Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry argued that it’s “political rhetoric” to debate changing the 14th Amendment to end birthright citizenship or what to do with illegal immigrants in the US until the border is secured on Tuesday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.
Perry was asked [relevant exchange begins around 7:45] about fellow candidate Donald Trump’s immigration plan, Perry said that he hadn’t read the whole thing, and continued, “what will work, is putting the personnel on the right places on the border. You have this strategic fencing in the metropolitan areas. And the one thing that’s really missing, that we’ve got to put in place, and that’s the aviation assets, whether it’s fixed-wing rotorcraft, whether it’s drones flying 24/7 from Tijuana, to El Paso, to Brownsville, that’s 1,933 miles. If you want to secure that border, and do it in a timely fashion, that’s the only way you can do it. With quick response teams, when they see activities on that border that are either illegal or suspicious, then you send those quick response teams immediately to address it. At that particular point in time, you can secure the border. We’ve just never had the will in Washington, DC to do that. When I’m the president of the United States, I can promise you one thing, the will to secure the border will reside in the Oval Office every day.”
Perry was then asked if he would end the “anchor baby” policy. He answered, “if you’re saying, ‘Will you do away with the 14th Amendment?’ I think you need to look back at a little bit of history. When’s the last time we changed the Constitution of this country? And it was back in the early ’90s. And it took 202 years to do that. So, I’m a governor who has to deal with finding solutions to problems. I know how to deal with the solution. And it’s not changing the Constitution. But that’s political rhetoric.”
When asked what the solution is, Perry stated, “I just told you what the solution is, it’s to secure the border. If you don’t secure the border, none of these problems go away. You can change all the rules and regulations that you want, if you can get it done. I’ll suggest to you, what you can get done, is secure the border. All of these challenges we face, whether it’s healthcare costs, whether it’s — whatever the cost that gets driven by people coming into this country illegally, those are cured when you secure the border. This is not rocket science.”
Perry added, “building a wall is not going to do it, because you’re going to put the ladder business into pretty good high mode.”
When asked about illegal immigrants in the US, Perry said, “we will figure out the way to deal with those individuals, from the standpoint of being able to find out who is in this country that needs to be sent back to their country. We can identify those individuals pretty quick with a policy, I think, that will work. But the key is, we’ve got to secure the border. All of this conversation about these side issues, whether it’s how to deal with 11 million people…that is political rhetoric until you get the border secure.”
Pressed further on what to do what he would do with illegal immigrants in the US, Perry said that it’s a “fallacy” to not focus on border security.
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