Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry said that he wasn’t sure if the US needed to reduce the number of legal immigrants “until we’re able to find out who these people are that are in the country illegally,” and that the visa system is “broken” at the Voters First Presidential Forum in New Hampshire.
After re-iterating his plan to secure the border, Perry was asked whether the US should “reduce the number of green cards granted legally each year to folks wanting to get into the country through the legal process?” Until illegal immigration is under control. He answered, “I think we need to be smart about our immigration. And the agency that we have today can’t even keep up with people that come into the country. When you give a visa, and they overstay it, and we don’t know where they. I mean, Bobby, we know that they can find a package halfway around the world with UPS, and we can’t keep up with people that have overstayed their visas. I mean, for crying out loud, that agency is broken. You need to fix that agency of government that deals with these individuals that are coming in here. Be thoughtful about what is the workforce that we need, allow the people in this country that we need in this country, and those that have overstayed their visas, you go find them, and you pick them up, and you send them back to wherever they’re from.”
Perry was asked if we should temporarily reduce the number of legal immigrants, Perry responded, “I don’t know if we need to reduce the number or not until we’re able to find out who these people are that are in the country illegally. That’s the real challenge, and if we get that taken care of first, then we can make a smart decision about whether or not we do or we don’t need to have more visas being handed out.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett