Much attention has been created around the comments Mitt Romney made about his position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. After a month and a half, Romney finally gave a response about what he would do with DACA if he became president, well sort of. Speaking to the Denver Post, Romney stated that he would not annul the work permits for those undocumented immigrants that have been approved or will have been approved by the time the next president takes office. However much of his statement leaves many unanswered questions.
First, let’s look at the actual statement made to the Denver Post:
“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney said. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”
In the statement, Romney seems to present an Obama-like promise of passing comprehensive reform within a short period after taking office. We all saw what happened the last time someone made a similar promise. However, that promise raises some red flags about his understanding of our immigration system and about what DACA actually is and isn’t. DACA is not a visa; DACA is temporary administrative relief, which can be removed at any time. Yes, people with deferred action can work with authorization, but they are still not recognized as being in the United States.
Below are some questions that the Romney statement does not address:
Regardless, how would it be possible for his “full immigration reform plan” to be passed before the 2-year period(s) expire since most childhood arrivals will have different expiration dates?
Would he set an end date for the submission/renewal of DACA applications? What if his “full immigrant reform plan” has not passed?
What will happen to those of whom their work authorization has expired? Would he just allow the work authorization cards to expire and not allow for renewal?
If someone became eligible after Romney is elected president, would these individuals be able to apply for DACA?
Although Romney’s statements raise more questions than answers, it is sure to influence an increase in the submission of applications. It’s however important to note that if President Obama is re-elected, he too can choose to not extend the program or take the same measures that the questions above raise.
Note: This blog is only for the purpose of shedding more light into the statements made by Presidential-nominee, Mitt Romney, and was written by members of the Immigrant Youth Justice League. If you would like more information on DACA, please visit the USCIS website.