Hispanic activists protest Romney on Dream Act ahead of debate
Campaigning in Iowa late last year, Mitt Romney said he would veto a proposal granting U.S. citizenship to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.
While turning his back on the so-called Dream Act won him support from grassroots conservatives in the Midwest, it brought out Hispanic activists in protest against him ahead of the debate on Wednesday.
“I just want a president who is going to be good for my community, for people who have a dream and want an education,” said Carla Uiquidi, one of a dozen or so protesters in the street opposite the Mesa Arts Center toting placards that read “Veto Romney Not the Dream Act.”
Under the Dream Act, which was brought up in the Senate in May, young undocumented immigrants who have lived most of their lives in the United States and graduate from U.S. high schools would be eligible for a conditional six-year “path to citizenship” if they earn a college degree or serve two years in the military.
Romney told caucus voters in Lemars, Iowa, in late December that he would secure the U.S.-Mexico border with a fence and enough Border Patrol agents to guard it.
His remarks there drew vigorous applause there and at a later appearance in Sioux City. Romney said he would eliminate the “magnet” that draws illegal immigrants by cracking down on employers who hire them. They didn’t impress Uiquidi on Wednesday.
“Mitt Romney is the one who has been the most outspoken about not passing the Dream Act or even looking at it … I don’t think he should be president,” she said. “I believe everybody should have an equal chance and opportunity to get an education … and be able to dream. Nobody should take that away from them.”
Photo credit: Tim Gaynor