In an interview last weekend, The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin asked Mitt Romney about the Dream Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrant children and young adults.
Q. You said you would veto the Dream Act. Does this mean that there are no circumstances under which an illegal immigrant child, brought here by no fault of their own, can become legal without being sent home for 10 years, which is current law?
Mr. Romney: "You're asking something which, uh, I don't know that I can think about, the comment 'no circumstances' is a very broad term, and so if you'd like us to go into specific examples, for instance a child that's a refugee, a child that comes from a politically unstable place [such as] Cuba. So there are many different circumstances I would have to consider. But my policy is straightforward, is that, uh, that those who come here illegally should not be given a preferential treatment path for permanent residency or citizenship, but should placed on be a level field with those who waited in line. That continues to be my view."
Q. So, you are open to some exceptions?
Mr. Romney: "I don't know the answer to that. I don't know what exceptions you are talking about. That is the principle I have, and if you were to say, well, you'd have to give me the circumstances. I don't know of any that ..."
Q. Well, current law is if you are a child of an illegal immigrant, you would be sent home for 10 years, so anything outside of that would be an exception.
Mr. Romney: I will put out a series of immigration proposals before November of 2012 and I will look at adjustments to the law that I think may be necessary. But my principle is straightforward and that is that those who've come here illegally really should not be given a preferential path to permanent residency or citizenship.
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