Former Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty has taken President Barack Obama to task over his move to loosen immigration policy last week.
“It’s disappointing that President Obama, even though he had a Democratic congress for the first two years of administration, [didn’t live up to his] promise to the country and particularly the Hispanic community that he would enact comprehensive immigration reform,” Pawlenty, a key surrogate for GOP presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney, told CNN Monday, Politico
“He didn’t do it, and now at the 11th hour he comes up with this executive order.” The action appears to be a calculated move to gain support from Hispanics, a key voting bloc in November’s election, Pawlenty suggested.
Obama’s executive order, issued Friday, allows some young illegal immigrants to stay in the country and work. He criticized Republicans for blocking passage of the DREAM Act, which would establish a citizenship for some young illegal immigrants.
When asked whether Romney would veto the DREAM Act as president, Pawlenty said, “There are a lot of things labeled the DREAM Act, so we have to be careful. What Gov. Romney has said is when it comes to Sen. Rubio’s ideas about the DREAM Act, he would be open to that.”
Republican Senators, including Florida’s Marco Rubio, have been working for months on a bill to permit some children of illegal immigrants to stay in the United States legally while attending college or embarking on military careers.
Pawlenty said immigration policies should be dealt with by Congress rather than by executive orders. “It’s an important issue and deserves to be addressed before the Congress, and as Gov. Romney said, on a long-term and permanent basis so these young people don’t have to guess whether or not their status will change.”
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