Mitt Romney, who is currently trying to become a U.S. senator in Utah, bragged on Monday about his extraordinary ability to somehow be more awful to immigrants than President Donald Trump.
Romney was trying to establish his conservative credentials with the group Utah County Republican Women when he declared he’s more of a “hawk” on immigration than President Trump.
“I’m also more of a hawk on immigration than even the president,” Romney, whose father was born in Mexico, told the women’s group gathered at the Provo City Library, according to the Daily Herald. (Romney is correct that he has long been an extreme hardliner on immigration; when he ran for president in 2012, his comments that he wanted to make life for immigrants so hard that they would “self-deport” was condemned by none other than Donald Trump.)
“My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally,” Romney continued, referring to the Obama-era legislation that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. (Trump rescinded the program but has said he wants to find a permanent solution to allow DACA recipients to stay in the U.S.)
Romney then went on to say he’s also against even giving DACA recipients legal permanent residency. From the Daily Herald:
“Now I will accept the president’s view on this, but for me, I draw the line and say, those who’ve come illegally should not be given a special path to citizenship.”
Romney said he believes DACA recipients “need to do more” to justify permanent residency, such as attending community college, getting a degree, serving in the military or serving in needed occupations like teaching.
Ironically, the requirements Romney listed are similar to the eligibility criteria for the 2017 bipartisan bill known as the DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools and attend college, enter the workforce, or enlist in the military.
Utah is home to only 1.3% of the 700,000 DACA recipients in the country.