SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney's Senate campaign is trying to clarify his stance on the Dream Act after he said recipients "need to do more" to justify permanent residency during a campaign appearance in Provo on Monday.
Meantime, his leading Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Council member Jenny Wilson, said Romney has been inconsistent and "sort of rambling" on the issue.
The GOP front runner told Utah County Republican Women that he is a "hawk" on immigration and that undocumented immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program shouldn't be able to stay in the country legally.
"My view is that they needed to do more to justify permanent residence here, such as attending community college, getting an associate degree, serving in the military, serving in teaching … " Romney said.
Romney said he is more conservative than others in his party on the issue.
"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," he said.
President Donald Trump last year announced he would end the DACA program, which protects some young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation. But in February he unveiled plans that included a pathway to citizenship in a failed deal with Democrats.
The Romney campaign issued a statement Tuesday saying the former Massachusetts governor made a reference in his speech Monday to his stance on immigration while running for president in 2012.35 comments on this story
"Since then circumstances have changed. President Obama enacted DACA and Gov. Romney believes the commitment made by President Obama should be honored. Therefore, he agrees with President Trump's proposal to allow DACA recipients to legally stay in the country but does not support a special pathway to citizenship," according to campaign spokesman.
Romney has made similar comments since launching his campaign in February.
But Wilson said Romney has dodged the question about how he would vote on extending DACA if he were in Congress.
"It's another flip-flop," she said, adding voters deserve to know where candidates stand. "I, Jenny Wilson, support extending DACA and allowing a pathway to citizenship."