Romney would veto immigration "dream" act

LEMARS, Iowa Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:36pm EST

1 of 2. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at the Family Table Restaurant in La Mars, Iowa December 31, 2011, ahead of the Iowa Caucus January 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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LEMARS, Iowa (Reuters) - Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said on Saturday he would veto a proposal granting U.S. citizenship to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, a pledge that won hearty applause from Iowa conservatives he hopes to win over.

A young woman asked Romney about the bipartisan proposal known as the Dream Act, during an appearance at a crowded restaurant in Le Mars, a conservative Republican stronghold in western Iowa.

"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.

"For those that 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 laws," Romney said.

"If I'm the president of the United States I want to end illegal immigration so that we can protect legal immigration. I like legal immigration."

Under the Dream Act, which was brought up in the Senate in May, young undocumented immigrants who have lived most of their lives in the United States and graduate from U.S. high schools would be eligible for a conditional six-year "path to citizenship" if they earn a college degree or serve two years in the military.

Romney also said he would secure the U.S.-Mexico border with a fence and enough Border Patrol agents to guard it.

The remarks drew vigorous applause in Le Mars and at a later appearance in Sioux City. Romney said he would eliminate the "magnet" that draws illegal immigrants by cracking down on employers who hire them.

"We need to give those employers the tools they need to determine who's legal and illegal," he said. "But if they have those tools and don't use them, we're going to go after them just like we go after employers who don't pay their taxes," Romney said.

He said he would continue a provision that grants a fast track to citizenship for foreigners who serve in the military.

Romney has led in the opinion polls ahead of Tuesday's Iowa caucus, which kicks off the state-by-state contests to choose the Republican presidential candidate who will challenge President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the November 2012 general election.

But he has not sealed the deal with some Iowa Republicans who doubt his conservative credentials because of his history as governor of left-leaning Massachusetts.

"We need a staunch conservative to the max and I just don't see it in anybody other than (Rick) Santorum," said Pat Renken, a Le Mars resident who manages a grain elevator. He turned out at a Romney rally despite planning to vote for Santorum, a conservative former senator from Pennsylvania.

"There's nothing that turns me off about him (Romney)," Renken said. "I just like Senator Santorum more."

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Comments (16)
joelwisch2 wrote:
There are excellent reasons for the Federal Government to offer scholarship to the capable in the poor countries. It is a bad, bad deal when we lose a bright mind. We could bring them in, educate them, and when they go home, that bright mind is going to improve the country they are from. Done well, it could be the most significant foreign aid any country could offer another and we would benefit a great deal from that effort.
But illegal aliens come to town and with the backing of big money practically bludgeon us to have their educational processes approved, and subsidized.. no thanks. No thanks, and enforce the law.

Dec 31, 2011 10:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
traffikator wrote:
Pathetic. SO how much money would it cost to build a fence? Exactly what kind of fence would you build Mitt? Do you think they cannot build ladders? And would it be electrified? Well I think they can put rubber over the fence. Maybe they will continue to dig tunnels under it. And what plans do you have to deal with the approximately 11 million illegals here Mitt? If you could realistically capture all of them, where would you house them? Now imagine that they all get lawyers and appeal, do you realize the enormous cost and clog to the justice system? Never cease to amaze me, the idiots that the Repubicteabaggers will offer up to lead this country. We are doomed.

Dec 31, 2011 10:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
McBob08 wrote:
How better to show how slimy and despicable conservatives are; applauding a bully for picking on refugee children. That stance might fly with the conservative nutbars, but it’s an inhumane, and decidedly non-Mormon stance. How do you reconcile your faith with these claims of oppressing the least among us?

As usual, another Republican proves he’s nothing but a hypocrite.

Jan 01, 2012 12:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
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