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Mitt Romney's immigration stance: What Would Rubio Do?

Mitt Romney has a more nuanced immigration stance these days.

Call it WWRD, an abbreviation for What Would Rubio Do?

That was the case this weekend after President Obama made an election-year executive order that allows hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to remain and work in the United States for two years without the threat of deportation.

Romney’s initial reaction?


Then came Florida’s Marco Rubio, the only Hispanic Republican in the U.S. Senate and a vice-presidential shortlister for Romney.

“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem,” Rubio said shortly after Obama’s announcement.

Rubio also criticized Obama for “ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress” because the executive order essentially amounts to lawmaking by the executive branch of government.

After that, Romney got the memo.

As liberals and some conservatives started howling about his deafening silence, Romney stepped off his tour bus in New Hampshire and fretted about how Obama’s plan wasn’t a “long-term” solution.

“I’d like to see legislation that deals with this issue,” he said. “And I happen to agree with Marco Rubio, as he will consider this issue. He said this is an important matter. We have to find a long-term solution. But the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult.”

That’s true to a degree. But what’s even more true is that the party of Rubio and Romney stands much more in the way of immigration legislation these days.

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