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.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
"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.
So much for the land of liberty. Americans will be better off as a nation of bigots and haters under Republican rule. Who needs cultural and ethnic diversity? So long as you are white, you have it made in America!
Latinos voters will return to the Democratic fold because of the harsh and mean spirited GOP/Tea Party position on the Dream Act.
he will also veto the american dream..and will turn it into a nightmare...many already asking..more?
Good for Mitt.
Why won't he veto the DREAM ACT, When he never knew what suffering is, and had never lived a life where you can't even get three meals a day to eat, when he took all the hard drives from the computers when he was leaving office as a governor. You have to watch out for this guy, he is a scam. His great grand father migrated to America, Mormons were pursued by the government from place to places in America in the 1820s. This guy annoys me, though I am a Mormon. Romney is a disgrace to MORMONISM. We can't have a president like this...I am not supporting anybody, but Romney is an illitrate, and a big scammer.
Ah, yes. So much for creating a path for young people who serve in the military or go to college. To heck with that idea, it is shameful and nasty and compassionate and Christian to even wish to do such a thing! Of course Romney should appeal to the worst in America, and treat these young people as the evildoers that they are, even if Congress will not do it!! To heck with the American dream! Mitt got his millions, so let them do it too!
This is why we need to re-elect President Obama. He is not perfect, but he is FAR better than anyone else.
Romney is 10x worse than Bush. He would start another 2 wars in a second. It does not really matter. Obama rocks and will win.
I think it's Juan Sepulveda who's "out of touch". Would Mexican citizens want to pay for my education if I went down there?
Conservatives are a bunch of stupid, racist, and ignorant people! in one word: conservatives and GOP are a bunch of dic.... you know the rest of the world!
I was born here, as were my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents... so where's MY free college? If you steal a car and give it to your kid can the kid keep it, since it wasn't his fault?
This is the first thing I've heard him say that I agree with. I think service in the military is a wonderful pathway for people to take towards citizenship. But college? Going to college is already a privilege, not a right, for citizens.
Poof!! There went any mexican votes he was expecting. This will certainly be a commercial used by the Dems next year in every Hispanic district in this country. Thanks Mitt. Now say something archaic about Blacks and women so you can lose any small support from them also. Plus...I don't want a President named Mitt. That's to Dobie Gillis for me. Mitt is a name that should be in a 1950's fraternity. Gosh Mitt...you're the swellist, Thanks Mary Jo...you're just the topper.
Romney is just pandering to the wackos. He's a fake Republican at best.
Well, why not. Mexico has an unemployment rate of 5.5% while ours is nearly 9%. Send the illegals and anchor babies back to whever they came from and put citizens to work. Illegals steal work from Americans and threaten anyone who tries to interfere.
Wow it looks like the democrat party is the one out of touch,apparently your the ones not listening...
Now that's really something that might change this election around should he win the nomination.... however, they'll say, promise and deny ANYTHING & EVERYTHING just to get into office.....
Just another hateful Republican showing once again that the right-wing is out of touch the best interests of middle class Americans, those still trying to reach the middle class, and Hispanics in the country.
He's just wasting his time,and money. of course not his money. how can people donate money to those morons
Hope you all'z is having a Happy New Year!! Chelle and I are partying on the taxpayer here in Hawaii on our $4,0000,000 "holiday" vacation. The GOP will say we're our of touch, but all of Chelle's extended family enjoyed Airforce One....they said how much they missed it after the last Africa trip!! We'z gone live it up the next 11 months before we're thrown out of the WH. Happy New Year America!!
insurance that he will not win if nominated
romney is a total moron, hes a total flip flop , he is just trying to gain a little momentum with this retarded idea on illegal immigration , he seriously needs to step up and tell us why is he the better candidate and his solutions as to how he us going to get out of this economic disaster george monkey bush has caused.
Wow... Does Romney have any position that he has not flipped – flopped on. Who is this guy can someone tell me. As soon as I start believing one position he changes it
who is mitt romney? why would he run for the president of the usa? this country is "multicultural", who would his policies embrace? where does he stand with other than caucasians? nobody addresses these issues...that is the reason why minorities are afraid of the anglo-saxon-white-protestants who are elected to major political posts in this country...look at the congress and senate of this of country...look at the mayors and governors of this country...
I wish someone would veto obongo