LAS VEGAS — Republican presidential candidates debated the merits of a fence along every inch of the United States' border with Mexico, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry saying it isn't the best way to fight illegal immigration.
Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota said during the GOP debate tonight that she would build a double fence along the southern border. She says the country spends $113 billion each year to provide benefits to illegal immigrants.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said the fence is not the answer, agreeing with Perry. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said a fence would help but the way to cut illegal immigration is to end benefits for them. That was a jab at Perry, who signed a law that provides in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.
Also related to the topic, Perry accused Romney of not telling the truth when Romney said he had not hired illegal immigrants to work on his property.
Romney said he's never hired an illegal immigrant "in my life."
Both GOP candidates raised their voices during the testy exchange, with Romney telling his Republican rival, "Let me finish what I have to say."
Perry was referring to reports that arose in the 2008 GOP primaries that several illegal immigrants, including at least one from Guatemala, worked for a company that handled lawn care at Romney's home in a Boston suburb for a decade.
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