Le Mars, Iowa (CNN) - GOP candidate Mitt Romney pledged Saturday to veto any effort by Congress to create a path to citizenship for young adults in the United States illegally.
Romney's declaration was not out of step with previous statements he has made about the issue, but it appeared to be the first time the candidate directly said he would veto a congressionally-backed effort.
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"The question is, if I were elected and Congress were to pass the DREAM Act, would I veto it, and the answer is yes," Romney said in response to a query from the audience of roughly 200 at The Family Table in Le Mars.
The DREAM Act would offer a path to citizenship for minors in the country illegally, providing they served in the armed forces or attended college.
The initiative has not gained enough support to pass Congress despite several attempts.
Romney said Saturday he would support a path to residency - not citizenship - for those who served in the military, but would not support other DREAM Act proposals.
"I'm delighted with the idea that people who come to this country and wish to serve in the military can be given a path to become permanent residents of this country," he said. "For those who come here illegally, the idea of giving them in-state tuition credits or other special benefits I find to be contrary to the idea of a nation of law."
A campaign aide said Romney opposed the DREAM Act provisions which would grant a path to citizenship for people who complete high school and two years of post-secondary education or those which allow states to grant illegal immigrants in-state tuition.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has come under fire from conservatives for supporting Texas legislation that granted in-state tuition for the children of some illegal immigrants.
The Democratic National Committee released a statement Saturday seizing on the comments.
"Mitt Romney has shown once again that he is out of touch and far to the right of even members of his own party, and that he would not represent the best interest of middle class Americans, those still trying to reach the middle class, and Hispanics in the country," said DNC Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs, Juan Sepúlveda.
Both parties are courting Hispanic voters, a growing voting bloc, in the run-up to the 2012 elections.
What alternate reality are the demos living on? Poll after poll shows Americans do not support their efforts to legalize illegal aliens or the so called 'dream' act.
I will not be fooled by slick relaxed fit jeans from old navy.
Ron Paul & Jon Huntsman 2012
Mitt Romney is trying to "out conservative" Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich in threatening to veto The Dream Act.It just proves that he is willing to pander to any group , as usual, to get their vote.Yesterday , his son raised the president's grades and birth certificate, "accidentally"(RIGHT).Whether the GOP likes it or not, Hispanics are now, and will be for generations to come, a numerous, powerful segment of the electorate, and if he and his party know what is good for them, they will stop looking for ways to further alienate them.
Typical Romney, pandering to the right-wing for any vote he can get. What a pathetic excuse for a man.
This guy has figured out that he can say anything, then make a u-turn and still not be held accountable. Hence, once he scales the hurdle of GOP primary, he can sing new tunes on everything. His calculation is that since the so-called conservatives will vote for a "goat" as US president rather than Obama, they will still vote for him if he changes his current extreme views to milder ones to suit the general election. Americans are gullible!!
Get ready teabaggers and Ron Paulbots, he's going to be crammed down your throats. The fix is in.
I guess my concern with all the illegal aliens is if we pass the "Dream Act" are we then telling people it is OK to break our laws because we're going to reward you? And are we telling those who have entered this country in a legal manner that they are stupid? No, on this one, Romney has it right and I'm not a Romney fan. Don't reward bad behavior.
...and the "Who's the most mean spirited candidate?" contest continues.
Next up – Perry, who will suggest firing squads.
Hey Republicans, there may be a division or two of une,ployed old Soviet Union border guards available. That kind of fits your love of outsourcing. Build towers, plant land mines between twenty foot high barbed wire fences, set up floodlights and you've got a hunting camp Uncle dick would love.
Good for Romney, a point in his favor. Politicians in favor of the "Dream act" should be tried for treason.
When will his sons be joining the military?
Romney want have any veto power anyway, because he willl never make it to 1600 Pennsylvannia Blvd.
This moron can never be president. He's so desperate but that's not gonna happen