DNC: Lingering Lawn Care Problems Reveal Romney's Hypocritical Immigration Flip-Flops

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Smooth talking Mitt Romney's blatant hypocrisy on immigration reform is on full display today. One year ago, the Boston Globe revealed that Romney had employed a landscaping company that used undocumented workers on the lawn of his Belmont mansion. In the year since, Romney flip-flopped on immigration reform, adopting a new hard-line approach that stands in stark contrast with his previous rhetoric and record on the issue. Romney even went so far as to criticize "sanctuary employers, people who hire people that have come here illegally." [CNN, 11/14/07] Now, one year later, the Globe reported that Romney was still employing the same landscaping company, which was still using undocumented workers on both Romney's lawn and his son Tagg's -- even as he was criticizing his rivals on the immigration issue. [ Boston Globe, 12/5/07]

The revelation comes on the same day a new report shows that voters are seeing through Romney's efforts to say whatever he thinks they want to here. A new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll today found that just eight percent of Republicans think Romney "says what he believes rather than what voters want to hear." [Los Angeles Times , 12/5/07] The poll found Romney finished last among the five leading GOP candidates.

"Smooth talking Mitt Romney's lingering lawn care problem is the latest reminder of his shameless and hypocritical efforts to pander to the right wing of his Party by saying whatever he thinks the political winds dictate," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "In this election, the voters have a chance to weed out blatant panderers and shameless opportunists like Romney and choose strong Democratic leaders who offer real solutions on the critical issues facing our country."

The Anatomy of a Flip-Flop: Inside Mitt Romney's Evolution on Immigration

November 2005: Romney Supports McCain-Bush Immigration Bill, Saying They Are "Quite Different" From Amnesty. According to the Boston Globe, in November 2005 Romney spoke "approvingly of efforts by McCain and Bush to solve the nation's immigration crisis, calling them 'reasonable proposals.'" In the November 2005 interview, "Romney described immigration proposals by McCain and others as 'quite different' from amnesty, because they required illegal immigrants to register with the government, work for years, pay taxes, not take public benefits, and pay a fine before applying for citizenship. 'That's very different than amnesty, where you literally say, 'OK, everybody here gets to stay,' Romney said in the interview. 'It's saying you could work your way into becoming a legal resident of the country by working here without taking benefits and then applying and then paying a fine.'" [ Boston Globe, 3/16/07]

March 2006: Romney Supports A "Path to Citizenship," Opposes "Rounding Up" Undocumented Workers. " Gov. Mitt Romney expressed support yesterday for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship... 'I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country,' Romney said. '[T]hose that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.'" [ Lowell Sun , 3/30/06]

December 2006: Romney Caught Using Undocumented Workers At His Own Home. "A lawn service used for several years by Gov. Mitt Romney , who is considering a run for president, employed illegal immigrants to work on the grounds of his suburban home, according to a published report. The Boston Globe said it interviewed in Spanish four current and former employees of Community Lawn Service with a Heart, and all but one who said they had worked on Romney's property said they were in the country illegally. The employees told the newspaper the company's owner, Ricardo Saenz , never asked them to show documents on their immigration status, which is required by federal law." [ Boston Globe, 12/1/06]

May 2007: Romney Opposes Immigration Bill, Even Though It Includes Everything He Supports. "The record shows Romney repeatedly has demanded stronger border security. A campaign ad calls for tamper-proof identification cards. And in a debate last week, he said illegal immigrants need to go back to their home country and 'get in line' before they can become citizens. 'That's exactly what's on the table. All of those things are part of the immigration package,' said Marshall Fitz , spokesman for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a nonpartisan organization of lawyers and professors. 'Romney and the other candidates who continue to beat their chests against this legislation are just playing to the conservative base.'" [ Miami Herald, 5/25/07]

June 2007: Romney Calls Bill Amnesty. "Romney's response to the bill has varied with his audience. Most of his criticism has focused on the so-called Z-visa, a document proposed for registering the estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the country. Last month in South Carolina, home to the type of social conservatives Romney is courting, he said, 'I think we should not call it the 'Z' visa; we should call it the 'A' visa, because it's amnesty and that's what it stands for.' Yet a week later in Florida, he said, 'There are some who get involved in whether it is technically amnesty or not and I'm not really trying to define what is technically amnesty. I'll let the lawyers do that.'" [AP, 6/4/07]

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SOURCE Democratic National Committee