HENDERSON, Nev. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday promised to cut federal funding for cities and states that he considers tolerant of illegal immigration, though he said he was unsure how deep the cuts would be.
The former Massachusetts governor repeated his plans to deny funding to sanctuary cities, states that issue drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants and states that allow the children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition discounts at universities.
"They are practices that, if you will, extend this sanctuary state of mind we have," Romney told more than 200 people gathered at a public library. "I like immigration legal immigration."
Romney also outlined a plan for an employment verification card that, he said, would make it easy for companies to determine a prospective employee's citizenship status before hiring.
Romney told reporters he was unsure how much federal funding he would cut. "I can't give you the specifics," he said. The campaign later described the in-state tuition plan as a proposal to "trim back" education funds.
Romney said Saturday he did not think students who are in the U.S. legally should be denied discounted tuition, even if their parents are illegal, but that "people that are here illegally should not be able to get a tuition break that allows illegals to have tuition that's lower than the children of our citizens."
Romney has used the issue to criticize opponent Mike Huckabee, who as governor of Arkansas supported a failed attempt to extend in-state tuition and scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants. Huckabee has said he does not believe students should be punished for crimes committed by their parents.