MILFORD, N.H. – Mitt Romney said on Friday that President Obama’s new policy of letting some 800,000 undocumented young people obtain work permits to stay in the United States will make it harder to reach agreement on a permanent legislative solution to the immigration dilemma.
"I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country,” Romney said after an ice cream social on the first day of a five-day, six-state bus tour. “I think the action the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is of course just a short-term matter. It can be reversed by subsequent presidents.” He was asked if he would overturn the order if he’s elected, but he did not answer the question.
Romney’s sentiments echoed those expressed on Friday by a number of Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who has proposed a law similar to what Obama put in place by executive order; Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who once led a drive for comprehensive, bipartisan reform dealing with all undocumented immigrants; and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who told CBS and National Journal at an appearance in North Carolina, “I wish the president would work with us in Congress.”
Romney said that “I happen to agree with Marco Rubio” that we need a long-term solution that provides “certainty and clarity to the people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of the action of their parents.” However, he has not embraced Rubio’s particular solution.
In a taped television interview with WMUR in Manchester, Romney said it is unfortunate that immigration came up now and that Obama should have dealt with it years ago, according to a tweet from an assignment editor at the station.
Romney doesn’t oppose executive orders in general. He has said he would issue one on his first day in office giving all 50 states waivers from the Affordable Care Act, should the Supreme Court uphold it.
Rebecca Kaplan contributed contributed to this article.