Former Senator Advises Mitt: The Public Can’t Handle Immigration Discussion

This year’s presidential candidates are taking a different approach to their campaigns: they’re going to avoid mentioning important yet sensitive topics that Americans can’t handle. Like immigration.

Or at least, that’s how election season would play out if former Senator Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) had his say. Last week, he generously bestowed his personal advice to Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney: “The immigration issue is too difficult to deal with in the public context,” said Martinez. (The Hill, Aug. 29, 2012)

Martinez, who was announced in June as a National Advisory Board member of Romney’s Hispanic Steering Committee, eagerly spoke on behalf of the presidential hopeful. (Boston Globe, June 6, 2012) “I think [Romney’s] decided that he’s going to deal with this issue as president and not as a candidate,” said Martinez, who, according to The Hill, also encouraged immigration reform discussions to be held in private, away from the watchful public. (The Hill, Aug. 29, 2012)

It’s not surprising to hear Martinez encourage Romney to put off immigration talks until after he’s secured the oval office. After all, Martinez is likely hoping Romney will support pro-amnesty policies—something voters don’t want to hear.

Martinez, referred to by some as “Amnesty Mel,” spent his entire term as a Senator pushing “pathway to citizenship” policies, before becoming a lobbyist for international business interests. (Orlando Sentinel, Sep. 10, 2009) Martinez also had a run as the President of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 2006-2007, brought on to help carry President Bush to a “comprehensive immigration reform” victory. (RealClearPolitics, Nov. 16, 2006) Those initiatives failed, as have countless other pro-amnesty pushes in Congress.

Unfortunately, that isn’t deterring Martinez from attempting to reignite that particular wing of the Republican Party. He already has allies from his home state: Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who compiled their own versions of the DREAM Act earlier this year. Rep. Rivera’s bill can be viewed here, though Sen. Rubio’s bill admittedly was shelved after being upstaged by President Obama’s decision to grant deferred action and employment authorization to nearly two million illegal aliens. (The Hill, June 18, 2012; see also FAIR Legislative Update, June 19, 2012)

Vice Presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis), recently gave a big hint that he subscribed to that blog, praising “Marco Rubio’s leadership on this issue.” Ryan said, “Marco Rubio was on the cusp of introducing the bipartisan solution to immigration problems.” (FLDemocracy2012, Aug. 19, 2012)

Despite this harbinger that Ryan might be open to amnesty discussions, Romney’s policy positions will be the ones that prevail in their campaign. Hopefully Romney will listen to the voices of the American people and leave the failed amnesty agenda in the past.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    First you have to remember that former Senator Martinez is a complete and total moron. It is still inconceivable that this halfwit could ever be elected to dogcatcher much less the U.S. Senate.
    Yes I am a die hard Repupublican but the truth is the truth.

  2. avatar

    I think Romney should do an Obama/Putin and wait until after the election too.

    We assume Romney will secure Borders and be sensible on issues re illegals.
    If he isn’t after getting in we can counter him. We are getting better at that. Numbers USA and 1million faxes to congress had an effect.
    Obama promised Hispanics the moon and did not do anything until he tried to cover his gaffe on the Economy and the Private sector. Wag the dog.
    The radio stations were full of rage against him in Spanish at having been tricked …then he did the Nightmare Act.
    Romney mentioned being compassionate toward the illegals already here. Ok so let them self deport after no more work or freebies.
    That is the most and least I will accept.
    I know some would be willing let tax $$ go to deporting, but without free stuff and stolen work they will go home to the casa and, cantina they built with American money.they sent “home”.

  3. avatar
    richard harris on

    Amnesty for the 40 million illegal immigrants in this country will translate into 25 million votes for Democrats 5 million for Republicans and 10 million not old enough to vote. This will result in a slaughter of Republicans at the polls. Any Republicans supporting amnesty should be given an IQ test.

  4. avatar

    It is also important to remember that once given amnesty, these former illegal aliens will now be considered oppressed minorities, and therefore will be given hiring preferences, especially for government jobs. If I were a low income African-American or other minority, I would be really angry. Has this country done such a great job of raising up our own poor, that now we can take on the poor people of the third world?

    • avatar

      I concur . One case in point…the black sheetrock workers in the L.A. area who have been largely underbid by Hispanic illegals.

  5. avatar

    Actually, it’s only the GOP which is scared to talk about immigration, because their position is becoming increasingly unpopular. Meanwhile, the Democrats are featuring DREAMers front and center, putting comprehensive immigration reform in its platform, and not shying away from confronting complex issues like immigration. They feel more confident doing this, because more and more Americans agree with their positions. Support for Deferred Action is over 65% now.

    • avatar

      It’s only unpopular with la raza, liberals and the opened borders crowd, otherwise the majority of American’s support their stance on illegal immigration.. over 70% of American’s support Arizona Law as do most Independents, not liberal dems..

  6. avatar

    Notice the language used by amnesty pushers, the DREAM Act. Sounds dreamy enough until you understand the realities of it. First, it would be hugely expensive to American taxpayers who already foot the bill for illegal aliens. Second, young Americans, who are suffering massive unemployment, would then have to compete with illegal aliens who came here and not just the citizen babies who were unlawfully granted birthright citizenship. The left will always attempt to sway with false language when the debate is clearly against them, i.e. “We are going to cut taxes to allow you to keep more of your money”(clearly an oxymoron) and “The SCOTUS is in place to interpret the Constitution”(No, the SCOTUS is in place to UPHOLD the Constitution). These little changes in language often go unnoticed but have huge impacts on our society.

  7. avatar

    There are lots of DEMs who think ignoring the existing law on immigratition is OK. And lots of illegals who think they should be rewarded and not held accountable for being illegal. I say deport all of the illegals, then there will be more jobs for true Americans, We are supposed to be a nation of laws, not men. I say enforce the laws! If you think they should be changed, then work to that end.

    The guilty parties who caused the open borders problem are president Bush 1 and 2 and Clinton.

    • avatar

      I concur. You may thank slick Willy for NAFTA , EO 13166, and the income tax on Social Security retirement checks. You may thank “W” for the SPP (North American Union of Mexico,USA, and Canada) which is moving along with it’s NAFTA Super Highway between a Pacific port in Mexico, through the USA to a Mexican run customs house in Kansas, to Canada. (info courtesy of Selous Foundation and other sources).

  8. avatar

    This country is doomed if we don’t start enforcing our laws. How absurd this country has become. We are run today by “politically correctness” instead of the Constitution And rule of law.

    We have immigration laws for a reason. To vet out criminals, people with communicable diseases and people that have no means of support. You spit in the face of every legal immigrant when you help ILLEGALS.

  9. avatar

    I agree with Stacey. For me that is a vote for Obama, unless Romney/Ryan speak up!

    The only idiots out there are in WASHINGTON, DC

  10. avatar

    The politiciand are th eones that “can’t handle it”. The citizens would have handled it a LONG time ago! Someone needs to throw Amnesty Mel under the Undocubus!

  11. avatar

    We/I DO want to know where Mitt Romney stands on this issue! We CAN handle it.The government isn’t dealing with a bunch of morons out here ya know!

    • avatar

      Ex-Senator Mel Martinez, a moderate who resigned a few years back, is one of the last persons in the world to give advice on discussing ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. None of the appeasers understands the meaning of the word ILLEGAL and they refuse to acknowledge the damage these ILLEGALS do the America. Do not pay attention to false prophets!!

      • avatar

        There are a hole bunch of these opened borders RINO’s in the RNC, Mel M. is Marco Rubio’s mentor as Rubio wrote his own DreamAct and then had private meetings with the likes of Luis Gutierrez, Mendez of NJ and other opened borders, amnesty advocates. Let us not forget Jeb Bush, Carl Rove and Juan McCain just to name a few, that don’t want the Romney ticket to discuss this most important issue. WE as American Citizens who witness and deal with the invasion of our sovereign nation everyday, had better start emailing, calling and making our collective voices heard. Gov. Romney made his point during the debates on this topic, let him stand by his words and I will stand right with him..