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Mitt Romney at NALEO

ORLANDO – Mitt Romney outlined a broad immigration policy before an influential group of Hispanics on Thursday, saying Presidnet Obama failed to enact reform while offering his own plan that calls for permanent residency for highly skilled college graduates and members of the military, a streamlined work visa system and a “high-tech fence to enhance border security.”

"Some people have asked if I will let stand the President's executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President's temporary measure," Romney said. "As President, I won’t settle for a stop-gap measure.  I will work with Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution.  I will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it."

Exceprts from his speech.

Hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard.  While national unemployment is still above 8%, Hispanic unemployment is at 11%.

The middle class has been crushed under President Obama. More Americans are living in poverty today than at any point in history. Over two million more Hispanics are living in poverty today than the day President Obama took office.

Home values have plunged, our national debt is at record levels and families are buried under higher prices for food and gasoline.

And yet our President says the private sector is doing fine. This is more than a policy failure; it is a moral failure.

Unfortunately, despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform.

For two years, this President had huge majorities in the House and Senate - he was free to pursue any policy he pleased.  But he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. Instead, he failed to act until facing a tough re-election and trying to secure your vote.

Last week, the President finally offered a temporary measure that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election.  After three and a half years of putting every issue from loan guarantees for his donors to Cash For Clunkers before immigration, now the President has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on Day One.  I think you deserve better.

Some people have asked if I will let stand the President's executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President's temporary measure.

As President, I won't settle for a stop-gap measure.  I will work with Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution.  I will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it.


As I have said many times, it is critical that we redouble our efforts to secure the borders. That means both preventing illegal border crossings and making it harder to illegally overstay a visa.  We should field enough border patrol agents, complete a high-tech fence, and implement an improved exit verification system.

Our immigration system should help promote strong families, not keep them apart.  Our nation benefits when moms and dads and their kids are all living together under the same roof.  But, today, too many families are caught in a broken system that costs them time and money and entangles them in red tape.  For those seeking to come to America the right way, that kind of bureaucratic nightmare has to end.  And we can do this with just a few common-sense reforms.

As President, I will reallocate Green Cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof.  We will exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents.  And we will eliminate other forms of bureaucratic red tape that keep families from being together.

Immigration reform is not just a moral imperative, but an economic necessity as well.  Immigrants with advanced degrees start companies, create jobs, and drive innovation at a high rate.  Immigrants founded or cofounded nearly half of our 50 top venture-backed companies.  They are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business.  And that kind of risk taking is something we need more than ever because new business starts are now at a 30-year low.

I will work with states and employers to update our temporary worker visa program so that it meets our economic needs.

And if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here - so we will staple a green card to your diploma. We want the best and brightest to enrich the nation through the jobs and technologies they will help create.

We also have a strong tradition in this country of honoring immigrants who join our military and put their lives on the line to keep this country safe. Since September 11, 2001, the United States has naturalized almost 75,000 members of the Armed Forces. Too many of these patriots died on distant battlefields for our freedom before receiving full citizenship here in the country they called "home."

As President, I will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service. Those who have risked their lives in defense of America have earned the right to make their life in America.

But improving access to legal immigration is only one part of the equation. We must also make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration, so that people are rewarded for waiting patiently in line. That's why my administration will establish a strong employment verification system so that every business can know with confidence that the people it hires are legally eligible for employment.

We can find common ground here, and we must. We owe it to ourselves as Americans to ensure that our country remains a land of opportunity - both for those who were born here and for those who share our values, respect our laws, and want to come to our shores.


"The United States is currently excluding too many workers who will start businesses, create jobs, foster innovation, and help grow our economy," a release states.


Attract More Highly Skilled Immigrants:

·         High-skill immigrants start companies, create jobs, and drive innovation at an especially high rate. The United States is also projected to face a shortage of 230,000 science and technology workers by 2018.  At the same time, we have set the caps on high-skill visas so low that, for some countries, an entire year’s quota has been filled in an hour.  Mitt Romney will ask Congress to raise the caps on visas for highly skilled immigrants.

·         Many country caps—or limits on immigrants from specific countries—are so low, that America is losing some of the best and brightest to our international competitors.  Mitt Romney will work with Congress to raise the country caps.

·         America should keep the best and the brightest here in the United States.  Every foreign student who obtains an advanced degree in math, science, or engineering at a U.S. university should be granted permanent residency.

Make The Temporary Worker Visa System Functional:

Too often, harvest or tourist season passes before temporary worker visas are approved.  In 2006 and 2007, nearly half (43%) of all applications for temporary agricultural workers were not processed on time.

·         As president, Mitt Romney will make the system for bringing in temporary agricultural workers and other seasonal workers functional for both employers and immigrants.  We should get rid of unnecessary requirements that delay issuance of a visa, and we should speed the processing of applications.

·         Mitt Romney will work with Congress, states, and employers to properly set the cap on non-agricultural temporary worker visas.  Many tourist-oriented businesses in the United States rely on these workers and would have to cut back or cease operations if there are not enough visas.

Secure Our Borders & Discourage Illegal Immigration

According to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, Border Patrol lacks control of over half of our southwest border. And some estimates indicate that over 40% of illegal immigrants in America entered the country legally, but then overstayed their visas.


·         Mitt Romney will complete a high-tech fence to enhance border security.

·         Mitt Romney will ensure that we have the officers on the ground we need to gain control of the border.

·         A Romney Administration will work to develop an efficient, effective system of exit verification to ensure people do not overstay their visas.

·         Mitt Romney will develop an effective, mandatory employment verification system that will enable employers to be sure that those they hire are eligible to work. This will discourage illegal immigrants from coming to America to seek jobs.

·         Mitt Romney will foster a legal immigration system that works. This will offer an alternative to those who would otherwise enter illegally.  For instance, reforming our current temporary worker program will offer employers who need such staff a legal option to find employees.

Cut Red Tape That Is Keeping Immediate Families Apart

  Currently, legal immigrants in America often have to wait years to be with husbands, wives, and minor children.  As president, Mitt Romney will ensure that husbands, wives, and their minor children are brought together on a timely basis.

·        Mitt Romney will speed the processing of applications by eliminating the red tape that is keeping immediate families apart.

 ·         Mitt Romney will work with Congress to give legal permanent residents the same priority as citizens when applying to bring husbands, wives, and minor children to the United States.

·         Mitt Romney will reallocate green cards to family of citizens and legal permanent residents.

 Military Service

Mitt Romney believes that young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children should have the chance to become permanent residents, and eventually citizens, by serving honorably in the United States military.

Recognize That Ending Illegal Immigration Is A Humanitarian Issue

Studies show that up to 95% of illegal immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border are brought here by “coyotes.”  Unfortunately, these coyotes often abuse the people who hire them.  Securing our borders and discouraging illegal immigration will dry up demand for coyotes and dry up the coyote market.

Posted by Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times


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Many country caps—or limits on immigrants from specific countries—are so low, that America is losing some of the best and brightest to our international competitors. Mitt Romney will work with Congress to raise the country caps.

HE COULD START WITH HR 3012. Which already passed in congress. Please ask your buddy, Chuck Grassley to lift the hold on HR 3012 in senate.

--Frustated legal immigrant waiting for green card for the past 9 years.

Art R

Has anyone asked Romney what he thinks about Grassley's letter to President Obama regarding deferred action for DREAMers?

legal_but_waiting_10 yrs for GC

Mr. Romney if you really care of immigration and are a man of your words, please let the bipartisan bill HR 3012 pass in the senate.
Politics and nothing else is holding it up.
I agree with Math_Guy.


I dont think these proposals have any meaning. If he wanted to do something, he could have done it long back. In all the republican debates, he had one position to suit the republicans. Now he is contesting for the president, he has another view. I think this is all lip service and nothing will happen at the end of the day ;-(....after the elections, things will be back to normal...

Unkown Guy

Grassley (who belongs to your party) is contradicting to what you said. Please fix your party's agenda before you say it out load in midst of public. Have you ever heard about HR3012? Do you know what Grassley has done to this bill? Now tell me who is playing politics here. You or Obama ? Make your stand clear before you contest the election and set a concrete agenda for your party. This is a friendly advice


For no reason HR 3012 is blocked by Grassley when majority of the house passed it.
It would be good idea to advice you fellow gentleman Grassley to lift his ban on HR 3012 and then talk about other reforms in public.
HR 3012 has created a major stir in the media and lawful immigration circuits. If not paid attention to it soon, it could play critical part in election too.

No HR 3012

HR 3012 unfairly favors India and China at the expense of every other country. These two countries already receive overflow green cards from the 'rest of world' EB1 and EB2 categories. This bill allows those countries to consume even more GCs. Claims of a '70 year backlog' don't take that overflow into account. The wait time is nowhere near that long and is in fact less than 10 years, as it is with other countries.
The limits provide an equal number of green cards to every country so that a few countries don't monopolise the system. In the event that categories don't use their numerical limit, those cards go to the categories that have outstanding applications.
Reject HR 3012 to protect the applicants from HUNDREDS of countries around the world trying to make their way - legally - through the immigration system.


I find it curious that the same immigrant community that are HR 3012's most ardent (and only) supporters are so virulently opposed to the president's executive order providing relief for undocumented minors. Why is that? Check out Immigration Voice or Trackitt to find out they really feel about Latinos and the undocumented.


Support HR 3012 to attract high skilled immigrants.

Legal_waiting_for GC_10yrs

I agree with Math_guy. Apparently, it's better to be illegal than legal immigrant. Illegal's get all the attention and favors from both sides, where as legal immigrants just languish.

Asian Well Wisher

US should not allow Highly skilled immigrants from countries such as India and China. These two countries are on their path of becoming great global powers. Not allowing Highly Skilled Immigrants from these two countries would allow the knowledge base to be created and retained in India and China. I urge US to allow immigration form African countries, Latin American countries and rest of Asian countries,who will contribute very less to US economy. This will allow countries such as India and China to climb up the ladder very quickly. These two countries need Highly skilled immigrants to settle in their home country, and contribute in innovation in Science and Technology of their home country.

Shjak July

I am deeply concerned about the new bill HR 3012 which is going to be introduced to pass the Senate in the next session. This immigration bill has already been passed by the house and I am afraid if this passes the Senate, it's going to be detrimental for US as a whole.

This country was built by the immigrants-true; but this country always put a huge emphasis on diversity, minority groups, too! I have no problem Indians/ Chinese people trying to solve their Immigration Problem. But it cannot be done at the expense of other minority countries.

The HR 3012 bill is very much anti American, since it only allows more and more influx of Indian and Chinese community to get the green cards in US. There have been a lot of scams with the H-1B visa issued by IT consulting companies from India and China. And if this bill passed there will be more fraudulant cases.

Shjak July

Please stop the bill to be passed in the next senate. Americans and other minorities in US cannnot suffer because of Indian and Chinese people are trying to be too greedy to get the Green Cards by stepping into others' toes.

Shjak July

Lies spread by HR 3012 proponents:
- India/China only gets 7% employment visa:
WRONG! Every year India alone gets 21-22% visas- because unused visas from other categories fall in their pocket.

- HR 3012 reforms the employment based immigration for better:
WRONG! It practically allocates pretty much all visas to India and China only for the next three years- all other countries will suffer a 6 year additional wait time on the average.

- Some green card applicants from India may suffer a 70 year waiting period:
WRONG! The worst category in employment based immigration has a waiting period of 9 years now, which will be further reduced as a direct consequence of the visa spillover rule.

- HR 3012 will help ease the immigration pain for the “brightest”-
WRONG- The advanced degree holders are already advancing at a fast pace, many of the people who would be benefitted (EB3 category mostly) don’t even require a Bachelor’s degree in some cases.

- HR 3012 will bring fairness to immigration by eliminating country limits:
WRONG! The bill will be unfair to those from all other countries facing an additional 5/6 years of waiting period. Changing rules retroactively will immediately make visas unavailable for every other country. The next two years two countries will get 90% visa, and all others will get merely 10%. Sounds fair to any reasonable soul?

- HR 3012 does not impact the immigration flow, because it does not increase or decrease the total visa.
WRONG! The labor data shows 80% green card applications in the IT come from India, in the Education come from all other countries( except India and China), and in the Healthcare come again from again all other countries( except India and China). This means the phase out period, i.e., the next three years will suffer a serious shortage of skilled immigration in Healthcare and Education at the expense of IT.

- HR 3012 does not change diversity, as it is a small percentage.
WRONG: The educated workforce diversity will be at stake. Basically, at workplace, you are likely to see an inflow of only Indians or Chinese immigrants. This is due to the radical nature of the transition proposal- which tries to change too much in a short time, that too at the expense of others.


I am legal immigrant and waiting for green card for 13 years. With the present backlog it can take up to 70 years, because I am experiencing it. I may hae to wait for 4 more years (total 17 years) before I get it. People who came in arouund 2012 may have to wait 70 years. This bill applies to only people already working here and certified by labor department as following all the rules and the positions couldnt be filled by other Americans. There is already a diversity visa for other immigrants which India and china are not part of.
This is just about fairness and holding the queue for employment based immigration - it should be based on merits and not based on country of origin.

American Well Wisher

Only the immigrants migrating to US from China, India and Japan are well educated, They mostly hold Masters and PHDs or Engineering Degrees. And are capable of contributing to US economy.

Where as migrants from all other parts of the world come here, get a green card very quickly, become citizens, but dont contribute at all to US economy, moreover they nab the employment benefits and other benefits from US citizens.

US should think twice before allowing anyone into US, whether its an Asian, Arabic, Paki, African, Hispanic or anyone else.

US should either allow immigrants from the countries who contribute to US or dont allow anyone into US at all.

What do you really need ... a liability or an asset? Who would you prefer? Think again.


HR 3012, is a failure. It disguises itself as fair but brings in more Indian's to immigrate and not maintaining fairness. A better solution is for not counting dependents as employment based, rather only the primary.

American Well Wisher

If HR3012 was a failure then House would not have passed it, in first place that too with complete majority.

Though this Bill will be a failure for the dreams of many people who are nothing but a liability for US and will promote only the ones who are assets for this country.

I can understand your frustration. Try to become a asset and not a liability.
Dont dream for some country quota to help you get a green card quickly. Earn it the way Indians and Chinese do it, not based on country quota, but on their individual capability and skillset.

math guy

Decades long wait is a FACT for legal immigrants. New applicants has to wait ~70 years, again a fact. HR 3012 does not change the total green cards applied to highly skilled immigrants - Fact. Majority of people migrating to US on Highly skilled visa are from India and China- FACT. This bill will only end discremination based on country quotas.Not even single additional green card is issued. Question is would you prfer a math guy from nigeria or pakistan over an Indian or Chinese? You won't. That is the faireness HR3012 provides. it is eliminating per country quota for skilled immigration. Per country quots is retained for family based immgration and other means of immigration which is 90% of total immigration.

math guy

What if HR 3012 is not passed in senate

1. corporations will outsource/offshore jobs to India and China. Corporations are corporations. Example google going for genPact. Most of the American banks, GE, Microsoft, apple .. list is long. You can't blame them. There is an ACTUAL SHORTAGE, for STEM categories. ( You may deny this, again it is a FACT)

2. People in queue will eventually get frustrated and move back to their respective (miserable) countries
Trust me , My classmates who stayed back in India are lot richer. I, just like most of you guys leave paycheck to paycheck, paying a mortgage and spending most of the money I earn here. Not moving back, just because I don't want to be poor compared to my classmates back in India :(. Kids are another fact, They are born here and out of touch again my own fault. Not complaining)

3. I am staying anyways! legal or illegal :)
Can't let go my favorite food : Burgers
Clean Air
No Moms with kids begging for food ( main reason I Moved here. I never got over it)

Live life with smart people and contribute without prejudice ( I am a lower caste in India. Climbed up the ladder because of my education )

Anyway, Guys I am staying here.. Legal or illegal!

American Well Wisher

Americans dont care who does the STEM jobs, because mostly all Americans would be either Project Managers, Marketing Managers and in other executive jobs.But if STEM jobs will move overseas to India and China, one thing that most politicians dont realize is all these managerial and executive jobs will also move overseas to India and China. So American politicians have to think again- are you creating jobs here by restricting the Engineers and Scientists from India and China? Because they are the real assets to US economy and not the immigrants from Rest of the World.

Then I wonder, what will the Green Card applicants form Rest Of the World do? Migrate to India or China in search of new job?


The US now has 313 million people and the highest rate of population growth of any developed country. Almost all of that growth is from immigration. Mass immigration is a recipe for national suicide and needs to be stopped now.


Remember the immigrant community is very strong..and word of mouth will carry you far !


The DEMs make it clear they favor illegals because of votes. That's fine because they do what they need to do to get elected. But the two faced Republicans on one hand make it out like they support legal immigration, and yet use legal immigrants as a tool for their dirty politics. HR 3012 was the least they could have done to show their support. Parties need money for campaigns and remember the legals are loaded. Should the DEMs get HR3012 passed, you know who will get support from legals?

Fair Act

!!!HR 3012 is FAIR and MUST be PASSED !!!!

Shjak needs to get his facts right, how fair it is when a country with poulation of 1000 has same number of green card numbers as a country's with 1.3 and 1.2 Billion people ? Duh... kind of "twisted" fair I guess

!!!HR 3012 is FAIR and MUST be PASSED !!!!


H.R.3012 is NOT FAIR. Currently, Indian and Chinese already used 50% of the employment-based green cards and the rest of the world(180 countries) shares the other 50%. We should not pass any bill which ONLY favors to certain country.If this bill passes, Indian and Chinese will use 85% of employment-based green cards and the rest of the world(180 countries) share the other 15%.

In fact, I highly doubted "high-skilled" workers in this bill. I personally work in U.S. based IT consulting firm.Most of the Indian co-workers in my company DO NOT even have a U.S. degree. I also caught some of them faked their resume while interviewing them. Please start by stopping H1B and green card fraud cases. A lot of Indian IT consulting firms have been abused H1B working visas to bring cheap labors to this country. It is not wise to open the door for them while there are so many fraud cases exist in Indian and Chinese. Just check infosys, wipro, Cognizent, etc.If this bill passes, companies will replace Americans with Indians because of cheaper wages. Our job market will have a serious wage depression.



Eliminate 50,000/year diversity visa given by lottery to unskilled people. DV is biggest liability to tax payers in America.


Please stop the bill to be passed in the next senate. Americans and other minorities in US cannnot suffer because of Indian and Chinese people are trying to be too greedy to get the Green Cards by stepping into others' toes.

Raj Pal | Atlanta

Finally, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa officially lifts hold on H.R. 3012, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. Congratulations!


Senator Chuck Grassley today put the following statement in The Congressional Record regarding lifting his hold on H.R. 3012, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.

Mr. President,

Today, I lift my hold on H.R. 3012, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. This bill would eliminate the per-country numerical limitations for employment–based immigrants and change the per-country numerical limitations for family-based immigrants. When I placed a hold on the bill, I was concerned that the bill did nothing to better protect Americans at home who seek high-skilled jobs during this time of record unemployment. Today, I lift my hold because I have reached an agreement with the senior Senator from New York, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.

I’ve spent a lot of time and effort into rooting out fraud and abuse in our visa programs, specifically the H-1B visa program. I have always said this program can and should serve as a benefit to our country, our economy and our U.S. employers. However, it is clear that it’s not working as intended, and the program is having a detrimental effect on American workers.

For many years, Senator Durbin and I have worked on legislation to close the loopholes in the H-1B visa program. Our legislation would ensure that American workers are afforded the first chance to obtain the available high paying and high skilled jobs in the United States. It would make sure visa holders know their rights. It would strengthen the wage requirements, ridding the incentives for companies to hire cheap, foreign labor.

While I couldn’t get everything that was included in the Durbin-Grassley visa reform bill, there is agreement to include in H.R. 3012 provisions that give greater authority to program overseers to investigate visa fraud and abuse. Specifically, there will be language authorizing the Department of Labor to better review labor condition applications and investigate fraud and misrepresentation by employers. There’s also agreement to include a provision allowing the federal government to do annual compliance audits of employers who bring in foreign workers through the H-1B visa program.

I appreciate the willingness of other members to work with me to include measures that will help us combat visa fraud, and ultimately protect more American workers. I look forward to working with others as H.R. 3012 progresses in the Senate.

I yield the floor.

Kalpesh Shah

I really do not understand the fuss that people are making with HR 3012 bill and reason why people do not want to support it. Most of you have never been in this situation of waiting long time for immigration or may you are just thinking about your own benefits/gains. Try to visualize the real problem and you would know what it means to be fair.

Here is an example. Imagine you are going for a movie with your family members. Do you want quota for people based on their ethnicity or race? Do you want separate queue for buying tickets for the movie based on their ethnicity / country? If that is the case, there would be many people waiting in some lines and some queue completely empty. If there are reservation and quota based on country, more than half of movie theater would be empty if people from those country do not watch movies in that theater. What happens to business owners of those movie theater? Some seats would be crowded and rest of theater would be empty. It is just a loss of business for them when they had potential to do fair business.

The reason they cannot implement such rules is to avoid discrimination. By lifting per country quota, means treating every immigrant in the same category. If India and China is filling up the line, that is because there are many people who are coming here for higher education and employment. They pay same taxes, same fees, same rent, same everything as like any other immigrant from any other country. If there is just one queue for immigration, then it would be First In First Out. It is easy to manage and would not discriminate any one based on gender, race, color or ethnicity. I support HR 3012 and I hope it breaks this barricade of discrimination.


I understand that ROW will be affected by HR3012 as they are currently enjoying the benefits of an unfair system. But that is no reason to continue the unfairness. ROW has nothing to lose except current benefit they are enjoing.
As you can see 7% alocation is unfair for whole world's 40% population(total of two countries).
Someone mention in earlier post that waiting time is less than 10 years for EB3-IN&CH, but I been waithng for 14 years and if 3012 does not pass another 10years for sure.
This is not unfair for me????????
HR3012 must pass - pass - PASS - PASS.

John Roberts

Oppose HR3012 - this bill has only been created by IT companies to flood the US market with low wage IT workers from India. If this passes I don't envy the US born IT worker - the wages will likely go down to McDonalds wages.

Not only that but as others have stated - the primary emigrants from India are 'hi-tech' workers in IT professions. If they are the only country allowed to send immigrants many others industries that have shortages of professionals - such as Medicine and Engineering would be hurt. If there are specialists in industries such as Oil and Gas from the middle east, Banking from England, Engineering from Germany, Weapons production from Russia, forget about them getting in if this bill passes. You will get another 'software analyist', and another 'software programmer', and another 'code checker' instead.

OPPOSE HR3012 - for your Country and your Future.

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