Former George W. Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales doesn’t disagree with the thought behind President Obama’s executive action changing the way immigration policy will be enforced for the children of illegal immigrants — but he says that Obama may have violated his oath of office when he made the move.
“To halt through executive order the deportation of some undocumented immigrants looks like a political calculation to win Hispanic votes,” Gonzales told the crowd at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C. Saturday, “and subjects him to criticism that he is violating his oath of office by selectively failing to enforce the law.”
This is not to say that Gonzales is opposed to what Obama’s trying to do.
“I agree providing help to qualified children of immigrants, the president’s new policy does nothing to secure our borders or require greater workplace enforcement nor deal with visa overstayers nor deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants who entered this country as adults,” he told the crowd.
Last week, Gonzales urged Mitt Romney to back away from some of his past hardline postions on immigration in order to close the gap among Hispanic voters with Obama.
“You run the risk that you’re going to be viewed as a flip-flopper,” he told the Huffington Post, “but I’d rather be right on the policy and accused as a flip-flopper than continue to be wrong on the policy.”
But Gonzales wouldn’t carry that through to Obama’s immigration policy change. TPM asked Gonzales after his speech if Romney should keep Obama’s new policy in place if he’s elected, or if he should scrap it. Gonzales dodged.
“I’m already on record supporting helping these kids,” he said. “We need to provide some kind of help for these kids,” he told another reporter.