Romney defends DREAM Act stance
January 4th, 2012
09:40 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney defends DREAM Act stance

(CNN) - Mitt Romney, fresh from a narrow win in the Iowa caucuses, defended Wednesday his opposition to the DREAM act, which would allow a path to citizenship for minors in the country illegally.

"You know, the Hispanic-American voters I speak with are overwhelmingly concerned with opportunity," Romney said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

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"They want good jobs in America and rising incomes. If they want a president who is going to talk to them about a handout or more benefits for free, they got that guy. If they, instead, want a president who understands the economy who has lived in the economy and understands what it takes to help people get jobs, again, then I'm that person," Romney continued.

Romney made his first firm statement on the DREAM act last week, affirming as president he would veto the law if it passed Congress. The proposal lays out a path to American citizenship for minors in the United States illegally who serve in the military or attend college. Currently the initiative has yet to pass Congress, despite several attempts.

On Wednesday, Romney said the priority should be enforcing immigration laws currently on the books.

"I think people, whether they're Hispanic or non-Hispanic, I think people agree that we'll enforce immigration laws in part to secure legal immigration as an important pathway to this country," Romney said. "I like legal immigration, I want more legal immigration. But illegal immigration has to be stopped to make legal immigration possible."

Filed under: Immigration • Mitt Romney
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Please send all illegal aliens HOME. They don't belong here.

    January 4, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. Marie MD

    This from the guy who bought American companies, fired American workers and sent their jobs overseas. He knows a lot about job creation. just not in the US!!! Hypocrite.
    I do think that if the if the over populator had not gone "hunting" caged flightless birds, spoken out against abortion (American Taliban) and faux news hadn't planted that question about his infant son of which we knew nothing about until a few days ago the $250M flip flopper would have won with more votes. The people iowA are too white, too evangelical and they ate it all up about santurom!

    January 4, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Marty, FL

    No gracias Romney.

    Obama 2012
    Si se puede!

    January 4, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. diridi

    If they send illegals home, GOP loses base!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!so, pick up Mark Rubio as VP, Bobby Zinda, and Nikki Haley, etc, to cabinet......HA, Ha!!!!!!!!!so that they can sell this nation to India, China, and Mexico....

    January 4, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Sounds like he's cheerleading for the right wing to me. There are several major flaws in how the right wing wants to handle illegal immigrants because of either false assumptions, lies, or denial of reality. Take your pick.

    The biggest false assumption is that any illegal can simply be deported lickety split. GONG. Many illegals are not coming from urban areas where their births are recorded on official census records. While a given individual may originate from a given country, the country can truthfully tell you that they never heard of the person. Now what? Now you need to hold the person under some sort of detention until you can figure what to do with them. Now you need to build more facilities to hold them with bureaucracy to run it, and the infrastructure to support it. That means feeding and clothing the detainees. A court system to handle the individuals on a case by case basis.

    Suddenly the conservative "small government" people are building more government, more bureaucracy, more tax dollars, etc, which of course they will blame on the liberals for spending too much. There are potentially *millions* and *millions* of potential illegals in this country that meet the right wing definition of "needs to be deported."

    January 4, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. V

    What about those that have more education and are better prepared than the majority of high school/college dropout Americans? DO we send those home too? Do we send home the engineers, the scientists, the ones paying more taxes than some "Americans" leeching off Welfare? Why dont we instead get rid of those who don't contribute to the economy, who leech off unemployment and welfare? That seems entirely more logical, but Americans are so focused on the wrong issues and are thus contributing to the rapid economic decline of their "land of the free."

    January 4, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Mgc tampa

    Wow these kids who have done nothing wrong, (are we responsible for what our parents do? If not why should they be responsible for what their parents did) are willing to fight and put their lives on the line, go to college and pay their fair share of taxes (unlike the 1%) and we don't want to give them a path to citizenship? WhY? it makes no sense!
    Oh i get it, since mitt represents the top1% and since his 5 sons don't support and were unwilling to sign up to protect this country, of course he wants to block this because the 1% wants it done.

    January 4, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. once upon a horse

    I think Mitt needs to go to tell the children of illegal immigrants who are not here by their own choice and want to become citizens even to the point of willing to join the service and fight for this country that they are NOT welcome to do it. I bet that will go over really well with the Hispanic vote

    January 4, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Bye, Bye, Marco Rubio. We barely knew ya, but Mittens wants you out of here. By the way, you crazy right wingnuts know that the negative ads against the republican candidates were from the Kochs, Rove and Mittens PAC, don't you? If you take lying and mudslinging away from the republicans, all you have left is nice hair.

    January 4, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. PJ

    This is one area we are all in agreement with. Illegals must all go home and home isn't here.

    January 4, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Mitt Flippy= GOP

    These Kids know no other place as home!!! America is home for them! Romney calls the DREAM ACT a HANDOUT?! WOW. This is very interesting. I hope he keeps talking about his stance agaisnt the DREAM ACT. The more he talks, the more he loses the Boarder states.

    January 4, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. MAC

    The problem with the dream act is age, should have to go to military or a working full time student right out of high school. They should pay the same tuition as any other non US citizen to go to college and they should not be allowed to sponsor relatives who came here illegally in the first place.

    January 4, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. MrT

    The people who say that the children of illegals have done nothing wrong are correct, but they are mistaken in allowing them to benefit from their parent's illegal actions.

    If a parent robs a bank to benefit his or her child, the child is not held responsible, but also is not allowed to keep the money if the parent is caught. The Dream Act is a reward for illegal behavior and will only act as a magnet to encourage more illegal immigration.

    January 4, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Dean

    As Sitting Bull once careful of your immigration policies.

    January 4, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Dom

    Why does Romney have to defend his stance? An overwhelming majority of Americans don't want the DREAM act to pass, so there's nothing really to defend. I'm getting sick of this notion of walking on eggshells to appease Latinos when it comes to immigration. Illegal is illegal, no matter where you came from.

    January 4, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. alf564

    Something to remember about these ILLEGALS that are doing jobs that Americans will not do.....We have buildings and food before they snuck across the border during the night. They really create nothing but they do take jobs away and the employer should be tarred and feathered and sent to Mexico or what ever country they crawled in from!

    January 4, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    Seal the border FIRST. Then and only then can you come up with solutions to the 12 million already here.

    January 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Mark

    yes, Romney is against illegal immigration and can't have any working for him because he's running for office for cripes sakes!

    January 4, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney won Iowa by 8 votes (less than 6 from 2008) win is win. But the win didn’t boost his supporters, ya he won but no feelings. This pattern continues he can’t beat Obama.
    Romney need Latino votes he already alienate Latino votes. Age under 30 not for Romney

    January 4, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Nikki

    Anyone that thinks the DREAM Act is a handout is gravely mistaken. These kids work harder than anyone I know. And so do their parents. Remember that we were all at some point immigrants in America trying to achieve something better.

    January 4, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. good idea

    Ron paul 2012 hes the only hope look at his record actually spoke of highly by regan when he was president boom

    January 4, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |