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.
Well. This ensures that there's no chance in hell I'll ever vote for Mitt Romney. What a jerk.
"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. ..................hmm I think he is very much in touch and I am a legal immigrant....DONT BREAK THE LAW
Legal hispanics should question themselves what is right thing to do and what is to help america....if they feel americans.
If someone serves this country at risk of life and limb when so many would never even consider it, then that person should be allowed to become a citizen. If the conservatives in this country truly believe differently, they have lost the essence of the American dream and we truly are on the road to ruin. Romney will never get my vote if he is willing to take such a stupid position. I don't recall him serving his nation other than as a rich guy.
Good to see Romney has his priorities straight, we need to take our country back from the immigrants so that we have it to turn over to the 1%. Don't want to keep them waiting.
Let me get this right, the dems are actually unhappy about illegal aliens being givin the same rights as law abiding citizens? Ummm, whats wrong with doing it abiding by the law? Less votes? Whats being here illegally have to do with the middle class except we the legal middle class are paying for it and are no longer able to sustain the drain on our income?
Actually, Romney is right in step with the majority, if only the DNC would admit that, and put their agenda aside. MSM included.
+10 in respect to Romney.
Why do we allow illegals to serve in our military? Are we in the business of training terrorists and drug cartel soldiers?
Wait wait wait, did Romney FINALLY took a stand on something that he has being consistance on? WOW!! Finally some consistancy on Romney........except...........there goes the Hispanic vote!
WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND DNC? Unless the law is changed, against the will of the American people, illegal means you are not allowed in this country without due process of the law!
I am disappointed. I liked Romney because he was moderate . . . well, more so than anyother repubidate. Maybe, if elected, he will mitt-flip on this issue as well.
As an "illegal immigrant" that would qualify for the Dream Act, I feel ashamed at how this country runs its political system. Most americans are in favor of the Dream Act, but republicans only listen to that small faction of tea party activists who have made the GOP crazy.
Any one so bold to come to the US, snuff her laws, snuff her society, then expect citizenship or resident status in return deserves to be kicked to the curb. . . .
Why am I not surprised? What a loser...
How sad that there are people that would rather not give the opportunity to people who truly deserve to be in the states and who have very valuable economic influences in the country just because they think that they are better than them. Look around people the effort to not have immigrants in the country is not helping the US status in any way. Illegals contribute more to the US economy than they get credit for!
Most of these republicans are making harmful promises that would be detrimental to our country. We need the Dream Act that is a good policies for children brought here by their parents. We need contraception and we need abortions to be safe. No republicans should think women will put up with them attacking birth control. Keep the government out of our personal lives.
For law-abiding actual citizens of the US, the continued attempts by partisan radicals to pass the DREAM Act have always been nothing but a nightmare.
I support anything that helps educate person. We can't continue to support dumb red neck ways.
Mitt is so evil. he only need soldiers for fighting
Remember, a vote for Romney is an affirmation of the right of the rich to rule. In the old days we had the divine right of kings. After that was thrown out we had the right of the aristocracy to rule the lower classes. Now, in this country, we are ruled not by aristocrats, but by the rich, who derive their right to rule by having more money to buy politicians. I wonder if we've really gained anything. In the old days God's representative here on earth (the Pope) had to give his seal of approval before a king could be crowned. Since the church provided all social services, like hospitals, orphanages and homes for the helpless and needy, the king had to agree to help fund them or the Pope could keep him from being crowned. God, by granting the right to rule, had enough leverage to look out for all his children. But since the rich serve only themselves and Mammon, the poor have no seat at the table of government, no protector on high. When I see people begging on street corners and living out of shopping carts in the richest country on the planet, it kind of makes me wish God still had a little clout in government. The old God, that is, not the new one who says his chosen few deserve to live in mansions and drive Hummers.
Hope Mitt is the next President
Why on earth do our latino citizen voters support pathways to citizenship for those who are here illegally? this is not their cause...as citizens, they should struggle for issues of concern to the nation, not those of concern to illegal citizens of other nations. If they support illegals of their ethnicity against our laws and our citizens, what statement is it making? Race based fans of illegals only divide the nation, not unite it.
""The question is, if I were elected and Congress were to pass the DREAM Act, would I veto it, and the answer is yes,..."
I saw the latest poll numbers.. Obama is still going to win about 70% of the Latino vote again.. We give up trying to court them.. may as well pander to the people who don't like them..
I wonder who these idiotic Republicans think will pay for their retirement, in-home care, etc., etc., etc. .. The GOP is TOTALLY out of touch with reality and is writting itself into irrelevance. GO GOP!