When he receives the Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service tonight from the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will use his speech as an occasion to criticize Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s immigration policies.
The mayor’s remarks follow last month’s appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” at which time he debated former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on immigration.
According to an excerpt from him speech, Villaraigosa is expected to say:
They have agreed that we need a system that reflects our values and that serves our country, our economy and the very underpinnings of the opportunity so fundamental to our society.
Unfortunately now, the likely Republican nominee for President has clearly rejected this rough consensus.
For the first time in modern memory, a major political party is poised to nominate a presidential candidate who has abandoned immigration reform and instead advocates self-deportation.
We have a candidate who on Martin Luther King Day, a day celebrating racial reconciliation, had the architect of Arizona and Alabama’s draconian anti-immigration laws campaign for him.
This is beyond the pale.
And we are obligated to say so.