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

Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Statesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges Georgia ready for unpredictable Senate race MORE said Monday he believes he’s more conservative than President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax 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 HatchKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals MORE (R-Utah), who is retiring at the end of his current term.