It's intriguing to see how Mitt Romney is handling the President's big announcement on DREAMers. He's trying to balance going on the attack against the President, but doesn't want to offend the Latino community. So he is attacking the President for wanting to change the subject from the economy, for playing politics and for bypassing Congress.
But he's also been very - VERY - cautious about not attacking the policy in and of itself. The New York Times had this to say -
Responding to the challenge that President Obama posed in his order last week to stop deporting some illegal immigrants, Mitt Romney declined to say on Sunday whether he would reverse the president’s decision if he takes up occupancy of the White House.
Although Mr. Romney said during the Republican primary debates that he would veto the Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, he was more equivocal about Mr. Obama’s order last week. It allows work permits and prevents deportation for as many as 1.4 million undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought to the United States as children.
My own view is that Romney will somehow find a way to one up the President. Look for him to now come out and support the Rubio bill (which is all of a sudden going to get introduced now that Romney has no choice but to promote it). And look for Romney to twist arms and get the bill endorsed by enough Republicans to be able to pass it. Also look for the Rubio bill to be broadened to include as many people as the Obama order covers.
The arm twisting of Republicans is going to be the entertaining part. How to keep Steve King, Lamar Smith and a host of others relatively quiet? That's going to be an early test of Romney's leadership skills. If he can get Republicans to back the Rubio plan, that at least is an indicator that he could push through legislation if he gets elected.
Even if the Rubio bill doesn't pass, I don't see any chance that a President Romney will reverse course and subject any of the Deferred Action beneficiaries to deportation or the loss of their work authorization. Romney will have a lot to prove to Hispanic voters and cancelling the Obama order would be a political disaster.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.