Mitt Romney campaigned in New Hampshire on Labor Day
ASHLAND, New Hampshire (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spent his Labor Day sharing his views on illegal immigration with prospective voters at a campaign stop in Ashland, the Granite State's geographical center.
The former Massachusetts governor drew a significant crowd in this small town nestled between mountains and nearby Squam Lakes. The crowd of mostly older voters dressed in their Sunday best peppered the presidential hopeful on national security issues and his stance on how to deal with the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.
"The wrong answer is amnesty. We tried it twice before," said Romney. "Amnesty only led to more people coming into the country 'cause they say, 'Oh gosh, look if you get in illegally, ultimately they'll let you stay.' That's the wrong message."
"Amnesty, in my opinion, is the wrong way to go, and I believe the other candidates in this race are planning on amnesty, which I think is a mistake," he continued. "Their view is that if [they] come here illegally we've got to create a special pathway so that they can stay here. My view is that in fact people who come here illegally should get in line with everybody else, and there should be no special pathway to citizenship or permanent residency for those who have come here illegally."
Romney also railed against employers and businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, as well as so-called "sanctuary cities," where local officials flout federal immigration laws.
"We are going to end the practice of sanctuary cities in this country and stop welcoming people that are here illegally," Romney said.
–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla