News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Thursday, January 12, 2012

English only? Not when Romney panders for Latino votes.

Proposing English-Only legislation is a favorite pastime among those who fear the nation is being overrun by people who are something less than "real Americans." These self-appointed patriots think it's a virtue to speak only one language -- even in an economy where U.S. businesses will need to compete all over the world. But apparently the Romney campaign must think the English-Only movement has lost some of its momentum. What else would explain the Romney Spanish-language campaign ad below?

Not that Romney hasn't made a hard swing to the right during the GOP primaries.

After previously speaking favorably of the Kennedy/McCain immigration reform bill of 2007, Mr. Romney has boomeranged to the other end of the spectrum by embracing Kris Kobach, the xenophobic pit bull of FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform.) The incredible irony of it all is that Mitt Romney is the son of a Mexican immigrant who freely admitted the Romney family accepted federal aid shortly after their arrival in the United States.

What Romney will actually support regarding immigration if he gets the GOP nomination -- and what he would do as president -- remains anybody's guess. But it seems clear that Mr. Romney wants to have his pan dulce and eat it too.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

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