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Susana in Newsweek: Romney as well as Obama wrong on illegal immigration debate

By   /   May 14, 2012  /   No Comments

Susana Martinez is featured prominently in this week’s edition of Newsweek as the national magazine that in 2010 merged with the politically liberal website The Daily Beast runs a generally positive profile of the New Mexico governor.

There’s also this photo accompanying the article — the nearly obligatory shot taken of every New Mexico politician, where they’re photographed wearing blue jeans with majestic mountains in the background:

Photo by Jesse Chehak for Newsweek


The article goes over some biographical stuff that’s familiar to those who follow politics in the state, although there is a poignant story about the governor’s sister Lettie, who’s been disabled since birth, and how raising Lettie influenced Martinez’ decision not to have children of her own (“In a way, I saw myself as already having raised a child,” she tells reporter Andrew Romano).

But one of the most interesting things the article brings up is Martinez’ take on the debate about how the US should handle the problem of illegal immigration. During a GOP presidential debate in January, Mitt Romney said, “the answer is self-deportation,” while Barack Obama made an appeal to Latino voters a couple months ago in which he promised to tackle immigration reform — after the November election (“My hope is that, after this election, the Latino community will have sent a strong message that they want a bipartisan effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”)

From the Newsweek article:

As we sit down at a local Starbucks, I ask about immigration. It’s a topic she has been reluctant to discuss since winning the Republican primary in 2010, so what comes next is surprising: a battle plan that contradicts nearly everything the GOP has been doing and saying since 2007, Romney’s “self-deportation” strategy included. “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?” Martinez snaps. “I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why.”

Naturally, Martinez has some suggestions. First, Republicans should remind Latinos that Obama pledged to pass comprehensive immigration reform by the end of his initial year in office, but “didn’t even have the courage to try.” Next, the GOP should outflank the president–on the left–by proposing its own comprehensive plan. “I absolutely advocate for comprehensive immigration reform,” Martinez says, , sipping a caramel macchiato. “Republicans want to be tough and say, ‘Illegals, you’re gone.’ But the answer is a lot more complex than that.” Martinez envisions an approach “with multiple levels”: increased border security; deportation for criminals; a guest-worker program for people who want “to go freely back and forth across the border to work”; a DREAM Act-style pathway to citizenship, through the military or college, for children brought here illegally by their parents; and a visa (coupled with a “penalty” or a “tagback”) that allows rest of the illegal population to remain in the U.S. while they follow standard naturalization procedures.

Martinez’s point is not that Republicans should peddle so-called “amnesty.” In New Mexico, she’s taken a lot of heat from Latinos for repeatedly pushing to repeal a state law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses; she also opposes a standalone DREAM Act, arguing that politicians can’t “fix [immigration] by saying, ‘Here’s the DREAM Act and we’re done. It has to be part of a larger plan.” She simply believes that a more pragmatic approach will help Republicans in the long run, particularly if it’s paired with the sort of issues-based appeal that inspired her to switch parties and a more aggressive campaign to recruit Hispanic candidates for local office. Maybe then the GOP can finally do what she did in her first statewide contest: approach the magic 40-percent mark among Latino voters. That alone would be enough to swing a presidential election.

You can read the entire Newsweek article by clicking here.

Hat tip to Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican for alerting me to the Newsweek piece.


Rob formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • http://suddenwhitemexican.com Steve

    Solving the border crisis is simple, yet surprisingly objectionable to most who consider it. If we open the border, make it easy to become a citizen, and abandon our minimum wage laws, then people will be able to work for the wages they want to work for. The minimum wage laws actually prevent people from working for the wages they want to work for, so it’s a very un-american kind of law.

    Legalizing marijuana will go a long way to ending the smuggling and drug-war craziness. Heroin and Cocaine could also be produced domestically and sold under prescription.

    When you move any commodity into the black market the price goes up. And when it becomes lucrative in that sort of a market, then “sellers” like the drug cartels move in to fill the void – and thousands of innocent people die in the crossfire.

  • Dave Francis


    California, Nevada, New York and other blue states are unquestionably going to be swamped, with not just illegal aliens from across the borders, but if Arizona law is considered legal by the Supreme Court in June, masses of people from Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and others will flee to the Sanctuary states. Then I would assume with the states where policing laws are not enforced, the residents will be enraged in having to pay even more taxes, to subsidize the education, health care for the new arrivals. Illegal immigration does influence the U.S. economy and cost state taxpayers over 113 billion dollars a year. Democratic Assembly member Manuel Pérez in California is pressing his covert policy, to give hundreds of thousands of illegal farm workers a state permit, to work and settle there.

    Only problem is the farms and the huge acreage of agricultural businesses are poorly regulated and nothing stops these illegal laborers with their families from disappearing into the cities and towns. Although the farmers pay wages for the workers in central California, they are not held responsible for their family’s health care or the children’s education, which comes out of state resident’s income.

    Americans have been continually abused by federal, state and local representatives, and unless are government starts to pay attention to not just California, from one West coast to the other. We will be overwhelmed by the throngs that keep on arriving. The fact that they are here illegal doesn’t seem to register with our politician’s lobotomized brains as these representatives of THE PEOPLE keep pampering them. The TEA PARTY will end this charades and punish those who have ignored the interests of the people? As with Senator Richard Lugar being unseated by the Tea Party former Treasurer, it could illustrate things to come as law makers who have shoved immigration amnesties are seeing the ‘writing on the wall’.


    Arizona was marked for intimidation by Department of Justice, as has Alabama, Georgia and other states looking out for their legal residence to protect them against court unfunded mandates. California wants more money from taxes, as they are in serious trouble with their welfare issues. Billions of dollars going towards illegal alien schooling, medical care, food stamps and other public assistance for their children smuggled in through our so-called fence or entering as a visitor by aircraft with no intentions of leaving.

    Two laws that need attention and not blocking a mandated E-Verify by Republican House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio and Dave Camp of Michigan, Chairman of the empowered Ways and Means Committee. Anybody who has been reluctant to sponsor these bipartisan bills needs to be removed from office. Either political party member, Governors, Mayors, Police chiefs, lower court judges and county and city managers, along with councilors will also be discarded.

    This lax enforcement has gone on far too long, as the high pressure groups and campaign contributors have literary run this country into the ground. Every year these lawmakers import an estimated million and half new immigrants, the majority poorly skilled and take discount wages and conditions. Every year over 450.000 new female arrivals turn up from to take advantage of our baby delivery hospitals.

    By law none can be turned away, because the courts say so, which has led to closed doors, bankruptcy many hospitals in California and then the whole burden is shifted to the taxpayers. So along with mandatory E-Verify, to verify eligible American labor force, it can detect 98 percent of foreign nationals applying for work. To further enforce our laws, we must rescind the wrongly interpreted 14th amendment. It must be amended by Congress, so that only the children with either one parent must be a U.S. citizen, for the child to gain his own citizenship. Right now we have a tax and spend administration which will do just about anything, including overlooking non citizens voting to stay in power.

    A WTHR, Indianapolis TV report about illegal aliens stealing over 4.2 billion dollars, while regular citizens and residents are audited and hounded by the I.R.S for a few thousand dollars is just disgusting? It seems this isn’t just an Obama issue, but goes back many years. These refundable tax returns are fraud of the highest level and the IRS says their hands are tied? Can anybody tell the American people why illegal aliens are collecting refunds for nieces and nephews and other relatives who are living back in Mexico and nothing is being done to stop this outrage? Not only are they receiving free health care, free education for their children, but they are draining America of our money now. According to the report nearly three quarters of tax returns filed by illegal aliens received such tax credits, while the rest are paid under the table by dishonest business owners.

    In just one instance an illegal alien with $14,000 income not only paid no taxes, but received a refund of $10,000. In another example found four illegal immigrants in one mobile home who claimed 20 dependents. They received nearly $30,000 from the IRS, but only one child was living in the home. The I.R.S. has dished out billions in Tax refunds to illegal migrants and immigrants due to this refundable “additional child tax credit,” which gives eligible families $1000 per child, ignoring warnings about these abuses from the agency’s own inspector general.

    Is it no wonder states are in such a miserable way, when their forced to financially support every illegal alien? All I can say to every patriotic American is to call Senators and House members Washington number at 202-224-3121. The Congress, specifically from GOP House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio and Dave Camp of Michigan, as the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee to stop blocking the 50-state E-Verify bill. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 that would, eliminate the practice of Birthright Citizenship by requiring at least one parent of children born in the United States to be a U.S. citizen.. Birthright citizenship for illegal aliens not only compensates illegal immigration and adds to the population growth, it also acts as a “footing” for illegal-alien family members to remain in the United States and eventually legalize their status.

    There are 87 Sponsors for the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R.140) and needs every patriotic American assistance to get this amendment passed to bypass the current travesty. Last but not least is the nationwide ‘Secure Communities’ law that any illegal alien caught, will be detained by local police and fingerprints sent to ICE for investigation of criminal acts. Although Obama has decided that not all foreign nationals are criminals, even though they entered America in the first place and millions procured U.S. citizens ID, to obtain work. That in the law books is one misdemeanor and one felony, although entering another country jurisdiction should be a felony in any case?

    As to the Dream Act, I think it could be assessed that some of the millions of children slipped into the country by their parents, could receive a special visa to stay, but not under the Democratic policies. The Republican criteria of mandatory military service and high achieving scholars would benefit, but no guarantee of a path to citizenship. Eligible individuals would still have to apply for permanent status through the regular channels. Sen. Marco Rubio has drafted his own plan but he stated, “he’s concerned some of those the young people could sponsor their parents – the very people who brought their children to the U.S. illegally. That could open the door to as many as 3 million new immigrants”. This would open the welfare door even wider than it is now. Agreeing to financially sponsor family members only work for a short time, then the whole load of entitlements falls heavily on the taxpayer once again.

    The Tea Party does not discriminate against any citizen, naturalized citizen or permanent resident, but is in opposition to the unlawful immigration occupation from any person, from any country who came here without consent of the nation. The TEA PARTY encompasses small and large chapters throughout America of every nationality, every race and every faith denomination? If you cherish your sovereignty it is imperative we reject the growing rot in Congress that will benefit all of us, whereas the TEA PARTY is the place to be. We the People are discouraged and angry with both parties and they need to get it through in their head to listen to every voter or find themselves in the unemployment Line with an old dinosaur as Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.


  • hacimo

    This simple fact is that the republican base is through giving amnesty to Illegal Aliens and Romney’s self deportation proposal is perfectly feasible and affordable. After we are through with them, those illegals that don’t leave voluntarily will need to spend the rest of their lives cleaning toilets for half the minimum wage. Even that is too good for such parasites. The republican base is also through with pandering for the fickle support of a few more Latino’s. We have tried to meet them halfway man to man in 1986. We went soft and listened to their sob stories and offered them amnesty on the promise that it was a one time deal. But those days are over and they are such traitors as to support illegal immigrants then they had best join the Blacks in the democrat ghetto. Lets see what it gets them. The democrats have played them for suckers and broken every promise they ever made. They are spitting in their face and they think its raining.

  • Delaware Bob

    The DREAM Act is amnesty, and that is why I was always against the DREAM Act, but, I’ll give in to the DREAM Act under two conditions. First, the parents who bought their illegal alien children here illegally MUST be deported. Second, the parents can NEVER return to this country and the student can NEVER sponsor them or any other family member that would start a chain migration. The student will start the DREAM Act as soon as the parents are deported or leave. This, I believe, is a good compromise. The students will be rewarded for something that was not their fault and the parents will pay for their crime of entering this country illegally and putting their child in this position. If you do not like this compromise, then the parents can just take their children back to the country from which they came. AGREE? If not, let all of them pack their bags and get the hell out of this country. They DO NOT belong here.

    Illegal immigration is a cancer, it has to be eradicated not tolerated.

  • Mark Sappenfield

    Deleware Bob, Your answer is no answer. Breaking up families is completely wrong. Obviously your definition of compromise does not fit the dictionary definition. My way or the highway is not compromise. Maybe you should pack your bags and move to Afghanistan or Iran. It’s time to get your passport from the post office. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

  • magyart

    Self deportation is a humaine way to fight ILLEGAL immigration.

    Remember to vote agaisnt the politicians that support ILLEGAL residents, over LEGAL residents.