Photo: Members of Romney's family now living in a Mormon colonia in Juarez, Mexico
In a 2007 interview with “60 Minutes” the now-presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he couldn’t “imagine anything more awful than polygamy,” when asked about his family’s polygamist-Mormon history, a history that actually roots members of his family to Mexico.
Nearly 100 years ago, the Romney family was divided in two when Mexican revolutionaries forced nearly all Mormons to leave due to the family’s practice of polygamy. Half the family remained in the U.S., while those wishing to continue remain polygamists fled to an already established Mormon colony in Mexico, where Mitt’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, settled his part of the family.
As a result of the division, Mitt’s father, George W. Romney was born to American parents in Colonia Dublán, Galeana in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1907. George would go on to become the Governor of Michigan, where Mitt would be born in 1947.
So while the presidential candidate has taken a staunch stand against undocumented immigration in recent years, many point to his family’s ties to Mexico as signs of possible hypocrisy.
Though he has not spoken with much of the “other side” of the family, those whose ancestors fled to Mexico all those years ago have had their share of dangerous Mexican run-ins.
In June of 2009, Mitt’s (distant) cousin Meredith Romney, a rancher living just outside of Janos – about 140 miles southwest of Juárez – was kidnapped. He was released two days later after being held in a cave. The Romney cousin is the former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in Colonia Juárez. The church is just 15 miles from Casas Grandes, Chihuahua and the Colonia Dublán, where Mitt’s father was born.
In early June 2011, Mitt confirmed that he will be running for president in 2012.