Texas Gov. Rick Perry
is sliding in the polls but he is not budging concerning his stance on college tuition for illegal immigrants in his state, according to New Hampshire's Union Leader.
In an interview with the newspaper yesterday, Perry, who has come under attack from Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney for his position on the issue, defended the policy in Texas which permits some illegal immigrants to pay in-state college and university tuition.
"We could kick these people to the curb and pick up their cost of being in our state through other sources, social programs up to and including incarceration because they are unskilled workers and what might occur with that scenario," he told the paper in explaining choices his state could have taken.
"Do we want to create tax wasters or do we want to create taxpayers," Perry said in talking about the tuition program which is available to students who have graduated high school and been in Texas for three years.
He pointed out the policy was overwhelmingly passed by the Texas legislature, adding it allows young people who have been brought into the United States "through no fault of their own" to be turned into "taxpaying, contributing members of our society."
In the wide-ranging interview with the Union Leader, the governor also said border security is a top priority because "Hezbollah, Hamas and the Iranians are using the Mexican border to try to do harm to American citizens."
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