Mitt Romney shocked audiences when he claimed self-deportation as his stance on immigration.
Self-deportation is when illegal immigrants deport themselves because they can’t find work.
“People decide they can do better by going home because they can’t find work here because they don’t have legal documentation to allow them to work here,” Romney said. “We’re not going to round them up. If people can’t get work here, they’re going to self-deport to a place where they can get work.”
Although Representative Stephen E. Sandstrom, R-Orem, is an avid supporter of Romney in the election, he did not fully agree with his stance.
“Self-deportation does not acknowledge the issue of undocumented immigrants,” Sandstrom said. “I applaud his commitment to secure the border though because that is the first step for this issue.”
Senator Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, strongly disagreed with Romney’s immigration stance.
“He has no solution whatsoever for a very complicated issue,” Robles said. “If this is a man that wants to be president, he needs to understand the economic impact of immigration.”
Newt Gingrich, Romney’s main opponent for the republican nomination, believes that if someone is an illegal immigrant they should be deported, however, if the immigrant has a family in the U.S. and has been here for some time there will be exceptions made.
“If you’ve come here recently you have no ties to this country, you oughta go home, period,” Gingrich said. “If you’ve been here 25 years, and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think were gonna separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.”
Representative Sandstrom said he thought it was ironic how Gingrich has outlined his policy is more in line with the LDS Church than Romney regarding family ties.
Tony Yapias, director of Proyecto Latino, said both candidates were walking away from the Latino vote, but they agreed more with Gingrich.
“Gingrich has an edge,” Yapias said. “Even though we don’t agree with his plan on immigration reform, he is open to discussion on it.”
Ignacio Garcia, a history professor at BYU, said both candidate’s policies are misguided.
“If you can’t deport all the immigrants and you can’t legalize them, what happens?” Garcia said. “Neither of the candidates have talked about a real solution to the problem.”