Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday used the attention surrounding the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law to level criticism at President Barack Obama for allegedly failing to spearhead comprehensive immigration policies.
“Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy,” Romney said in a statement. “I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities.”
Added Romney, “as Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office. But 4 years later, we are still waiting.”
The Supreme Court upheld language in the Arizona law requiring state officers to verify the immigration status of stopped individuals if they suspect them of being in the country illegally. However, a provision allowing officers to arrest individuals suspected of being in the country illegally as well as sections that would make not carrying immigration papers or looking for work while undocumented misdemeanors were struck down as a unconstitutional.
Romney is appearing in Scottsdale, Arizona Monday for a fundraiser.
Immigration has become a major election year issue after President Obama announced that his administration would defer deportation for some undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before they were 16.
Mitt Romney opposed the decision, arguing that a more substantial policy needed to be passed through Congress. He has not yet said if he would rescind the executive order if elected.
During an appearance last week before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Romney fleshed out his immigration stance by promising to streamline the immigration process for those who attempt to become citizens legally as well as Green Cards for those who pursue military service or achieve an advanced degree.