Mitt Romney: 'I won’t settle for a stopgap measure' on immigration

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“Tomorrow, President Obama will speak here, for the first time since his last campaign. He may admit that he hasn’t kept every promise. And he’ll probably say that, even though you aren’t better off today than you were four years ago, things could be worse,” Romney said.

“He’ll imply that you really don’t have an alternative. He’s taking your vote for granted,” Romney continued. “I’ve come here today with a simple message: You do have an alternative. Your vote should be respected. And your voice is more important now than ever before.”

Ever since Obama’s announcement of the change in deportation policy, Romney faced enormous pressure to deliver a strong address in Orlando. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) earlier this week said his caucus would be looking for Romney to set the party’s message on immigration issues.

Romney offered new details on how he’d tackle immigration reform, an issue that divides his party and is seen as crucial in an election against Obama that could come down to Hispanic voters in swing states.

He also reversed course on a key part of the DREAM Act, pledging to provide permanent residency for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and graduate from college. This is a major shift from Romney’s message in the GOP primaries, when he only pledged to provide that path for illegal immigrants who serve in the military.

The DREAM Act would provide a path for legal residence for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children who go to college or serve in the military. When Obama announced the deportation decision last week, he scolded Republicans in Congress for holding the bill up.

But Romney again avoided saying whether he'd uphold Obama’s move on deportations.

“Some people have asked if I will let stand the president's executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure,” Romney said. “As president, I won’t settle for a stopgap measure.”

For more on Romney's speech, click here.