Speaking before Latino leaders in Florida on Thursday, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney promised a long-term solution to allow young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States and put forth a few minor proposals.
Among them were plans to overhaul the green card system for immigrants with families, and end immigration caps for their spouses and minor children, The Associated Press reported.
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Greeted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials with tepid applause and scattered boos, Romney attacked President Barack Obama's new plan to ease deportation rules for some children of illegal immigrants as little more than a "stop-gap measure."
"As president, I won't settle for a stop-gap measure. I will work with Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution," he said. "I will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it."
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Illegal immigration is at the forefront of the campaign agenda following Obama's announcement late last week of an executive order that will allow hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people to avoid deportation, Reuters reported.
Polls show the move has boosted Obama's already-high popularity among Hispanics. The president was expected to speak before the Latino leadership group Friday.
Romney again refused to say whether he would reverse Obama's order.
He did make passing mention of a promise to complete a 2,000-mile border fence to stem illegal immigration and pledged to give young undocumented immigrants the chance to stay in the US permanently if they serve in the military, Fox News reported.