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Bill Adair
By Bill Adair November 28, 2007

Right facts, but they don't prove Romney weak on immigration

The Giuliani campaign has responded several times to Romney's attacks on "sanctuary cities" by alleging that it was Romney who was weak on immigration because he did not speak up or take action against Massachusetts cities that had similar policies to New York's.

Giuliani is on solid ground with this attack. There's no evidence that Romney spoke up or took action against those cities.

But Romney's inaction does not necessarily confirm the Giuliani campaign's larger point –- that Romney was soft on illegal immigration.

Late in his term, Romney approved a plan to deputize state troopers to help enforce immigration laws, although the plan was not implemented because it was rescinded by his successor, Gov. Deval Patrick.

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We expect to see this allegation repeated as the campaign goes on, though. The Giuliani campaign has apparently been searching for cities with policies of not turning in illegal immigrants; they recently upped their count of Massachusetts sanctuary cities from three to six.

We rate Giuliani's claim as Mostly True because, although the facts are right, there's not enough evidence to back up Giuliani's larger point that Romney was not aggressive on illegal immigration.

Our Sources

Interviews: Tamar Jacoby, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute; Angela Kelley, director of the American Immigration Law Foundation's Immigration Policy Center.

Boston Globe, GOP rivals spar on immigration , Aug. 15, 2007

Congressional Research Service, Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement, Aug. 14, 2006

Pew Hispanic Center, Unauthorized Migrants: Numbers and Characteristics, June 2005

CNN, Romney, Giuliani square off, Aug. 14, 2007

Executive Order 124, New York City Policy Concerning Aliens, Aug. 7, 1989

Rudy Giuliani campaign, Romney and Illegal Immigration, Nov. 28, 2007.

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Right facts, but they don't prove Romney weak on immigration

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