The Boston Globe has unveiled the fruits of a five-month (!) investigation that led them from Governor Mitt Romney’s 2.5-acre estate to Suchitepequez, Guatemala, hometown of the illegal gardeners who mowed the anti-immigrant zealot’s lawn.
Romney — who wants to build what Bill O’Reilly calls the”Mitt Romney Memorial Wall” to turn back the Hispanic hoardes — apparently used a”don’t-ask-don’t tell” policy with his own Guatemalan lawn staff, hired by the gardening company he was recommended by his church.
Romney, who vetoed efforts to relax the state’s English-only education standards, often busted out a cordial”buenos dias” for his Spanish speaking crew.
Romney will clearly blame the company that hired these non-citizens, but this could still be fatal to his presidential bid. The deeply religious Mormon is going after the GOP base with gusto. But evangelicals are tepid on the Church of LDS and the deport-em-all Tom-Tancredo voters are not going to take kindly to a man whose illegal gardeners were making $10 an hour — cash.
SUCHITEPEQUEZ, Guatemala — Outside his aqua-colored concrete house here, Rene Alvarez Rosales paused under an almond tree to answer questions about a subject with which he has surprising familiarity: Governor Mitt Romney’s Belmont lawn.For about eight years, Rosales said, he worked on and off landscaping the grounds at Romney’s home, occasionally getting a”buenos dias” from Romney or a drink of water from his wife, Ann.
“She is very nice,” said Rosales, 49.
About 6 miles away in Copado, a 37-year-old man who recently returned to Guatemala from the United States told a similar story, describing long days tending Romney’s 2 1/2-acre grounds.
“They wanted that house to look really nice,” said the worker, who asked to remain anonymous.”It took a long time.”
As Governor Mitt Romney explores a presidential bid, he has grown outspoken in his criticism of illegal immigration. But, for a decade, the governor has used a landscaping company that relies heavily on workers like these, illegal Guatemalan immigrants, to maintain the grounds surrounding his pink Colonial house on Marsh Street in Belmont.