By John Stark
When President Barack Obama announced he would “defer” the deportation of some illegal immigrants and allow them to apply for temporary work permits, he was denounced for enacting “amnesty” without action from Congress. Now, Mitt Romney says he has no immediate plans to undo Obama’s action, if elected.
In an interview with the Denver Post, Romney said he plans to take no action against those who have already taken Obama up on his offer of a two-year work permit. To qualify, “those eligible must have arrived in America before they turned 16, be under the age of 30, have been living in the country for five or more years, and be either in the military, in school or graduated,” acording to The Post.
The Post story also quotes an Obama spokeswoman saying that Romney’s recent remarks to the Post have not clarified his position on immigration issues, and on whether he would enact the hard-line measures that some Republican factions would prefer.
UPDATE: Immigration attorney Margaret Stock notes that Romney misused the term “visa” in his remarks. The temporary work permits authorized by the Obama administration are not visas, Stock said.
UPDATE 2: Here’s the New York Times take on this episode, with expanded remarks from Margaret Stock.
UPDATE 3: Stock also suggested this link to a page on the State Department website, explaining exactly what a visa is.