Romney Fires Landscapers over Immigration
BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.
RACHEL MARTIN: Hey, good morning everyone.
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has fired the landscaping company that cuts the lawn at his Massachusetts' home. The move comes a year after the Boston Globe newspaper revealed that the company was employing illegal immigrants. It's an issue that dogged Romney at the recent YouTube/CNN presidential debates last week.
NPR's Scott Horsley has more.
SCOTT HORSLEY: Romney fired the company Tuesday, more than a year after the Boston Globe broke the news that Community Lawn Service was employing illegal immigrants to cut the grass at Romney's Massachusetts' home. Romney says last year, he offered the company a second chance, with strict conditions that it verify the legal status of its employees. Confronted this week with evidence from the Globe that undocumented workers were still on the job, Romney fired the company. He calls its failure to comply with the law disappointing and inexcusable.
Romney has loudly criticized rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee for not being tough enough on illegal immigration. A 2005 study by the Pew Hispanic Center found about one in four landscapers nationwide was working in the country illegally.
MONTAGNE: That's NPR's Scott Horsley.
Now, some international headlines.
A suicide bomber smashed his car into a bus south of Kabul this morning, killing at least 13 people and wounding 20. The bus was carrying Afghan soldiers. The attack came on the last morning of a two-day visit by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. It was the second car bombing in two days in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks. The first happened yesterday when a suicide car bomb struck a NATO convoy on the road to the Kabul airport. That blast wounded 22 Afghan civilians.
Secretary Gates left Afghanistan and flew to Iraq for a surprise visit. It's the secretary's sixth visit to the country. Senior defense officials say Gates will use the trip to assess whether the downturn in violence in parts of the country can be sustained. Overall, there has been a steady decline of violence in Iraq in recent months, including dips in roadside bombs, other attacks, and in both U.S. and Iraqi casualties.
Amid all these reports, though, Iraqi officials are telling returning refugees, not so fast. The Iraqi government yesterday urged some refugees not to go back to their homes yet, saying the country is still unprepared to deal with their return. The minister of Displacement and Migration said in a press conference yesterday that Iraq simply can't handle a huge influx of people expected to return, and refugees outside Iraq should just sit tight for a while. According to the United Nations, about 40,000 Iraqis have fled their homeland, and another 10,000 are displaced inside Iraq.
That's the news, and it's always online at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
MARTIN: So the thing that's interesting about that is that it's this big indication that things are getting better, but actually, when Iraq says, oh, not so quick, don't move back, it's not over until it's over.
LUKE BURBANK, host:
Nothing about the foreign policy world this week is as I thought it was.
ALISON STEWART, host:
BURBANK: Last week, it's just crazy town.
STEWART: Rachel Martin, thank you.
MARTIN: You're welcome.
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