Rick Perry Moves to the Right on Immigration

John Hawkins

10/7/2011 12:01:00 AM - John Hawkins

Right Wing News has just released a 10 question interview with Rick Perry on illegal immigration.

In this interview, Rick Perry is asked all the questions on illegal immigration that people have wanted to hear him asked. Over the course of the interview, Perry revealed a lot of new information on how he'd handle the illegal immigration issue if he becomes President. Although he might disagree with this characterization, his positions on the issue seem to be well to the right of where many conservatives believe he is on illegal immigration.

Here are just a few excerpts from the interview:

-- If Rick Perry becomes President of the United States, would that fence on the border be completed in your first term?

"I think what caused the hang up was that after it was passed, it was amended to give Homeland Security complete discretion on how, when and whether the fence ever gets built. Obviously with this president, that means it will never be completed.

If I’m elected, I will direct my Secretary of Homeland Security to expedite construction of strategic fencing along the border, especially in high traffic areas where manpower alone is insufficient to do the job."

-- On whether the Obama Administration was right to sue Arizona over their immigration law.

"I respect the right of all states to develop their own solutions, whether they use the Texas model or the Arizona model. I applaud my fellow governors who are showing leadership on this issue, because President Obama certainly has not."

-- On his "I don’t think you have a heart" comment from the last debate.

"On the issue of all Texas residents paying in-state tuition, I regret the comment from the debate. It was a poor choice of words, and it wasn’t fair to those who disagree with the policy."

-- Would you like to get rid of E-Verify and if so, what would you replace it with?

"I agree that some kind of electronic verification system is needed so we can make sure employers comply with the law not to hire illegal immigrants. E-Verify is a federal government created and run program, and as a result there have been a number of problems with it so far. The Department of Homeland Security estimated the system could fail to identify more than half of all illegal immigrants. But just because it has problems doesn’t mean we should throw employee verification out. It means we should make it work. ...So as president, I’d work to put in place an E-Verify system that’s more accurate, less burdensome and really delivers the results we need it to."

-- Rick Perry on the Federal DREAM Act.

"I too oppose the federal DREAM Act and will oppose it as President."

-- Would you support comprehensive immigration reform?

"The debate on immigration reform is meaningless until the federal government secures the border. There’s just no point in passing new immigration laws when we can’t even enforce the ones we’ve got. Once our borders are secure and we’ve fixed the problem with visa “overstays,” then we can seriously address our broken immigration system. But step one is to secure that border so we have the ability to enforce the law."

Once again, you can read it all here.