Rick Perry: Immigration Crisis May Ease as Mexico's Economy Improves

Image: Rick Perry: Immigration Crisis May Ease as Mexico's Economy Improves

Sunday, 23 Feb 2014 07:58 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry thinks new oil industry legislation enacted by Mexico's Congress may herald a solution to the problem of illegal immigration into the United States, The Washington Post reports.

Instead of seeing immigrants flowing northward — about 6.8 million illegal immigrants out of roughly 11.7 million now in the U.S. come from Mexico — many could soon find work in Mexico's burgeoning oil industry.

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Mexico nationalized the oil industry in 1938, leaving it a state-owned monopoly. While the country remains one of the ten largest oil producers in the world, its production — most of which is sold to the U.S.— has declined.

The Mexican congress has recently agreed to allow private investment in the state-owned Pemex oil company – a step toward privatization. The law was strongly backed by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Foreign companies still can't obtain rights to drill for oil on Mexican soil or offshore. Now, however, they can partner with Pemex, a stepping stone that could lead to the issuing of licenses to drill for oil. Outside analysts believe the new rules will eventually make Mexico one of the world’s largest oil producers.

In Perry's view, "The landscape on immigration is fast changing. My instinct is that immigration and immigration reform are going to be substantially less of a flashpoint than they have been in the last several years."

As that transition takes shape, the "issue of immigration reform" will lose "a lot of steam" and the focus will shift to how to bring in guest workers for the agricultural, hospitality or construction industries jobs historically filled by Mexican migrants, Perry said.

Perry's recommendation to Congressional Republicans is to continue to work with the states for a federal solution to securing the border, the Post reported.

Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush as governor in 2000 will leave office at the end of 2014, is considering another bid at the Republican presidential nomination.

Americans For Economic Freedom, an independent PAC supporting Perry, is running ads in Illinois touting his record of bringing businesses to the Lone Star State, CNN reported.

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