During the Republican primaries, Romney said he would veto the DREAM Act — the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act — and complete a 2,000-mile border fence with Mexico to help stem illegal immigration.
Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod this week said Romney is "hopelessly twisted" on the issue of immigration. "He went as far to the right as he could in the primaries in order to become the nominee," Axelrod said. "Now he's desperately looking for a way out."
Romney seized on the temporary status of Obama's plan as his prime criticism. The Republican also vowed to offer illegal immigrants who serve in the military "a path to legal status," which the campaign says ultimately could allow for full citizenship.
But Romney's campaign could not immediately detail how many immigrants might be affected by his policies. Nor could they detail which would require legislative action.
"Despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform," Romney said. "For two years, this president had huge majorities in the House and Senate — he was free to pursue any policy he pleased. But he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. Nothing. Instead, he failed to act until facing a tough re-election and trying to secure your vote."
Romney also told the Latino officials that he would do away with Obama's signature health care law. Often a huge applause line with his audiences, his declaration prompted just a few to clap and one person in the audience booed.
Obama's campaign, which doesn't draw much attention to the health care law on the campaign trail, has made it a top issue in Spanish-language ads, targeting an audience that is among the most uninsured in the country.
Associated Press writer Steve Peoples in Orlando contributed to this report.
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