Staffing Change at the 'Sanctuary Mansion'
Less than a week after former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney defended himself during a debate against accusations that he had hired a company that used illegal immigrants to care for his lawn as governor, Romney's campaign announced that today he fired the same lawn care company for again employing illegal immigrants.
In a statement, Romney said that he had given the company a second chance a year ago, allowing it to continue work on his house in Massachusetts with the understanding that it would not employ undocumented immigrants.
His statement today came after the Boston Globe presented evidence to the campaign that the lawn care company employed undocumented workers.
"The company's failure to comply with the law is disappointing and inexcusable, and I believe it is important I take this action," Romney said in the statement.
He also released a copy of the short letter of termination he sent to Mr. Ricardo Saenz of Community Lawn Service.
"Given your company's disregard for the clear instructions provided on this issue last year, I am forced to terminate my contract with your company, effective immediately," the letter stated. "My family will no longer utilize your services and all scheduled visits are cancelled as of today. I am disappointed that our relationship must end on this note, but we simply cannot tolerate your inability to ensure that your employees are legally permitted to work in the United States."
The decision highlights a key issue in the Republican presidential nominating contest, and a particular concern for Romney, who has been battling former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani oveer their immigration records for weeks.
Giuliani was particularly harsh during last week's YouTube/CNN debate, when he publicly berated Romney for having employed illegal immigrants himself. Romney said he never knowingly hired illegal immigrants, but instead hired a company that was later found to have been employing undocumented workers.
What Romney did not say was that he had given the company a second chance.
--Michael D. Shear
Washington Post editors
December 4, 2007; 8:08 PM ET
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