Newly anointed Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan voted for an immigration bill in 2005 that many Hispanics and immigrant activists describe as perhaps the most oppressive and discriminatory legislation of the last decade.
Sponsored in the House by Ryan's fellow Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the bill would have made immigration violations felonies and given state and local officials immigration enforcement powers. Many illegal immigrants would have been subject to indefinite detention.
The Sensenbrenner bill had a provision that called for criminal charges against people who assisted illegal immigrants. If you ran a soup kitchen, or gave someone a ride, you could have been subject to prosecution. The bill also would have cut federal funding to cities and municipalities that had sanctuary laws protecting undocumented immigrants.
Also, the legislation would have eliminated the government's diversity lottery -- the green card lottery -- which distributes green cards to immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The bill passed the House 239-182 but died in the Senate. Tea Party members will remember Ryan's yea vote fondly. But Hispanics? Not so much.
Clearly, Mitt Romney believes what the Tea Party thinks is more important than winning Hispanic voters.