Rick Perry’s immigration problem

Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that he is running for president. He will run on his strong economic record; he can't run on is his liberal immigration record.
Photo: Associated Press

PHOENIX, August 15, 2011- Texas Governor Rick Perry announced on Saturday that he is running for president in 2012.

Gov. Perry will undoubtedly run on his strong economic record in Texas. After all, 38% of all jobs created in the United States have been in Texas since the “recovery.”

However, what Rick Perry cannot run on is his very questionable, liberal immigration record.

Perry appears to be a strong conservative candidate, but when you dig deep into his record, a different narrative emerges.

Perry has an immigration problem. 

In 2001, Perry signed into law the very first Texas “Dream ACT.” It allowed the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at any Texas university, as long as they graduated from a Texas high school.

Rick Perry defended the Texas “Dream ACT,” saying, “To punish these young Texans for their parents’ actions is not what America has always been about.”

Perry then jetted off to Mexico and bragged to the Mexicans that Texas passed this law, saying, “The message is simple, educacion es el futuro, y si se puede.” Education is the future, and yes we can.

Do you want a president who offers in-state tuition to illegal immigrants and then goes to Mexico and brags about it? Absolutely not.

Next, Perry slammed Arizona for passing Senate Bill 1070, which allows law enforcement officers to question suspects about their citizenship. The law also makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

“I fully recognize and support a state’s right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas,” Perry said, “For example, some aspects of the law turn law enforcement officers into immigration officials by requiring them to determine immigration status during any lawful contact with a suspected alien, taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe.”

SB1070 lets state law enforcement officials do the job the federal government should be doing. It is fully constitutional and actually protects the rights of illegal immigrants more than the federal government does. For Rick Perry to criticize it, especially when he is the governor of a border state, is ridiculous.

Perry is an outspoken critic of the E-Verify program that prevents illegal immigrants from getting jobs as state employees. Perry said, “It would not make a hill of beans’ difference.”

Another bad Perry immigration stance is his support of completely open borders.

As Tom Tancredo wrote in an op-ed on Politico:

Perry, in a speech in Mexico in 2007, said he supports completely open borders, calling for the “free flow of individuals between these two countries who want to work and want to be an asset to our country and to Mexico.”

In the same speech he came out against building a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Perry also came out in favor of blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants in 2006, albeit without citizenship, supporting “a guest worker program that takes undocumented workers off the black market and legitimizes their economic contribution.”

Calling for the “free flow” of illegal immigrants should disgust you.

If you want to become a United States citizen, please do it legally and correctly. Do not “flow” into America.

Finally, Numbers USA, a group that grades states, governors, etc., on their immigration control, gave Gov. Perry a “D-“ for his immigration stances. That is relatively in the middle right now of presidential candidates; Michele Bachmann got a “B” grade, but it will not resonate with strong Conservatives.

Conservatives cannot close their eyes to all of this.

I encourage you to vet all the Republican candidates before making your decision of whom to vote for in the Republican primaries. We cannot nominate another phony Republican.

Gov. Rick Perry certainly has an outstanding economic record, but illegal immigration is truly America’s third war. And I don’t want Rick Perry as the Commander-in-Chief while we fight it.

Email Henry D’Andrea at writedandrea@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter (@TheHenry)

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Henry D'Andrea

Henry D'Andrea is a Conservative columnist and commentator. He writes a weekly column at the Washington Times Communities called "The Conscience of a Conservative," which features his commentary on current events and political stories from a conservative perspective. He often writes on foreign policy, domestic and economic issues, the conservative movement, and elections.


D’Andrea has been a guest on many radio shows throughout the country since writing columns at the Washington Times Communities. His work has been featured in many publications, including Townhall.com, Commentary Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Tea Party Review Magazine, Big Government, Big Journalism, The Gateway Pundit, Instapundit, and many more.


Feel free to contact Henry D'Andrea at writedandrea@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: @TheHenry 


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