Obama calls Romney's immigration stance "troublesome"

CARTAGENA Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:15pm EDT

President Barack Obama participates in the CEO Summit of the Americas in Cartagena April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama participates in the CEO Summit of the Americas in Cartagena April 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

CARTAGENA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama attacked Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney on Saturday over his stance on illegal immigrants and promised to pursue broad immigration reform if he wins another term.

On a three-day visit to Colombia for a summit with Latin American leaders, Obama is hoping to court Hispanic voters back home whose support could be crucial to him in the November 6 election.

The Democratic president wants to fight an impression that he has neglected Latin America and failed to push hard enough on comprehensive immigration reform.

Obama said in an interview with Univision that Romney's support of Arizona's tough immigration law was "very troublesome."

"We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country," Obama said, referring to Republican front-runner Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.

"These are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption," Obama said in the interview, which was taped in Cartagena on Friday.

The Arizona law, signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in 2010, calls on state and local police to check the immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally and to pursue deportation aggressively.

Pressed on whether he would promise to move forward on immigration reform quickly if he gets re-elected, Obama blamed Republicans for the inaction so far and added, "I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term. I want to try this year."

Obama enjoys a big advantage with Latino voters, who tend to favor Democratic candidates and backed him by a margin of two-to-one in his 2008 race against Republican John McCain.

However, Obama hopes to avoid any erosion of support from these voters in battleground states like Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado, where Latinos make up a large portion of the population.

(This has been refiled to fix typo in paragraph three)

(Reporting By Caren Bohan and Laura MacInnis; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Comments (12)
mpower830 wrote:
White Repubicans simply don’t like living arond Mexicans. It’s that simple.

Apr 14, 2012 1:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
stlucifer666 wrote:
I have no problems showing my I.D. it bothers me that you have a problem showing your I.D. You have to show I.D. on many other things. I think everyone should have to show I.D. I was not a Romney supporter until I read this. I now support Romney and not Obama, Obama has relatives he is trying to make legal. There are conflicts of interest with Obama on immigration and should be forced to dismiss himself from the whole case.

Apr 14, 2012 1:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoeDa wrote:
“I cannot guarantee that it is going to be in the first 100 days. But what I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly support and that I’m promoting. And I want to move that forward as quickly as possible.”

Sources:

Jorge Ramos interview with then-candidate Barack Obama, May 28, 2008, played on ABC’s This Week on July 4, 2010.

Apr 14, 2012 2:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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