Romney: I'm more of a hawk on immigration than Trump

Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: House GOP candidate leads in California swing district Super PACs spend big in high-stakes midterms Kavanaugh and the 'boys will be boys' sentiment is a poor excuse for bad behavior MORE said Monday he believes he’s more conservative than President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE on immigration, explaining that he doesn’t believe Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients should be allowed to obtain legal residence.

Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee who is running for U.S. Senate in Utah, was asked about his conservative credentials during a question-and-answer session in Provo, the Daily Herald reported

“For instance, I’m a deficit hawk,” Romney said, according to the Provo newspaper. “That makes me more of a 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 be allowed to stay in the country legally."

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The Trump administration announced last year it was ending DACA, an Obama-era program that allows certain immigrants brought into the country as children to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

In the time since, Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on a long-term solution for those who benefit from the program, often called "Dreamers." Multiple bipartisan proposals failed to secure enough votes in the Senate.

The Trump administration proposed offering a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants, many of whom benefit from DACA, coupled with $25 billion for border security and changes to legal immigration programs. That proposal failed in the Senate as well.

Romney said Monday that he believes those who benefit from DACA should have to earn a college degree or serve in the military to justify permanent residency.

“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, according to the Daily Herald.

Romney is running to replace Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchGrand Staircase-Escalante: A conservation triumph is headed for future as playground for industry McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal GOP offers to ban cameras from testimony of Kavanaugh accuser MORE (R-Utah), who is retiring at the end of his current term.