Conservative Colloquium

An Intellectual Forum for All Things Conservative

Romney Hammers McCain on Immigration!

Posted by Tony Listi on January 6, 2008

 

ROMNEY: But your view is everybody who’s come here illegally, today, other than criminals, would be allowed when they speak English and get $5,000 payment and they get a background check, they’re allowed to stay forever….  That’s your plan, and that plan, in my view, is not appropriate. Those people should be invited to get in line outside the country with everybody else who wants to come here. But they should not be given a special right to stay here —

MCCAIN: There is no special right associated with my plan. I said they should not be in any way rewarded for illegal behavior.

MR. ROMNEY: Are they sent home?

SEN. MCCAIN: They have to get in line —

MR. ROMNEY: Are they sent home?

SEN. MCCAIN: — behind everybody else.

MR. ROMNEY: Are they sent home?

SEN. MCCAIN: Some of them are, some of them are not, depending on their situation….

ROMNEY: And let me tell you, the issue that’s at stake here is do the people who come here illegally, the 12 million, are they allowed to stay in this country the rest of their life? And the final bill you put forward in the United States Senate was they got a Z —

MCCAIN: The answer is that there was still negotiations and debating on that.

ROMNEY: May I complete?

MCCAIN: The answer is we were still negotiating. We were debating. I’m saying that some people have to go back to the country

ROMNEY: I’m sorry. There was a Z visa. The Z visa was given to everybody —

MCCAIN: And it was having — that some people have to go back. First, as Rudy said, we have to round up the 2 million who have committed crimes and deport them immediately.

ROMNEY: Let’s not divert.

MCCAIN: And that is not amnesty for anyone.

MR. GIBSON: Well, I don’t want to divert. Let me come back to your plan. Is it practical to take 12 million people and send them out of the country?

ROMNEY: Is it practical? The answer is no. The answer is no. So here’s why my plan works. One, it says to those 12 million people they do not have the right, as they would under the final Senate plan, to receive a Z visa which was renewable indefinitely. That meant these people could stay in the country forever. That was what the plan did, and that’s why talk radio and the American people went nuts.

MCCAIN: That’s not the plan.

ROMNEY: Senator, you look up your Z visa. It is renewable indefinitely. Every illegal alien got to stay in the country forever, other than those that committed crimes.

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