Though Mitt Romney initially punted when asked about his stance on President Obama's major shift in U.S. immigration policy, the GOP Presidential candidate said Thursday that he would replace Obama's "temporary fix" with a permanent solution while speaking at a Hispanic leadership conference.
“Some people have asked if I will let stand the President’s executive order,” said Romney. "The answer is that i will put in place my own long term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure. As President, I will not settle for stop-gap measures."
He went on to say that he will “prioritize efforts that strengthen legal immigration and make it transparent and easier."
"We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it," Romney added.
Watch Romney's comments at the Hispanic leadership conference NALEO on Thursday:
Obama's new directive, which was not approved by Congress and is being called an "executive order" by some, will prevent hundreds of thousands of young illegal aliens from being deported if they meet a specified set of guidelines laid out by the Department of Homeland Security.
Romney argued Obama did "just enough to get him through the election" in regards to immigration reform. He lamented, "I think you deserve better."
"Despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform. For two years, this president had huge majorities in the house and senate... but he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. Nothing," Romney said. "Instead, he failed to act until facing a touch reelection, and trying to secure your vote."
Among Romney's other presidential ambitions are to "re-double efforts to secure the border," field more Border Patrol agents, and completing a high-tech border fence.
He also said the U.S. benefits when immigrant families are kept together and not separated, but he argues, "today too many families are caught in a broken system." To address this, Romney said he would issue more green cards to those who "seek to keep their families under one roof" and eliminate unnecessary red tape for certain immigrants.