Today Mitt Romney spoke to NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. It's a required stop on the Presidential campaign trail, and it was a great opportunity for Mitt Romney to again dissemble about his real position on the DREAM Act.
Since President Barack Obama's statement last week that he is halting the deportation of DREAM-eligible students, the press has asked Romney repeatedly -- without receiving a clear "yes" or "no" answer -- if he would reverse the President's policy. It's worth noting that the decision polls extremely well, and that Obama enjoys a wide margin of support amongst Latino voters. Strategically, perhaps Romney's advisors believe that he can ill afford to further alienate the growing Latino vote in this country, nor can he risk disappointing the xenophobic GOP base.
Meanwhile, Romney has refused to confirm what he's said before on the campaign trail: in front of an audience of Republican primary voters, Romney called the DREAM Act a "handout" and promised to veto it. Today, in front of a full room at NALEO, he again refused to weigh in on the President's directive to agencies that deal with immigration.
After his speech, a young undocumented student whose future hangs in the balance approached Romney and asked him specifically about the DREAM Act. A CNN reporter interviewed the student, and reported on their conversation:
COSTA: I will tell you, Suzanne, right after the speech, I broke away after we talked last and I met up with an undocumented college student, who was here in the crowd. She told me in an interview just a few moments ago - she went up to Mitt Romney and confronted him to try to get him to come down with a position on this issue of the DREAM Act - she walked away disappointed. She basically told me after this speech she is furious that she did not get direction from Mitt Romney about what would happen to her life should he become president. So Suzanne, I've got to tell you, I think there were some people in this this room who were disappointed.
Mitt Romney's never held a position he didn't change when pressured from one side or another. He was against the DREAM Act in the primary, now he's trying to convince Latino legislators that he'll keep his promises -- but to do what, exactly? Romney proposed a handful of immigration reforms, but still refuses to answer the basic question about the popular DREAM Act and whether he'd veto it as President.