Rick Perry showed up on the CNN debate stage Tuesday night with a specific line of attack for Mitt Romney all about immigration. He dredged up a controversy dating back to 2006 about Romney hiring illegal immigrants to care for his lawn.
Perry, who faced criticism of his own over his support of a Texas law that allows children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition for college, referred to a controversy outlined in aBoston Globe story from December 2007 reporting that Romney continued to employ a company that used illegal immigrant workers a year after he found out about the practice.
The story outlined how Romney first “lashed out” at a 2007 Florida debate at 2008 GOP presidential candidate and ex-New York City Rudy Giuliani for harboring illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities.
“Yet, the very next morning...at least two illegal immigrants stepped out of a hulking maroon pickup truck in the driveway of Romney’s Belmont house, then proceeded to spend several hours raking leaves, clearing debris from Romney’s tennis court, and loading the refuse back on to the truck,” the Globe reported.
The Globe stated that the lawn care was “part of a regular pattern.”
“Despite a Globe story in Dec. 2006 that highlighted Romney’s use of illegal immigrants to tend to his lawn, Romney continued to employ the same landscaping company -- until today. The landscaping company, in turn, continued to employ illegal immigrants.”
According to the Globe, Romney gave the company a second chance to comply with the law, but after he was informed by the newspaper that the company continued to hire illegal immigrants, he fired the company and its workers.
On stage in Nevada on Tuesday, when faced with Perry’s sharp attacks on the issue, Romney said that he had addressed it previously and wanted to correct it, reasoning at the time that he couldn’t have illegal immigrants working for him because, he said, “I’m running for office.”