Mitt Romney, Immigration Feature in S. Florida Congressional Race

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 20, 2014 3:55 AM
Carlos Curbelo, Mitt Romney, Joe Garcia

Carlos Curbelo, Mitt Romney, Joe Garcia

Immigration and a former presidential candidate are taking center stage in one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation. 

Earlier this week, just in time for early voting for the Republican primary, former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., the GOP’s presidential candidate in 2012, hit South Florida to campaign with Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo who is running for his party’s nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., in November. The other candidates in the primary are Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, former Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck and former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla.

Romney endorsed Curbelo -- who also has the backing of prominent Florida Republicans including former Gov. Jeb Bush, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., and members of Congress -- earlier in the month.

"I am proud to stand with Carlos Curbelo, a young conservative leader who will work hard to reform our government, balance the budget, and improve the quality of life for the people of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties,” Romney said in his endorsement. “As an education reformer, Carlos puts students first. In Washington, he will put his community and our country first. I urge my friends in Florida's 26th Congressional District to vote for Carlos Curbelo.”

Curbelo praised Romney on Monday for helping “share my vision for a better economy and more responsible, ethical government for the people of Southern Florida.”

Democrats protested events with Romney and Curbelo, hitting the Republicans on Medicare and other issues.

“Carlos Curbelo and Mitt Romney are two peas in a pod when it comes to putting themselves and their dysfunctional politics over South Florida families,” said Max Steele, a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party. “Miami area residents want a representative they can trust to stand up for the middle class, seniors and their values – which is why South Florida rejected Romney before and will do the same to Curbelo in November.”

Immigration is also becoming an issue as both Garcia and Curbelo look ahead to the fall. Curbelo engaged in a debate over the weekend with his primary rivals on WPLG-ABC 10’s “This Week in South Florida” in which immigration played a major role.

“As a school board member, I know just how big of a crisis this is and what it costs and the toll it takes on our community,” he said. “These children, we have to recognize they're victims, but we have to send them back delicately and with the dignity they deserve.” Curbelo said. He also said illegals should have “basic due process” but insisted a weak immigration policy would send the wrong message.

For his part, with school starting this week, Garcia shone the spotlight on children who came to the United States illegally who are now taking classes in public schools.

“This being the first day of school, we wanted to make sure these children were getting the right treatment and, yeah, they’re going to school,” Garcia told CBS 4 in Miami. “This is not a burden on our local school board, this is not a burden on our local government but we wanted to make sure.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

Comments (2)

The Swampfox
10:43AM AUG 20TH 2014
ITS' NOT FOR THE CHILDREN! It's for an agenda using the children as the shield in order to progress their cause.. My father came through Ellis Island, had a sponsor, was taught to speak English (what a novel idea!!!!) and had a J-O-B- He contributed to the society he wanted to a part of. The immigration issues of sending children 1000 of miles to our border for medical help, schooling or whatever is not the USA's problem! The problem lies with the country they originate from, and I am sure I don't have to go into a huge explanation as to why our borders should be sealed. Just in case there are some libs reading this that are scratching their heads let me direct you to 9/11 can you connect the dots??? If not please don't vote. This isn't like a boat full of Cubans making the 90 mile trip to the shores of Florida escaping the wrath of Castro, that is what our immigration laws were meant to open our arms for, not an influx of individuals that got the word there's a new Sherriff on Pennsylvania Ave. the past (grueling) 6+ years that says come on in don't worry we'll take care of you BTW vote democratic when you get old enough. A government that robs Peter to pay Paul, can "always" depend on the support of Paul. This is the immigration policy of this administration. In response to Max Steele's comment about Romney's dysfunctional politics over South Florida's families is text book 101 liberalism "you can't do it yourself so we will do it for you!" Everything the democrats touch in Florida goes to hell it needs more money, its getting worse, for every one of their actions there is an equal and opposite government program...that fails! Hey Max, if Romney's dysfunctional politics as you allude to was true how do you account for his dead on predictions about Russia, the Middle East, and the economy? Two years ago he was able to see how wrong your policies are and how "WRONG" Obama was which has thrown our country into a tailspin. Not an impressive resume. Empowerment is the way to bring a community together having a stake in the achievement, not given a handout, how disrespectful. For some it is necessary we are all our brothers keepers but to subjugate under the guise of compassion is a sin. I am appalled at the Hispanic and Cuban communities on the east coast as to their support for the democratic party. The very thing you fled from to come here is the very thing you are supporting when supporting the democratic party and their failed policies. If the USA fails where will you go next?
The Swampfox
10:03AM AUG 20TH 2014
The USA is the country of opportunity not the country of "handouts" including illegal children entering this country. The immigration crisis in this country is out of control with the same monolithic drum beating foam at the mouth liberal gibberish "It's for the children" I swear if I hear that again from either side I will lambaste whoever dares to say those word in the context of immigration of raising of school taxes, because

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