GOP candidates spar on immigration, border fence

AP News

9/12/2011 11:10:02 PM - AP News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says a massive fence along the U.S.-Mexican border isn't the answer to the nation's immigration challenges and instead says Washington should send thousands of border agents and National Guard to patrol the area.

Perry faced tough immigration questions during Monday's Republican presidential debate. Perry says Texas offered incentives for illegal immigrants to contribute to their communities, including in-state tuition rates for those who wanted to pursue higher education.

His rivals seized on his record, saying Perry was rewarding illegal behavior. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota says taxpayer dollars shouldn't pay for benefits for those who have broken U.S. laws. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says Perry's position on the border fence is "treasonous." Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney adds that immigrants don't want government hand-outs.