“I don’t think the American people are ever going to agree to amnesty”

Texas Governor/GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry held a tele-town hall meeting this evening and the topic of illegal immigration was raised by Perry and then by some of the participants/callers.  Perry was hit earlier in the campaign by competitors who saw weakness in his position on the immigration issue. Tonight, Perry seems to be taking a swipe at rival Newt Gingrich who has suggested some sort of path to legal status for immigrants who’ve been in the country for years and have established roots in their communities.

During tonight’s call, a woman identified as Kathie (she might spell it Kathy or Cathy) asked for Perry’s “opinion” on amnesty.  “Do you support any type of it?” she asked.

“None whatsoever,” Perry replied. “The Dream Act that is in front of Washington, D.C. today is just a form of amnesty and I don’t think the American people are ever going to agree to amnesty in any form or fashion and, you know, the country is going to have a conversation about how to deal with immigration reform, but that is not going to happen until we secure the border.”

“So, you know, I certainly understand the media’s interest — if you will — in, you know, ‘Tell us what your plan will be to deal with these 11 or 12 million people that are already here?’ And I can assure you that we’re wise enough people to figure out how to deal with them, but it will not be amnesty in any form or fashion and I’m not going to get my eye off of the ball and the ball is to secure that border because if you don’t secure the border and if you don’t have a sustainable effort to secure the border, then all the talk that you have about immigration reform is just that. It’s just talk. It’s just posturing and I’m tired of that. I’m tired of Texas taxpayer money having to be spent to secure the border that the federal government is supposed to be doing and doing their constitutional duty.”

Earlier, during opening remarks on the call, Perry focused on border security.  He pledged to deport “every illegal criminal alien” caught in the country illegally.

“The idea that we have such a porous border today is just another example of just another example of how broken Washington is and we’ve got millions of individuals who are coming here illegally, including individuals who want to do harm to America and the Washington politicians, they posture and they talk instead of putting people on the border and assets on the border and the strategic fencing that actually needs to be put on that border to secure it and I’m the only candidate with a record of addressing border security.”

“…We’ve got $400 million worth of state resources in our joint surge operations that we’ve put on the border, to try to stop this trafficking of weapons and of drugs and of people and I’ve got a plan to secure the border and I made the commitment that a year from the day that I take my hand off the Bible when I’m inaugurated in January of 2013, from a year from that date that border will be secure.  That border will be shut down and at the same time we’ll be deploying thousands of national guard troops to get that job done while we’re training up those border patrol agents who can dramatically increase the manpower on the border as well. Build the strategic fencing, you know deploy the different technologies whether it’s predator drones or whatever type of assets that we need to be able to give real-time, live information to our fast response teams that can shut down the drug-running and the weapons running and the illegal activities that occurring on that border.”

“And another thing is we’ve got to stop this very dangerous Obama policy that I refer to as ‘catch and release’ where these criminal aliens are detained, yet under this administration, they’re basically released into the general population with a time and a date to come back for a hearing. Under my administration, we’ll detain and deport every illegal alien that we pick up and we’ll do so with expedited hearings on their citizenship status.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. He postures himself as a tough guy but with no honest intent of ever doing anything he proposes even if he did by some unimaginable scenario become president . The legistics are simply overwhelming. We ,the country , created this dilemma many decacdes ago bringing bus loads of cheap farm labor into the country and encouraged them to stay in order to work year round. Those folks encouraged more people to come . They came , they worked, they pay tax’s. When things go bad the people effected most look for someone or something to blame and they pointed at the Mexican Immigrant Farm and Construction Laborers. Very understandable. So the unscrupulous politician plays on the misplaced emotions of the new disinfranchised. This would be Mr Perry’s moment to help everyone through an impending process but I’m not sure he’s up to the task.