The Boston Globe had to report on Mitt Romney's use of illegal immigrants for lawn care not once but twice to get him to stop it. It took the desire to appeal to the Republican base to turn Romney into an immigration restrictionist.
Standing on stage at a Republican debate on the Gulf Coast of Florida last week, Mitt Romney repeatedly lashed out at rival Rudy Giuliani for providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants in New York City.
Yet, the very next morning, on Thursday, at least two illegal immigrants stepped out of a hulking maroon pickup truck in the driveway of Romney's Belmont house, then proceeded to spend several hours raking leaves, clearing debris from Romney's tennis court, and loading the refuse back on to the truck.
In fact, their work was part of a regular pattern. Despite a Globe story in Dec. 2006 that highlighted Romney's use of illegal immigrants to tend to his lawn, Romney continued to employ the same landscaping company – until today. The landscaping company, in turn, continued to employ illegal immigrants.
Two of the workers confirmed in separate interviews with Globe reporters last week that they were in the country without documents. One said he had paid $7,000 to a smuggler to escort him across the desert into Arizona; the other said he had come to the country with a student visa that was now expired. Both were seen on the lawn by either Globe reporters or photographers over the last two months.
Romney, informed of this situation by the Globe reporters, finally cracked down.
He also released a copy of the short letter of termination he sent to Mr. Ricardo Saenz of Community Lawn Service.
"Given your company's disregard for the clear instructions provided on this issue last year, I am forced to terminate my contract with your company, effective immediately," the letter stated. "My family will no longer utilize your services and all scheduled visits are cancelled as of today. I am disappointed that our relationship must end on this note,
He's disappointed that this gardener service didn't put forth the effort needed to make it easier for him to win the Presidency. He's disappointed that running for President places constraints on who he can use as a servant.
but we simply cannot tolerate your inability to ensure that your employees are legally permitted to work in the United States."
Ricardo Saenz, of Community Lawn Service, told NewsCenter 5's Jorge Quiroga Tuesday, "I'm not the INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service). It's not my job to keep track of all that."
Illegal immigrants are not just a problem for the American southwest any more. They've spread far and wide. Now they've spread far enough to get Mormon Presidential candidates from Massachusetts in trouble.
Groups that support a crackdown on illegal aliens haven't settled on their champion in the race for the White House, but there's little doubt which Republican scares them most — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
"He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor," said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year's Senate immigration bill. "Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens."
Huckabee is making headway because Romney is a Mormon. Many Christians do not see Mormons as really one of them.
After Romney and Giuliani argued over immigration, Romney turned on Huckabee for a proposal he made as governor of Arkansas to give breaks in college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants. "Mike, that's not your money," he said. "That's the taxpayers' money. And the right thing here is to say to people that are here legally as citizens or legal aliens, we're going to help you. But if you're here illegally, you ought to be able to return home or get in line with everybody else, but illegals are not going to get taxpayer-funded breaks that are better than our own citizens." Huckabee responded: "In all due respect, we're a better country than to punish children for what their parents did. We're a better country than that." "I worked my way through college," Huckabee added. "I started work when I was 14, and I had to pay my own way through, and I know how hard it was to get that degree. I'm standing here tonight on this stage because I got an education. If I hadn't had the education, I wouldn't be standing on this stage. I might be picking lettuce. I might be a person who needed government support rather than who was giving so much money in taxes I want to get rid of the tax code that we've got and make it really different."
To back up its claims against Huckabee, the Arkansas Republican is quoted in the Romney mailer as saying last year that "what is good is a pathway to a legal status." In 2006, Huckabee supported the Senate's earned legalization plan over a House bill, which would have made illegal immigration a felony.
The mailer also quotes Huckabee as saying in 2005 that "illegal immigrants are actually financially supporting U.S. citizens."
Think that's an exaggeration of Huckabee's position? Nope. Huckabee told John Hawkins he wants the old path toward citizenship for illegals and this is just like George W. Bush.
Mike Huckabee: Well, I'm not as sure that leaving and then coming back is as important as it is to acknowledge that what they've done is illegal, pay a fine, and then get in line behind the people that are going through the process of being here legally. It's important that we have a legal process.
We can't just ignore our laws. We either change them or enforce them for clearly this land is a land that is dependent on more workers than we currently have for many of the jobs that Americans honestly don't want. So there is, I think, a reality that we shouldn't just sort of look the other way. I don't believe in amnesty. That's not a good idea, but creating a pathway where people can have a form of restitution to make things right, to understand that laws have to be obeyed or some consequences have to be applied.
The rest of the Republican field is so weak that Huckabee has a chance. Will fundamentalist Christians who oppose the Open Borders elites put Huckabee's positions on other issues ahead of immigration policy and vote for him in spite of his immigration positions?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 December 04 09:46 PM Immigration Politics|