SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Mitt Romney explicitly stated today that if he is elected president he would veto the Dream Act, legislation that would give permanent residency to some illegal immigrants who met certain criteria, such as having proof that they entered the country before age 16 or having a graduated from a U.S. high school.
“The answer is yes,” said Romney, when asked if he’d veto the proposed legislation during a campaign stop at The Family Table restaurant in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday afternoon.
Romney, who has said before that he opposed the Dream Act, said tonight that he does not oppose at least one of the provisions in the Dream Act that would allow servicemen and woman to gain permanent residency.
“I am 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 in this country,” he explained. “Those who serve in our military and fulfill those requirements I respect and acknowledge that path.”
A Romney aide said that the former Massachusetts’ Governor opposes parts of the Dream Act that give a path to legalization to those who meet certain education achievements or portions of the legislation that would provide in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
“For those that come here illegally the idea of giving them in state tuition credits or other special benefits I find to be the contrary to the idea of the nation of law,” Romney said during his remarks in Le Mars.
“If I’m the president of the United States I want to end illegal immigration so we can protect legal immigration. I like legal immigration,” he added.
Following Romney’s remarks, the Democratic National Committee’s Senior Adviser for Hispanic Affairs, Juan Sepulveda, said in a statement, “If there had been doubt in anyone’s mind-least of all, Hispanics in America, that Mitt Romney’s far-right views on immigration would make him the most extreme presidential nominee in recent memory, his statement today that he would veto the DREAM Act if he were president is appalling.”
David Axelrod, President Obama’s campaign adviser, followed up with a tweet calling Romney’s comments “wrong on principle & politics.”