(Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would not seek to revoke the visas issued under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which allows the children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country.
"The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased," Romney told The Denver Post in a Monday interview. "Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."
Obama announced in June that the Justice Department would no longer seek to deport undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors, have no criminal record and have graduated from high school, served in the military or received a GED. The decision was based upon legislation called the "DREAM Act."
During the Republican nomination contests, Romney said he did not support the DREAM Act, which has been passed by several states. After Obama announced his executive decision, Romney argued that it was a short-term solution that made a long-term solution more difficult.
Those qualified, dubbed "DREAMers," began lining up in mid-August to pay the $465 fee and apply for the DACA program. According to some reports, 72,000 had applied in the first month.
Some potential applicants may have decided to wait to see if there would be a change in administration after the election before deciding whether or not to apply. Romney's announcement could encourage them to go ahead and apply now.
According to Romney's campaign website, he supports giving permanent resident status to young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents if they serve in the military. He also says he opposes amnesty and any policy that would give undocumented immigrants an advantage in the application process over those who apply from outside the United States for legal resident status.