Ronald Reagan junior has criticized the Republican party’s stance on immigration and accused them of using it as a wedge issue.
Speaking on Tuesday’s MSNBC’s Hardball the son of former president Ronald Reagan said that that Mitt Romney “was more specific during the primaries. He was for self-deportation: he was for making it so miserable for immigrants in this country that they would simply leave the country.”
The problem he suggested is that the entire GOP is being vague regarding Obama’s new executive order on undocumented immigrants.
"If you knew what they were really all about, nobody would vote for them," Reagan told Chris Matthews on MSNBC.
"The Republican Party uses immigration as a wedge issue, for instance; but they know full well that if they were to actually deport all 12 million or so illegal immigrants in this country, that various industries like agriculture would simply collapse."
In 1986 Ronald Reagan introduced a sweeping immigration reform bill announcing that any illegal immigrant who entered the country before 1982 was eligible for amnesty. The controversial law granted amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants.
"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally," Ronald Reagan said in 1984.
Peter Robinson, a former Reagan speechwriter, told NPR. “It was in Ronald Reagan's bones — it was part of his understanding of America — that the country was fundamentally open to those who wanted to join us here.”