Tags: CPAC 2013 | Editor's Pick | perry | immigration | citizenship | path

Perry Favors Alternative Solutions to Immigration Issue

By Cyrus Afzali and Kathleen Walter   |   Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 05:36 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday he opposes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the country and promised to soon unveil his own solution in the coming months.

Speaking to Newsmax TV at CPAC 2013, Perry went on to say that illegal immigration is an issue that concerns all voters and Hispanics in the United States favor an equitable solution as well.

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“The idea that we need to make special arrangement and move people who came here illegally to the front of the line is not appropriate. Creating a special path is not what most people came here for to begin with,” Perry said. “I’ve been the governor of the second largest state with a 1,200 mile border and have as much experience as anybody when it comes to dealing with Mexico and the individuals who’ve come across this border, so I’ll be laying out ideas on how to deal with it.”

Perry believes it’s a mistake to assume all Hispanic voters favor a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrants.

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“Hispanic voter care about freedom, are defenders of life, and are hard-working individuals who want to take care of their family,” Perry said. “Creating a special path is not what most people came here for to begin with.”

Turning to the budget and President Barack Obama’s overtures to Republican congressmen as Washington works on a long-term fiscal policy solution, Perry believes it’s not just the opposition that the president needs to worry about.

“The president’s charm hasn’t worked because a lot of Democrats are out of work. He’s losing support from people who understand the most important thing he has to do is create an economy that allows people the chance to have a good job and take care of their family,” Perry said.

Perry also sharply criticized Obama for releasing about 2,200 detainees, about 760 of which Perry said were from Texas. He said federal officials have shared very little information with states, which is making it harder for officials in affected states to properly guard their citizens.

“We don’t know who these people are, what they were convicted of, and what they’re doing at this moment. Law enforcement is concerned and as the governor of a state with 26 million people, I’m concerned,” Perry said. “This administration needs to be called out for turning out individuals who were detained.”

Perry said even though states and the federal government may disagree on certain policy directions, Obama and federal officials should put citizen safety first.

“We have Democrats in the state that I work closely with and we may not always agree, but when it comes to safety, we share information,” Perry said. “Hopefully we can put pressure on the administration to be clear about where these individuals are so we can track them and put them back in detention, even if we have to put them back in state facilities.”

Calling Medicaid “a broken system,” whose condition resembles the Titanic, Perry said he believes expanding the program isn’t the best way to cover the uninsured.

“They need to come to their senses in Washington and recognize that states need flexibility and the ability to better deliver health care rather than a one size fits all Washington approach. Why would you want to put more people on Titanic when you know how it’s going to turn out?” Perry said. “I’m not going to participate in an expansion of our program that’s already taking 25 percent of our state’s budget knowing it’s going to be a failure.”

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