True or False? Presidential Debate Fact Checking

October 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

During Tuesday night’s presidential town hall debate, Romney and Obama went head to head on several issues, including immigration. A lot of statements were made by both sides but who was telling the truth and who might have been stretching it just for argument’s sake? The New York Times ran a Fact-Checking segment that answers some of these questions.

On immigration, Romney said Obama failed to deliver as promised a comprehensive immigration reform legislation during his first year in office. In fact, President Obama did make the promise, particularly to Latinos, during the summer of 2008. In an interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision, the Spanish-language network, he said, “What I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year, an immigration bill that I strongly support.” Last month in Miami, President Obama said his lack of progress on immigration legislation was his “biggest failure so far.” He attributes this failure largely to the Republicans and expressed that he had not anticipated that Republicans who previously supported reform “suddenly would walk away.” With no prospect of passing legislation in Congress, President Obama used executive authority in June to offer reprieves from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants. This is not the Dream Act but an exercise of the government’s prosecutorial discretion, now known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, so that young undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country due to no fault of their own would not be subjected to deportation and would also be able to obtain temporary work authorization for two years at a time.

Mr. Romney’s stance on providing relief to young undocumented immigrants in general is less clear. During the debate he said that he also wanted to help those young people. However, during the Republican primary, Mr. Romney had stated that he would veto the Dream Act that would allow these young people to have a chance. More recently, in June, Mr. Romney had softened his stance on this issue and had said that he would support giving permanent residence to “illegal immigrants who served in our military” — one group who would be eligible under the Dream Act. In a town hall meeting last month in Miami with Univision, Mr. Romney said he would also consider giving green cards to “kids that get higher education,” echoing another part of the Dream Act. Mr. Romney indicated that he supported Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s version of the immigration bill, an alternative version to the Democrats’ Dream Act on which he started working last spring. However, few details are known of Mr. Rubio’s proposal, because he never offered a written blueprint.

As of October 10, 2012 and a report issued by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) , the agency has accepted more than nearly 180,000 DACA cases and approved over 4,500 requests. We may expect to see monthly report from USCIS.

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