti-Immigration Laws:  The Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach is simultaneously both an endorser and advisor to Romney on immigration issues and the architect of the series of state-based “papers, please” laws in states like Arizona and Alabama that illustrate the real world consequences, costs, and impracticality of Romney’s stated “self-deportation” immigration policy goal.  Kobach’s vision has already resulted in an $11 billion price tag to Alabama.

·  Lamar Smith – the Man Whose Single Mission in Congress is Mass-Deportation:  Rep. Lamar Smith is both a Romney endorser and the leading architect of anti-immigrant legislation in the U.S. Congress.  Smith’s stated policy vision is “attrition through enforcement” – another name for the mass deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, the majority of whom have been here for over a decade contributing to American communities and often living in mixed status families.

According to Sharry, “With his unrelenting far right approach to immigration, Romney seems intent on writing off Latino-heavy battleground states such as Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada this fall — all because he wants to prove to the nativist fringe in the GOP he’s ‘one of them.’  Well, he has succeeded on both counts.”

 

Congressman Xavier Becerra:

“The announcement that former Governor Pete Wilson endorsed Mitt Romney for President and will serve as an honorary co-chair of his campaign in California seals the deal: Mitt Romney is locked into his far-right positions and would be the most extreme presidential nominee of our time on immigration.

“From calling the DREAM Act a hand-out and vowing to veto it, to campaigning with Kris Kobach, the architect of Arizona and Alabama’s anti-immigrant laws, to stating that all undocumented immigrants should “self-deport,” Mitt Romney has broadcast an unmistakable message of what he thinks of Latinos.

“There’s a saying in Spanish that says it all: Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres. Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are.  We now know who Mitt Romney is.”

SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina::

“Mitt Romney can’t leave well enough alone. Romney can’t seem to stop himself from digging deeper and deeper into his hole with Latino voters. Here is what Pete Wilson accomplished: He turned Latino voters against the GOP brand.

“As governor, Wilson made Prop. 187 – an anti-immigrant proposition on the 1994 – the cornerstone of his re-election campaign. Although the proposition was approved, it was later found to be unconstitutional. Moreover, California Republicans suffered a huge political backlash with Latino voters in California. Except for the election of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003, no Republican has won a statewide election in California since Proposition 187.

“American voters are witnessing a disturbing trend through Romney’s preoccupation with anti-immigrant officials. His pick of Wilson is consistent with his support of Kris Kobach, the architect of anti-immigrant legislation and author of the Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56. Not only has Kobach campaigned with Romney, he’s also an unpaid advisor to Romney’s campaign.

“Mitt Romney obviously does not care about the Latino voters he will be facing in November if he wins the GOP nomination. He seeks the advice of Kobach and embraces the endorsement of Wilson, ignoring the harm that both Wilson and Kobach have done to immigrants, their families and friends.

“There is a saying in Spanish: ‘Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres’ Translation: ‘Tell me who you’re with and I’ll tell you who you are.’

“Mitt Romney has clearly shown Latinos who he is and we will not forget in November.”

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