Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney on Monday outlined a far-right position on immigration during an appearance before voters.
Romney established himself as more conservative on immigration than the bulk of his party, including Trump, according to the Daily Herald. “I’m also more of a hawk on immigration than even the President,” he said. “My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally.”
“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 added, in contradiction to President Trump’s February support for giving 1.8 million DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients a path to citizenship.
Romney did not mention if he still supports “self-deportation,” an idea he first announced as a presidential candidate during a Republican debate in 2012. Back then, the former Massachusetts governor’s solution to illegal immigration was for undocumented people to willingly deport themselves back to their countries of origin, then to “get in line” and apply to immigrate legally.
At the time, Romney also proposed a tracking system that would make it harder for undocumented immigrants to get jobs in America, thus encouraging them to seek employment back in their home countries.
While speaking at the event in Provo, Utah, Romney worked to further ingratiate himself with the Republican base, highlighting policies he and Trump both support. Romney largely glossed over the pair’s sometimes acrimonious past.
According to the Daily Herald, Romney brought up areas of commonality including lowering corporate taxes and curtailing federal overreach. He reportedly added, though, that he would be willing to “call him out” if Trump says something “racist” or “anti-woman.”
Romney is currently one of 12 Republicans running for retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat, a crowded race that also includes four Democrats and three third-party candidates.