If Rick Perry has made anything clear throughout his campaign so far, it's that he strongly believes in states' rights. Yesterday in Iowa, the Texas governor, fresh off an endorsement from Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Perry said he would not sue states for trying to get their illegal immigration problems under control and stressed that in a Perry Administration, he would enforce deportation policies. At this point, the Obama Justice Department has filed suits against Arizona, Alabama and Utah for implementing laws similar to SB 1070, which would allow local police to inquire about legal status after a crime has been committed.
Rick Perry told thousands of Iowans tonight that as president he would not allow the U.S. Department of Justice to file lawsuit against states that have passed immigrations laws like one in Arizona that critics say blatantly violates the constitution.
“I’ll promise you one thing, as president of the United States, I will never allow the Department of Justice to sue a border state like Arizona for enforcing immigration law. Period,” Perry said.
Perry additionally compared the current immigration policy as a catch-and-release program.
“Under my administration, we’ll detain and deport every illegal alien that we’ve pick up and we’ll do so with expedited hearings on their citizenship status and then deal with them appropriately,” Perry said.
I found Arpaio's endorsement of Perry surprising. Back in August I pointed out the differences between Perry's border security policies and his illegal immigration policies, which essentially breaks down to Perry being adamant about securing the border, but soft on illegals. It seems Arpaio would be interested in supporting someone with a record of supporting both securing the border and holding illegal immigrants accountable for breaking the law. Perry's words in Iowa last night about deporting illegals are great, but his record in Texas on illegal immigration policy tells a different story. On the other hand, Perry is the only border state governor running for President and no doubt understands the border security problem better than anyone on the GOP ticket.