Romney Faces Tough Test on Immigration

Mitt Romney faces heavy lift when it comes to convincing Latino voters they can trust him.

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Kyle Saunders, a political science professor at Colorado State University, says it's obvious Romney must be very careful when addressing the immigration issue because of his reputation for shifting positions throughout his career on issues like gay rights, gun policies and abortion.

[See a collection of political cartoons on immmigration.]

"There's really little wiggle room for him on this issue without giving the media and critics fodder for calling him wishy-washy and a flip-flopper," he says.

"My guess is that the speech by Romney will be lacking major changes from his previous policy stances and will instead engage symbolic immigration language."

Saunders says it is crucial for Romney to make headway with Latino voters, which make up more than 10 percent of the population in potential swing states such as Arizona, Colorado and Florida.

"This issue is not going away and will play an important part in how his campaign reaches out to the Latino community, which will, in turn, be an important factor in how well he does in the presidential election," he says.

Obama will address the same group of Latino political officials on Friday.

Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at rmetzler@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter.

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