Entries in Visa (2)


Romney Won’t Take Away Obama Visas for Illegal Immigrant Kids

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Mitt Romney says he will not take away the two-year visas given to children of illegal immigrants under an executive order by President Obama earlier this year, despite having called the measure a politically-motivated “stop gap” at the time.

“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid,” Romney said in an interview with the Denver Post.

“I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney told the paper.  “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”

This appears to be a further softening of the Republican nominee’s immigration stance, which has gone from promoting an idea of “self-deportation” to one that is less aggressive. Last month at a Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum in Miami, Romney said that he wasn’t going to “round up people around the country and deport them.”

But even then, Romney criticized Obama’s executive order announced in June, which stopped the deportation of as many as 800,000 young people who had lived a crime-free life in the U.S. for five straight years and instead allowed them to apply for these two-year visas that could be renewed.

Speaking at the Univision forum last month, Romney derided Obama’s executive order, saying, “With a few months before an election he puts in place something that is temporary, which does not solve this issue.  I will solve it in a permanent basis consistent with those principles.”

A campaign official on Tuesday said Romney’s remarks to the Post were consistent with his messaging, saying Romney has always said he would replace the president’s executive order with his own permanent reforms and that his remarks to the Denver Post are in line with that.

Romney will not reverse the visas, but before they are expired his own, more permanent reforms will be in place, the official said.

In response to Romney's remarks, Obama for America released the following statement from Director of Hispanic Press Gabriela Domenzain:

“Romney’s latest immigration pivot raises more questions than it answers.  He still has not said whether he would continue the Administration’s policy that provides a temporary reprieve from deportation for young people who were brought here through no fault of their own.  Would he side with his extreme anti-immigration advisors and repeal this measure?  What would he do with those who qualify for deferred action but haven’t received it?  Would he deport those who have received a deferment when the program expires after two years?  We know he called the DREAM Act a ‘handout’ and that he promised to veto it -- nothing he has said since contradicts this and we should continue to take him at his word.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Visa for Raul Castro’s Daughter Criticized

STR/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- Continuing their effort to woo Hispanic voters especially in the battleground state of Florida, the Republican National Committee on Tuesday went after the Obama administration for granting a visa to Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban leader Raul Castro for a conference in San Francisco this week.

U.S. Rep Mario Diaz-Balart said he had “deep outrage” for the visa, granted Tuesday. The congressman called Castro’s permission to enter the U.S. “the one that broke the camel’s back.”

Castro is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and also a gay rights activist. She is expected to attend the Latin American Studies Association conference, which starts Wednesday in San Francisco.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the one who made the exception and issued the visa to Castro. Diaz-Balart called the State Department’s decision “reprehensible, unacceptable” and “it is greatly irresponsible of the administration to allow these high level Communist Party regime officials to come into the United States on these PR tours, pro-regime public relations tours.”

“It is pro-regime and bashing the United States public relation tours that they are doing. It is irresponsible, unacceptable and for this administration to pass the buck and say that the law forces them to do it is also not true,” Diaz-Balart, a Romney backer, said, calling Raul Castro the head of a “terrorist regime.”

“This is a time when repression has been increased by the regime, just in the last couple of years,” Diaz-Balart said. “So while repression is increasing, this administration is giving visas to the highest levels of the Castro dictatorship, because I don’t know who gets higher than the daughter of the so-called president of the terrorist regime.”

The Miami Herald quotes New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez as describing Mariela Castro as a fierce defender of the communist country’s regime. Her father Raul is brother to Fidel Castro.

Menendez criticized the visa calling Castro “a vociferous advocate of the regime and opponent of democracy, who has defended the regime’s brutal repression of democracy activists.”

The Florida Democratic Party responded by calling on Republicans “to stop playing politics with people’s emotions on Cuba” and pointing out Castro also visited the United States in 2002.

“Republicans need to stop playing with people’s emotions when it comes to Cuba,” Florida Hispanic community leader Freddy Balsera said in a statement. “While they grab headlines criticizing the President and distorting his record on Cuba, they avoid saying that Mariela Castro actually received a visa to visit the US in 2002 under the Bush Administration.  In fact, the top State Department Official in charge of Latin America at the time was a Cuban American.  Where was their criticism then?  Nowhere, because ultimately this is all about politics for them.”

Balsera also said the Cuban American community supports President Obama because “it is making Cubans on the island less dependent on the government; it allows for families to support each other and stay connected; and it facilitates more flow of information to and from the island.”

Republicans have also criticized the president in the past for easing some travel restrictions for Americans to Cuba.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio