Gov. Perry to Newsmax: Immigration Debate Must Head to Middle Ground

Monday, 08 Apr 2013 10:10 PM

By Todd Beamon and John Bachman

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The immigration reform debate is dominated by two extreme positions — and Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Newsmax TV on Monday that “I would take both those extremes off the table and find the solution in the middle.”

“There are those who would round up 12 million people and send them back to their homes — or those that would give amnesty to 12 million people who illegally came into the United States,” Perry told Newsmax at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Story continues below video.

“There are some simple approaches to this, where you identify individuals who are here,” he continued. “There is a way to identify individuals, allow them to stay in this country in an identified way where they can contribute to the economy.

“And if you want to be a citizen, the line’s always been there. Go get in it.”

Debate on comprehensive immigration reform is expected to begin this week as Congress returns from recess — and that includes a proposal that could be put forth by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators, include GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

Any immigration proposal must secure the nation’s borders, Perry said.

“The most important thing is to secure the border, so there’s not this revolving door, this back and forth of free movement. Basically, we have a porous border — and the drug cartels know that; terrorists groups know that.”

Turning to the issue of same-sex marriage, Perry referenced his speech on Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, telling Newsmax that “the church cannot just criticize those that want to have same-sex marriage and turn a blind eye to the other sins.

“We’re all sinners, and there’s a long list of what God considers to be sins — and those are God’s truths. My message there in a broader sense is that we’ve got to love people. We’ve got to love people regardless of what their sin might be.”

This is why the states should decide on gay marriage, not the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the three-term governor.

“One of the reasons that the states should be the arbiter of these issues is that our country will be substantially happier,” Perry said. “We will find our comfort zones, if you will, with a lot of these issues.

“The states and the Tenth Amendment have been substantially defused by Washington,” he told Newsmax, adding that “when we allow a lot of these issues to be decided by the states, then people will decide better where they want to live.”

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