On Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s enthusiastic embrace of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants is a magnet that lures more illegal immigrants to America – just like President Barack Obama’s temporary amnesty program for DREAMers.
“President Obama won’t send them home, and Gov. Perry has done the same thing by giving them in-state tuition,” Paul told the Wall Street Journal during a significant Iowa trip. “That’s a beacon without any kind of border security.”
Paul and Perry are potential 2016 presidential rivals, and they both will be meeting with potential supporters and activists as they crisscross throughout Iowa this month. They have feuded on foreign policy in recent months in the pages of beltway publications like Politico and the Washington Post.
Paul’s comments come as the border crisis has propelled Perry to the top tier of potential GOP presidential hopefuls – along with Paul – in some polls. During the 2012 GOP presidential primary, Perry fell precipitously because of the illegal immigration issue.
In addition to concerns about his crony capitalism, conservatives did not trust Perry on illegal immigration before the campaign. He only confirmed and exacerbated those fears during a Florida primary debate in September of 2011 when Perry said opponents of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants did not have “a heart.”
Perry never recovered from those remarks.