Mitt Romney Pushes Back Against Trump: “DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally.”
Failed presidential candidate, turned current U.S. Senate candidate, Mitt Romney took part in a Monday Q&A there focused in large part on his relationship with President Trump and where he stands on a number of issues from the deficit to DACA recipients.
Speaking to a small crowd at the Provo Library in Utah, note cards were passed around to audience members who could ask Romney questions. According to Daily Herald, one not card stated the writer, along with “all their Facebook friends, did not consider Romney to be very conservative, asking him whether he considered himself conservative, and if so, in what ways.”
Romney claimed that most people only remember his platforms from his failed 2012 presidential bid, which he calls “mainstream conservative”, but went on to claim that he’s “more conservative” on issues than President Trump.
“For instance, I’m a deficit hawk,” Romney said. “That makes me more conservative than a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats. I’m also more of a hawk on immigration than even the president. My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally.”
Trump had announced an end to the DACA program in 2017, which protects some young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation. However, in an attempt to make a deal with Democrats on the issue, Trump in February presented a plan that included a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million DACA recipients but was rejected by Democrats because of other changes to immigration included in the proposal. The omnibus bill signed by Trump on Friday did not include DACA.
Romney said he is against giving legal residence to those 1.8 million people.
“That was not my posture,” Romney said. “So I was more conservative than others in my party. 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.
Romney also fielded multiple questions on his relationship with Trump, which has been famously strained in the past, particularly when Romney gave a speech in 2016 calling Trump a phony and a fraud.