The headlines this weekend were full of non-stories about the presidential race, the least important of which were the ones about Mitt Romney's Vice-Presidential search. What difference does it make which non-entity Romney picks to run with him, since he is unlikely to pick anyone who would offend any of the various conflicting groups he needs to win over in order to be elected? To pick a running mate who actually stands for something would be out of character for Romney, whose defining characteristic, if he has one, is to try to play it safe.
However there was one significant election story over the weekend, namely Romney's appearance at a fund raiser at the home of one of the Koch brothers at the Hamptons, one of New York's wealthiest communities, to raise $3 million in one day. There will no doubt be many such days for Romney between now and November. Each such fund raising day sponsored by one or another of Romney's billionaires will underscore the growing gap in campaign financing between Romney and Obama, thanks to Citizens United. On election day, Obama's chances for re-election are liklely to be buried inder a tsunami of Republican super-pac money.
Certainly, Obama will have some supporters left, especially, of course, among African-Americans and in America's rapidly growing Latino communities. But will these voters even be allowed into the voting booths in some important swing states with Republican legislatures who have enacted restrictive voter ID laws, or in a crucial state such as Florida, whose Republican governor is trying to purge minorities from the voting lists (as that state did so successfully in 2000)? Don't count on it.
Therefore, it is instructive to take a closer look at the little that is actually known about Romney's stands on immigration, because the financial odds (or what Virgil might have called the mons argenti - "mountain of money") in this election are so overwhelmingly in his favor.
Let's go to www.mittromney.com/issues/immigration. At first what we see is not at all bad; surprisingly good in fact. It is so good, actually, that at first I was tempted to reach for my checkbook to add my $5.00 on top of the billion dollars that the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and Karl Rove's bundlers are expected to raise for attack adds to obliterate Obama's hopes for re-election.
"Mitt's Plan" for immigration starts with the slogan: "Grow Legal Immigration To Grow Our Economy". What's not to like about that? It continues:"Attract More Highly Skilled Immigrants". The Romney plan would do this by lifting caps on skilled immigrants, something everyone in the immigrant advocacy community has long been advocating.
So far so fantastic. But wait! There is more. Mitt's Plan continues: "Every foreign student who obtains an advanced degree in math, science or engineering at a US university should be granted permanent residency." Eureka! what a wonderful dream (with a small "d") this is! But is Mitt's Immigration Plan just a little too good to be true? Stay tuned. We will take a closer look in my next comment.
Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.