Mitt Romney Won’t Give Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants. What About the Millions Who Will Remain In the Country? Er, Uh, He Definitely Won’t Grant Them Amnesty

After listening to a Mitt Romney campaign spokesperson bash Newt Gingrich for supporting a 1986 immigration amnesty in last night’s post-debate spin room, The Examiner’s Philip Klein asked what exactly the former Massachusetts governor had in mind for the millions of undocumented immigrants already inside U.S. borders. Klein ended up in what he describes as an “Abbot and Costello” routine:

I followed up by asking Fehrnstrom whether Romney believed in deporting those immigrants who are already here illegally.

“He doesn’t believe in granting them amnesty,” Fehrnstrom responded.

That started a back and forth exchange worthy of Abbott and Costello, as Fehrnstrom kept continuing to drive the "no amnesty" point home, and I tried to get more details.

I followed up again, asking what "no amnesty" would mean for the people already here.

“Well, first, you have to get turn off the magnets to get them to stop coming.”
Again, I asked about those already here.

“He would not grant them amnesty," Fehrnstrom said.
"But what would he do with them?" I asked.

He reiterated, "He would not grant them amnesty."

I asked again, "But what would he do?"

“I just told you, he’s not going to grant them amnesty," he said.

Again, I said, “That’s not an answer, that’s telling me what he won’t do. What would he do?

“He would not grant them amnesty," he repeated.

Finally, after I asked the question for a seventh time, Fehrnstrom responded by emphasizing employer enforcement as a way to get illegal immigrants to leave through attrition.

“Well, if you cut off their employment, if they can’t get work, if they can’t get benefits like in state tuition, they will leave," he said.

I asked if that would take care of all of the illegal immigrants, and he said, “Enough of them would leave that it wouldn’t be as big of a problem as it is today.”

Just to be clear, I wanted to know about those that still could remain under such a scenario.

“I just answered your question Phil, and you keep hectoring me about it," he snapped. "You turn off the magnets, no in state tuition, no benefits of any kind, no employment. You put in place an employment verification system with penalties for employers that hire illegals, that will shut off access to the job market, and they will self retreat. They will go to their native countries.”

Here’s something Fehrnstrom fails to note: In 2005, Romney spoke kindly of a Bush era plan to provide undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. The next year, he changed his tune, denouncing the same plan as “amnesty.” Which we now know quite clearly Romney would not support.

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  • Chatroom Crank||

    Why are millions of illegals remaining in the country? We have trains, buses, and tractor trailers that can haul them back home.

  • God Win[s]||

    Why are millions of Juden remaining in the Vaterland? We have trains that can haul them to the crematoria.

  • Joe M||

    "But what would he do?"

    "I don't know, and I don't give a darn!"

  • Federal Dog||

    Romney is dead to me, but what's the problem here?

    He won't do anything, which is exactly correct. Get rid of incentives for people to violate the law, and they will deport themselves.

    People need to mature past the notion that for every problem, government must DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!11!

  • Shorter Fed Dog||

    Teh law is teh law.

  • Federal Dog||

    No: People who have been waiting in their countries to come here should not be sacrificed in favor of those happy to commit whatever misconduct is needed for personal profit.

  • ChrisO||

    Y'know, I'm really beginning to dislike Mitt Romney even more than I did before. And to think that he was trying to be the "conservative alternative" to McCain four years ago.

  • ||

    Please, please, please let something derail Romney. An Edwards-type scandal would be good. But I'll take anything that does the job.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Except Gingrich!

  • ||

    I didn't say "other candidates". Maybe I should have said "scandal".

  • Warty||

    I placed a bet on meteorite strike. The odds are long, but the payout will be spectacular.

  • ||

    If it takes out DC too, you bet your ass the payout would be spectacular.

  • fish||

    Given the current GOP crop....could we not stand 4 more years of Obarrassment? I'm not trolling....how is the current idiot significantly worse than potential Romniac 5000 or Chunkmaster Flash administrations?

  • Spoonman.||

    He might think he has a mandate for something horrific and crazy if he wins another term.

    But Romney might think so after winning his first...

  • Kristen||

    Maybe someone will catch him drinking non-decaf coffee!

  • fish||

    ...or not wearing the special underwear.

  • kinnath||

    I read an article a day or two ago (can't remember where) that explains how the GOP rules for allocatind delegates this year is going to fuck over Romney. Unlike in 2008, where super tuesday early in March sort of settled the outcome, this year all primaries/caucuses held before April 1st must proporationally allocate delegates. So any anti-Romney candidate that hangs in the race until April 1 can rack up enough delegates to force Romney to run the table after April 1. Otherwise, there could be a brokered convention.

  • juris imprudent||

    Alt-text: My administration will leave the border open this much. If they can squeeze through, they can get a job.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    For Gaia's sake, just say you're going to fine them a nominal penalty and then you can technically claim it's not amnesty.

  • MWG||

    I'm starting to think that the juicy republican tears resulting from a 2012 loss would more than make up for another 4 years of Obama. THAT'S how much I hate the current crop of republican candidates.

  • ||

    I suppose we should look at it this way: if the Republicans are so fucking terrible that they lose to Obama, their tears will be so yummy and sweet, and so, so deserved. If they manage to win, the Obamatrons' tears will be so yummy and sweet.

    Either way, there will be tears to consume, at least.

  • MWG||

    Excellent point. Either way, next years election will not disappoint.

  • Warty||

    Either way, there will be tears to consume, at least.

    Is this one of those "we laugh so that we may not cry" things?

  • ||

    This is one of those Monty Python/Always look on the bright side of life/Brian being crucified things.

  • Warty||

    That reminds me: fuck Christmas.

  • PantsFan||

    What flavour are Republican tears?
    What flavour are Democrat tears?

  • ||

    Delicious. With a hint of lemon.

  • Warty||

    What the fuck? Another goddamned fucking Canadian ON MY HIT AND RUN??

  • MWG||

    He's probably in the US illegally as well.

  • ||

    I don't understand why you think that Obama's chances would be so terrible against a generic candidate.

  • ||

    Oh for fuck's sake. Is "turn off the magnets" a catchphrase now? I could also do with a moratorium on overuse and/or stupid use of the word "amnesty" for at least the next 11 months, kthxbai.

  • Warty||

    Bullshit. Turn on the magnets.

    GO GO GO I'M SO FUCKIN' STONED

  • ||

    I thought for a moment you might have linked to ICP. Thank you for not doing so.

  • Warty||

    Linking to ICP? How the fuck does that work?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I saw Fu Manchu/Monster Magnet/White Zombie at the Whisky in LA in 1993. What a fucking awesome show.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • Apatheist||

    This is kind of the corner the NO AMNESTY EVER people have painted themselves into. They either have to plan to deport all of them, which is retarded, or stick with the current situation.

  • ||

    What's wrong with the current situation. It provides voters with a permanent indentured-slave-labor class of workers who will mow their lawns and clean their houses for less than minimum wage, and won't ever, ever, get to vote.

    What's not to like?

  • Federal Dog||

    "They either have to plan to deport all of them, which is retarded, or stick with the current situation."

    This is like Yale or jail. You know, there are options in between. End rewards for violating our laws, and people leave of their own accord.

  • MWG||

    Or you could... you know? Change immigration laws.

  • Federal Dog||

    Sure. Make legal entry efficient, fair, and coherent. By no means, however, do we properly reward those happy to sacrifice everyone around them because they think there's money in it for them.

  • ola||

    Alt-text: I just watched Boogie Nights and that Dirk Diggler, wow!

  • ||

    What part of He would not grant them amnesty don't you understand?

  • MWG||

    Sooo... by 'turning off magnets' is he referring to economic opportunity?

  • Spoonman.||

    That's what it translates to in my head. "We'll make America an undesirable place to live, and boom, no more immigration issue!"

  • ||

    I hate him so much.

  • ||

    That is my exact reaction every time my brain in unwillingly forced to contemplate his wretched existence. I tend to use the word "slimy" to describe him, but "loathsome" works too.

  • PantsFan||

    Republicans are evil.

  • GaryM||

    So Romney's solution is to give a large number of people no legal way to get money to put food on the table, let alone get back to their home country. I wonder if he's thought for five minutes about the consequences.

  • ||

    Didn't you notice that Romney's jobs plan included a 500% increase in the prison guard workforce?

  • Federal Dog||

    Bullshit. Tens of thousands have already left of theri own accord, and tens of thousands more will do so when there is no further welfare to suck up here.

  • MWG||

    ...and the tens of thousands who come here for economic opportunity?

  • Federal Dog||

    Fine. If they respect us and our law, and do not sacrifice families in other countries who have done so, I have no problem with them.

  • ||

    I hate him so much.

    I assure you, I absolutely, unequivocally, and bone-crushingly hate Shit Flopney so much more.

    The Ludvico Technique coupled with a viewing of Glitter and NKOTB looping in the background would only be the beginning...

  • it'sallmemememe||

    ok, so with george w bush america proved to the world: yes, we don't mind having a dumb president. With the current generation of potential republican presidents america is trying to say: the dumber the better! let's finish this country off mormon style!

  • Federal Dog||

    Barack Obama is a democrat.

  • ||

    Gingrich deserves some credit for risking a big stink by saying he wouldn't deport long-time undocumented immigrants.

    Assuming he doesn't turn into a big pussy and run away from that statement.

  • ||

    Why are we complainging about the GOP field? There are two librertarians in it.

    The problem is that the GOP base is retarded and so they are consigned to fringe status.

  • ecian||

    I don't see why all these morons don't figure out that they might be able to attract some Hispanic voters by stressing making LEGAL immigration easier.

  • Standard Conservative||

    But, but, but we're only against ILLEGAL immigration!!! We like LEGAL immigrants... we promise.

  • ||

    "" You put in place an employment verification system with penalties for employers that hire illegals,""

    If some states give driver licenses to illegals, and the feds give SS card to illegals, what type of verification and proof is he talking about?

    Enter the national ID card.

  • CAEI||

    Operation VVetback '2'

  • CAEI||

    OPERATION VVETBACK '2'

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