Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan has a mixed past when it comes to one of the most heated topics in the country — immigration, the Washington Times
reported, and immigration reformers are divided on what to make of him.
Ryan worked as a staffer for pro-immigration Republicans such as Jack Kemp and Sen. Sam Brownback and was in a minority of Republicans when he backed pro-immigration legislation on a handful of occasions, the Times reported. In 2002, for example, Ryan voted for a legalization bill. In 2006, he praised a Senate immigration bill backed by President George W. Bush. And in 2009, he was the co-sponsor of a Democratic bill that would have legalized immigrant farmworkers.
But Ryan also has a record of supporting legislation that chafes immigration supporters, such as his vote in favor of the Secure Fence Act, his vote against the Dream Act and his vote in 2005 in favor of a bill that would have turned being an illegal immigrant from a civil violation to a criminal charge the Times reported.
His mixed record earned him a “C” from NumbersUSA, which advocates tighter immigration controls.
“Although he has co-sponsored amnesties to give illegal aliens a path to citizenship, I can’t find examples of Ryan making speeches, writing op-eds or otherwise publicly advocating for the amnesty,” Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, wrote in an action alert to its members, according to the Times. Beck said Ryan has “discarded most of his bad immigration habits from the Bush era.”
Beck added that Ryan has “discarded most of his bad immigration habits from the Bush era.”
His Dream Act opposition riles those in the pro-immigration crowd.
“For many of the people who were brought to the country as toddlers, this essentially boils down to a ‘tough on babies’ stance,” Erika Andiola, a Dream Act activist, told the Times.
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