Gov. Perry: Immigration Reform Won't Work Without Secure Border

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 04:53 PM

By Jim Meyers and John Bachman

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry tells Newsmax that the most important issue to deal with regarding immigration reform is to first secure the border — and he suggests that U.S. troops might even be used to accomplish the task.

One proposal for immigration reform involves sending undocumented workers back to their home countries for three to 10 years before they can re-enter legally.

Asked if he favors that approach, Perry says: “What I really hope Americans would settle on is kind of take the extremist [proposals] off both ends of this debate. Those that 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 — I would take both of those extremes off and find the solution in the middle.

“From my perspective there are some simple approaches to this where you identify individuals who are here. I totally understand that we’re not going to round up 12 million people and ship them out of our country. It’s not going to happen. Nor are we going to give amnesty, or I hope we’re not going to give amnesty to 12 million people, which basically says hurry up and get over here so you can get your amnesty.

“There is a way to identify individuals, allow them to stay in this country 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. Go through the process. You’re not going to the front of the line, just go get in the line and pay your dues.

“My suspicion is most people just want to be here to work, to take care of their family, be able to go back and forth to their country, and be law-abiding citizens, and that’s actually what we want.

“Those who don’t go through that process of being identified, you clearly have reason to deport those individuals.

“Now with all of that said, to make that work, the most important thing is to secure the border. Basically we have a porous border and the drug cartels know that, terrorist groups know that.

“Americans will buy into a plan of allowing people to lawfully participate in the economy of this country if they know that our border is secure – and you can secure the border. It will require a commitment by the federal government. I would suggest maybe some of the troops that are coming home from these far-flung places, that we use them as part of that force to secure the border.

“Defend the border, secure the border, and at that point in time we can have immigration reform that actually works, is sensible, is thoughtful.”

See the full excerpt below:

Editor's Note: See the full newsmax interview and other excerpts with Rick Perry:

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