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Romney’s Hypocrisy on Illegal Workers Exposed

Posted on Dec 1, 2006
Mitt Romney
From ThinkProgress

Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney

Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2008 presidential hopeful and outspoken critic of illegal immigration, has for years employed a landscaping firm that uses undocumented workers to tend this home’s lawn.

It’s not the action we care about; it’s the hypocrisy.

  • And lest you think this is not a big deal, remember that former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik had to withdraw as a nominee for homeland security chief after it emerged that he had employed an undocumented nanny.

  • ThinkProgress:

    The Boston Globe reports today that for the past decade, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has employed a landscaping company that relies heavily on undocumented Guatemalan immigrants. The company, Community Lawn Service with a Heart, also tended to the lawn at Romney’s son’s house.

    When asked by a reporter about his use of Community Lawn Service with a Heart, Romney said, “Aw, geez,” and walked away. But in the past, Romney has been a vocal hardline critic of illegal immigration:

    “You have to have a wall or a fence or electronic surveillance. And you have to have a tamper-proof document to make sure that people who are here are aliens are identified and registered, and people can not hire them unless they’re here legally.” [Fox News, 9/19/06]


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    By Skruff, December 20, 2006 at 6:50 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Comment #42863 by Daniel on 12/19 at 4:09 pm says:

    I am just as bad as Mitt.

    Yeah, but I don’t have to put up with your campaign, your right wing diatrabs or your ultra religious holier than thou hyprocracy.

    People in public office have the responsibility to insure they pass the “stink test” Romney stinks!

    Report this

    By Daniel, December 19, 2006 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yup, we are all just as guilty.  I think we might have bought meat that was processed at a Swift Co. plant, and as we all know now, they use illegal immigrants, so we are guilty too.  In fact, I think I purchased a hamburger from a fast food restaurant that may use illegal immigrants, I am just as bad as Mitt.

    Report this

    By RS Janes, December 4, 2006 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yep, Romney wouldn’t be smart enough to figure out that those Hispanic guys doing his lawn on the cheap might be illegal immigrants.

    Either that, or the landscaping company was bleeding him dry.

    Most people with nice suburban lawns and foliage to cut use this dodge if caught hiring illegal workers—“It’s the contracting company’s fault!”

    Building contractors often use the same excuse when nailed for illegal workers.

    I might buy this because he is, after all, a Republican, but I didn’t think he was a graduate student at the Denny Hastert School of Dumb.

    Report this

    By Skruff, December 3, 2006 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I’d buy the
    “I didn’t know” “I hired the company” pitch from any normal out of public life Joe (or Mary)

    But, in a world where Romney can determine the political mindset of the people he will address or talk to at campaign rallies… I would guess he either knew or didn’t care who was mowing his lawn….

    State Police Security screen checks all folks who work for Massachusetts’ elected officials or folks who have access to Governor’s or Leutenant Governor’s residence. I would assume this would include green cards or valid SS#‘s

    AND the “We hired the company” line did not work for Walmart.;=!business&s=1045855934855

    Report this

    By Barry, December 3, 2006 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Ya blew it, Truthdig. Happy Anniversary, but look carefully—someone on your staff just left a “floater” in the party punchbowl.

    As others here have said, there’s a world of difference between DIRECTLY HIRING an illegal alien and hiring a company that may employ them.

    Ergo, no comparison between Romney and Bernie Kerik. Try harder from now on, eh?

    Report this

    By Dave Becker, December 3, 2006 at 10:31 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    MD makes the point well that there’s a world of legal difference between directly hiring an individual to do personal service for you (like a nanny) - where you as the employer are responsible for verifying immigration status - and hiring a company to provide a service - where the company you hire is supposed to comply with the law and verify immigration status of ITS employees. 

    I don’t particularly like Romney, but I don’t see the hypocricy in hiring a company to do something for you and assuming that it is complying with the law.  Think of the number of companies or entities each of us deals with on a daily basis (plumbers, electrical contractors, auto repair shops, government agencies, restaurants, maybe even nannies) - how could it make sense to have a standard that the only way you can criticize the immigration laws or their enforcement, and not be labeled a “hypocrite,” is if you personally verify whether every company/entity you receive services from has not hired an illegal immigrant??  That’s ridiculous.  I have no legal responsibility to make sure that the meal I eat at a little hole-in-the-wall Peruvian restaurant is being served by someone who is legally entitled to work in this country - that’s the restaurant owner’s job.  I am not going to ask to see the cook’s green card before I order my chifa and Inka Cola. 

    Indeed, this episode probably supports one of the points that Romney and other immigration bashers make—that there has to be more enforcement of employers’ verification of immigration status and the prohibition of hiring undocumented workers.  It’s probably the only thing I agree with them on, because letting employers easily hire undocumented workers only puts those people in a position to be exploited because of the cudgel of their immigration status that the employer can hold over their head.  But in Romney’s case was the landscaping company’s responsibility to follow the labor and immigration laws - not the responsibility of the person buying the company’s services. 

    If Romney had hired an undocumented individual, directly, to mow his lawn, then you have a different story, and clear-cut hypocricy.  Truthdig posting this story without acknowledging the difference is rather Fox-News-esque, and very disturbing for a site that I’ve read since its inception a year ago because of its commitment to truthful reporting.

    Report this

    By Thinker, December 2, 2006 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Hhe really needs a big smokescreen to hide this shit. Guess he’ll have to push twice as hard with his mean-spirited homophobic agenda against gay marraige. Like heterosexual marraiges are crumbling right and left in MA now that gay marraige is legal.

    Report this

    By RS Janes, December 2, 2006 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It’s getting to the ‘man bites dog’ point where the news story will be finding a conservative Republican who isn’t a king-high hypocrite.

    Report this

    By Ponder, December 2, 2006 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yup this willget his “magic underwear” in a bunch.

    Report this

    By MIA .....Massachusetts Gov., December 2, 2006 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The MIA .....Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

    Done little other than hold residents

    hostage from state funds.  Why?  All to make his

    presidential run look good, but in truth, he is

    a wolf that will eat anyone.  He is lethal to

    the middle class,

                buyer BEWARE!

    “Return Package to Sender” Utah I believe in a

    deep dark hole within the mountains!

    Report this

    By Jeff Koons, December 2, 2006 at 12:08 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    What is Romney guilty of?  Hiring a company that didn’t check out the citizenship of its employees?  Does that make Grocery chains guilty because they buy produce from farms that hire illegals?  Or am I guilty if I eat at McDonalds and they have an illegal immigrant cooking in the back.  After all, I am in essence, hiring McDonalds to cook my food like Romney hired a company to mow his lawn.

    Report this

    By M D, December 1, 2006 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Next time you guys go buy a burrito, should you have to ask the person at the tacqueria if they are in the country legally?  There is a huge difference between directly employing someone (requiring payments to FICA, Social Security, etc..) and hiring a contractor who then holds the responsibility of ensuring everything is in order.  The Boston Globe is trying to make a mountain out of every molehill they find regarding Mitt Romney and it’s starting to look like they’re desperate now.

    Report this

    By demohypocrates, December 1, 2006 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    He hired a company not the workers.  If an illegal served him a cheeseburger at Micky D’s would he also be a hypocrite?

    Report this

    By IllegalImmigrationIntroduction, December 1, 2006 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Does Jon B have any evidence that Romney knew they were illegal aliens? And, note that he didn’t hire them, they were employees of a company he paid to do lawn work.

    If you want to really dig out some truth, ask “cui bono?” from cases like this. And, ask yourself whether cases like this will increase or decrease illegal immigration.

    Report this

    By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, Phd, December 1, 2006 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mitt’s kinda cute and a squeaky clean, rich white boy with extremely high moral standards owing to his devout Morman affiliation.  Better watch out, these make his chances pretty good in this country.

    Report this

    By Skruff, December 1, 2006 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    A Massachusetts Governor wins the Rupublican primaries for the #1 position…

    Folks sometimes spend too much time considering the unlikely. 

    Wonder if there are any illegals working at McCain’s house in Az

    Report this

    By Margaret Currey, December 1, 2006 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    When people were on welfare, no one asked if these people could be trained to hold down a job, only when someone said train these people could some people leave welfare, but people should be aware that there are a lot of people trained to use a computer, but a lot of jobs are outsourced.  Now the cry is illegal immigration and the very people who hire illegals say if they are hidden its o.k.  For years illegals were hired by companies and they knew it.  The corporations get a form of welfare also, and this pits the rich against the poor, and seems as though the Republicians always, always side with the rich, even when it comes to money and the banks, make it easier for the poor to get credit, but these same credit people will raise interests rates even if the company is not even their own, all this was o.k.yed by the supreme court, now the supreme court makes these same credit people to collect their money, make the people responsible for their actions, in the mean time make it easier and easier for them to get into debt.  Does anyone notice all the loan sharks called payday loans?

    Margaret of Vancouver, Washington

    Report this

    By Jon B, December 1, 2006 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Knowingly to hire illegals is against the law.
    Mick Ronmey ought to be prosecuted just like everyone else. A law breaker has no right to speak for the state and the nation.

    Report this

    By Pamela Armstrong, December 1, 2006 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Hey, I thought he was a really straight Morman with values.

    “Aw, Geez”  Isn’t that short for “Aw, Jesus”?

    and isn’t that considered taking the Lords name in vain, or at least an improper curse????

    It seems that he is just full of hypocracy.

    Report this
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