Top House Dem calls on Romney to take a stand on Obama’s new deportation rules

A leading House Democrat called on Mitt Romney this week to take a stand on President Obama's new, more lenient deportation rules.

Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, has so far declined to state if he would repeal Obama's executive decision to allow some illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay in the country and work without fear of deportation.

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Rep. Xavier Becerra, vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, accused Romney Tuesday of being "AWOL" on the issue. The California liberal, himself the son of immigrants, said voters deserve to know Romney's clear position.

"Mitt Romney, if you're out there, if you can hear us, where do you stand on helping these young kids in America go on and live productive lives in the country they've known almost all their life?" "You want to be president? Be presidential [and] tell us what you would do if you don't like what President Obama has done." 

The Department of Homeland Security last Friday overhauled its immigration policy, announcing that it will forgo deportations for high-achieving young illegal immigrants brought to the United States before the age of 16.

A number of conservative groups and rank-and-file Republicans have blasted the change as "amnesty" for people they say broke the law the moment they crossed over the border. 

GOP leaders, however, have been much more quiet, choosing to attack Obama's methods rather than the policy itself for fear of alienating Hispanic voters ahead of November's elections.

Romney has been among the Republican leaders to dodge questions about the new policy, declining repeatedly in recent days to say whether he would repeal the decision if he were elected. Instead, the former Massachusetts governor has attacked Obama for playing politics.

“I think the timing is pretty clear. If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months,” Romney told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Democratic leaders, meanwhile, have been shouting their praise of the new policy from the rafters. Becerra on Tuesday called the move "a great victory for all of those who have fought so long and so hard to give these kids a chance."