Is Romney more likely to achieve immigration reform? - The Packer

Is Romney more likely to achieve immigration reform?

11/02/2012 10:00:00 AM
Tom Karst

National Editor Tom KarstWho will hear the growers' cries for immigration reform?

Some media pundits have called farm labor shortages fake or contrived.

It is true, that despite a high level of concern about agricultural labor, it seems not much fruit is rotting in the fields because of worker shortages this fall.

A September report from the state of Washington showed that the numbers of workers in the state were up with the expected record apple crop. The report said the state's total agricultural
employment increased 10.1% over the period of September 2011 through September 2012.
The increase was driven by a 22.8% increase in apple harvesters, the report said.

The report did reveal a shortage of workers of 8.8%, based on responses from agricultural employers to the question whether they failed to complete some work because of a shortage of labor, and a question about how many more workers they could have used.

Wages were up the most in the Yakima region, or the south central part of the state. Wages in September were close to $11 per hour, or $15 to $25 per bin. Compared with a year ago, wages in Yakima were up 10%, according to the report.

Looking to the national election, immigration reform has not been a key issue in the race for the presidency. President Obama did say he is confident that he can deliver immigration reform if he is elected to a second four-year term.

But this opinion piece in the Chicago Sun Times says that Romney is the "best bet" for Hispanics.

Why? From the author, Steve Huntley:

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, after engaging in harsh immigration-control rhetoric during the GOP primary, has pledged to Hispanics that he will “work with Republicans and Democrats to permanently fix our immigration system.” Obama has no record of reaching across the aisle in Congress, while Romney does have a history of working with a Democratic-controlled legislature as governor of Massachusetts. Who would history suggest has a better chance of achieving bipartisan immigration reform?

Still, jobs is the top issue for most Hispanics, just as it is for most Americans. The unemployment rate for Latinos is around 10 percent, 2 percentage points higher than for the overall population. As Romney notes, 2 million more Hispanics live in poverty than when Obama took office.

Polls show Hispanics hugely favoring Obama. But Romney has a record in business for being a turn-around expert who, as National Review writer Kevin Williamson noted, has never disappointed anyone who hired him. He proposes a five-point economic turn-around plan. Obama is promising only more of the same that has left Latinos in dire economic straits — and little hope for immigration reform.

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New York  |  November, 02, 2012 at 12:13 PM

In the second debate, Romney reiterated that he opposes legalization of the undocumented immigrants who are already here except for some young people who agree to serve in the military. That means that all the experienced, undocumented farm workers would be encouraged to self-deport by a Romney administration. Romney is currently polling around 20-25% among Latinos and my guess is that if Obama wins, the GOP will come to the table on comprehensive immigration reform out of pure survival instinct.

Eric Novak    
Chicago  |  November, 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM

If the GOP caves in to an amnesty of any kind, their base will have their heads on a pike and their representatives will be pilloried in public. Comprehensive immigration reform was crushed in 2006 and 2007 by an outraged and organized public, who's been waiting to pounce yet again. Giving 20,000,000 illegals visas and the power to sponsor 20,000,000 relatives through family reunification policy is tantamount to national suicide. Any equivocating on the terms of "reform" is enough to set off the well-organized public on this issue. A successful attempt on drowning us with Third World wards of the state is as likely as a UFO landing on the White House lawn.

detroit  |  November, 03, 2012 at 04:33 AM

not exactly Eric there will be hard conditions and terms if the comprehensive immigration reform passed. they are already here 10-11 million undocumented if any got a real legalization will be after 8 years perhaps a green card how on earth they will get their families.on top of that there will be evaluation and security background check for every applicant + fees exceeding $5000.It does not look as you think. we have to be wise to handle that issue once and for all with all the options considered. instead of hyping up or over exaggeration or demonization. The GOP party will lose in the long run for their short run standpoint on immigration .Wise up Eric look What Reagan did in 1986 for legalizing over 3 million. that number in eighties is equal to 6 million nowadays and The Superpower USA didn't plunge in the abyss of the Third World states ..All we need to be wise up and solve the problem and no more illegal immigration will be tolerated period .

Tamer ElSahy    
November, 04, 2012 at 05:58 PM

What is the undercurrent behind the term "Self Deportation". You decide!

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