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Perry to Trump: I Secured Texas' Border, But That Wasn't My Job

Image: Perry to Trump: I Secured Texas' Border, But That Wasn't My Job
Texas Department of Safety Troopers patrol on the Rio Grande along the U.S.-Mexico border near Mission, Texas. (REUTERS/Eric Gay/Pool)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 12:13 PM

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that there's nobody running for the presidency who has more experience with problems along the nation's border with Mexico than he, and "Donald Trump may not know" that border security is up to the federal government.

"The fact is, when the president of the United States made it clear to me last summer he was not going to put into place the personnel, the effort that needed to be made to secure that border, that's when Texas acted," Perry told Fox News' "Fox & Friends," taking offense at Trump's assertions this week that he had failed as a governor when it came to the border.

"We not only had our Texas Ranger recon, parks and wildlife wardens, we had 1,000 National Guard troops on the border," Perry said. "We saw a 74 percent decrease in number of apprehensions. I don't consider that to be a failure."

Story continues below video.

Further, Perry said, "We put almost $800 [million] to $900 million in border security." And, he said, he is surprised that anyone thinks it's up to a state to protect a national border.

"It is not," he said. "This is the federal government's responsibility. Americans know" that.

He noted that when he was in New Hampshire in September, as the border crisis was slowing down, "people came up to me, county attorneys and sheriffs, and said thank you for doing what you did. Nobody else is addressing this issue of border security."

The real problem, Perry said, is that the federal government failed at its job.

"I know how to secure the border," he said. "Put personnel there in the right places, have strategic fencing in place and aviation assets from Tijuana to El Paso."

He also called for using technology around the clock to identify "where the challenges are, what's illegal, what's suspicious, quick response teams to be there. At that time you can secure the border. That's a federal responsibility."

On the MSNBC "Morning Joe" program,  Perry detailed that the 74 percent decease in arrests realized through Texas' extra efforts came during peak months of illegal immigration, summer through November.

"We know how to secure the border. It's boots on the ground, personnel in the right places. It's strategic fencing, assets deployed," said Perry, "by looking at the 1,933-mile border and ... analyzing what is going on, with quick response teams to come and impact the individuals who are involved in either illegal or inappropriate activities."

Perry also on "Morning Joe" weighed in on an undercover video that shows Planned Parenthood's senior director for medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, bragging about the technique in abortions that enables the group to later sell fetal body parts and organs for profit.

"Well, Planned Parenthood does give some services that I would suggest to you are good for women's health," Perry said, "some of the cancer screening, some of those types of screenings are obviously good for women's health. When you look at the overall picture of what they do, they're in a business that the people of Texas have a real concern about."

But the video raises questions, said Perry, and the issue isn't about politics, but "it's just about what's right; it's about what's legal. And I think we do need to have a conversation, as hopefully honestly as we can, about what is going on at Planned Parenthood and is that a use of public moneys that should go forward?"

The former Texas governor also discussed criminal justice, saying that while Bill Clinton apologized on Wednesday for signing documents that expanded the federal role, "we realized it was a problem in the state of Texas in the early 2000s, putting into place drug courts in Texas, basically giving the judges the flexibility to be able to deal with these young people that were showing up, nonviolent drug-related offenses that were filling up our prisons."

"We were destroying young people's lives with these long prison sentences," Perry said, "and we decided we were going to address that in Texas, and we did. The result was last year, there are been three prisons shut down, over $2 billion saved in the state of Texas."

Watch the video here.

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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that there's nobody running for the presidency who has more experience with problems along the nation's border with Mexico than he, and "Donald Trump may not know" that border security is up to the federal government.
rick perry, trump, border, texas, illegals
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2015-13-16
Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 12:13 PM
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