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Rick Perry Dons His Leather Jacket and Jumps the Shark.

We haven’t written too much about the Republican Presidential Candidates so far. No candidate will ever match up to everything a person believes in, so you end up picking your choice based on the things that are important to you, and the things you can live with, even if you disagree.

So far we have eliminated Ron Paul because, well, because he is Ron Paul. Often described as the person “most likely to remind people of their crazy ol’ uncle,” that description is actually insulting to “crazy ol’ uncles.”

Ron Paul is worse in that the uncle is harmless. Ron Paul, if elected, is dangerous.

Then there is Rick Perry.

The governor of Texas has some good points, but in our opinion he made a huge, monumental gaffe in the September 22, 2011 Republican Presidential debate declaring people to be “without a heart” if they opposed his program to allow illegal immigrants in-state college tuition rates.

Here is the exchange, in case you missed it:

[MODERATOR CHRIS] WALLACE: Governor Perry, I’m going to ask you a question, so you don’t need to respond to him, because you’re going to get a full minute to answer your question, which is on directly this point. You’re the candidate whose name, by a wide margin, came up most often in the questions being submitted to all of you candidates about immigration.

Dave Hollenback (ph) of Arizona sent this “To date, it appears that you have not tried to stop the illegals from coming. We have high unemployment and a considerable amount of jobs going to illegals. Are you going to exert an effort to stop the abuse of U.S. citizens by illegals?”

Now, last year, more than 16,000 children of illegals, young people in Texas, took advantage of your in-state tuition rate. Speak to that issue. And just, generally, how do you feel being criticized by a number of these other candidates on the stage for being too soft on immigration, sir?

PERRY: Well, I feel pretty normal getting criticized by these folks, but the fact of the matter is this: there is nobody on this stage who has spent more time working on border security than I have.

For a decade, I’ve been the governor of a state with a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. We put $400 million of our taxpayer money into securing that border. We’ve got our Texas Ranger recon teams there now.

I supported Arizona’s immigration law by joining in that lawsuit to defend it. Every day I have Texans on that border that are doing their job.

But if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society.

I think that’s what Texans wanted to do. Out of 181 members of the Texas legislature, when this issue came up, only four dissenting votes.

This was a state issue. Texans voted on it. And I still support it greatly.

WALLACE: Senator Santorum —

SANTORUM: Chris, no one here is suggesting —

WALLACE: Senator Santorum, you don’t need to butt in because I was about to ask you a question on this exact issue.

You say that Governor Perry’s opposition to building a border along the entire fence shows that he is a “big government moderate.”

Question: Is he soft on illegal immigration?

SANTORUM: Governor Perry, no one is suggesting up here that the students that are illegal in this country shouldn’t be able to go to a college and university. I think you are sort of making this leap that, unless we subsidize this, the taxpayers subsidize it, they won’t be able to go.

Well, most folks who want go to the state of Texas or any other state out of state have to pay the full boat (ph). The point is, why are we subsidizing?

Not that they can’t go. They can go. They just have to borrow money, find other sources to be able to go.

And why should they be given preferential treatment as an illegal in this country? That’s what we’re saying.

Clearly Perry missed the point that illegal immigrants should not be given benefits at the expense of other people who are legal citizens within the United States.

However, on Saturday, Perry doubled down on the same belief:

“We have, for decades, had a federal government that has absolutely failed in its constitutional duty to defend our border,” Perry said.

“I’m a governor. I don’t have the pleasure of standing on the stage and criticizing. I have to deal with these issues,” he later added.

Perry continued, “In 2001, we had this choice: Are we going to kick these children over to the curb and say you cannot have access to college? Because the fact of the matter is there’s no way they could pay the out-of-state tuition. And are we going to have them on the government dole over here because they’re not educated? Or are we going to have them in our institutions of higher learning, paying in state tuition, pursuing citizenship?”

“So in Texas, we made the decision that it was in our best interest as a state — economically and otherwise — to have those young people in our institutions of higher learning becoming educated to be part of our skilled workforce.”

In the debate, Perry made the false choice set of “college or no college.” Here, he makes a similar false choice in “pay unwarranted benefits now, or in the future.”

Perry’s claim that illegal immigrants should get a benefit for which legal citizens and legal immigrants in the United States do not qualify makes absolutely no sense. The claim most pro-illegal immigration people put forth is the illegal immigrant is just looking for a better life. While we disagree with the concept of breaking the law in order to make a better life, doesn’t the legal resident in Oklahoma have the same desire for a better life? Why are they going to pay more tuition to attend a Texas University while a person who is in the country illegally gets a tuition assistance?

As for the claim of being “on the government dole,” how is that going to happen? Perry can’t be for providing illegal immigrants what essentially would be benefits such as unemployment, welfare, food assistance, etc that would be obtained by fraudulent means, can he?

Yet that is the false choice Perry sets up. He never says “if we don’t pay tuition for illegal immigrants and don’t give them illegally obtained benefits, they might return to their country of origin.” That is another option and one which many conservatives would agree with.

As a nation, we have to decide that people who come into the country illegally should not be rewarded with benefits or allowed to obtain benefits through fraud. We are a nation of immigrants and have welcomed immigrants from around the world who have come through the gates legally.

Perry’s continued backing of illegal immigrants and offering benefits to those illegal immigrants is misplaced. It is akin to a thief robbing someone and then being allowed to keep the proceeds of that robbery.

Perry is off our “contenders list” and joins Ron Paul on the “no thanks” list.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Tip of the hat to William Teach over at The Pirate’s Cove for the MSNBC article link.

2 Responses to “Rick Perry Dons His Leather Jacket and Jumps the Shark.”

  1. Maria says:

    I am sorry that we disagree so strongly in our opinions of Rick Perry. I long ago eliminated others from my list of contenders and Rick Perry is my only choice for President.

    I am a Texan, not by birth but by choice. Although I have lived in several states in the Union, North and South, Texas is home to our family. Governor Perry has served our state well for 10 years.

    When he said that the AZ law would not really work in Texas, he was absolutely correct, our culture here is completely different than it is in other states.

    In 1982, the US Supreme Court upheld the landmark case Plyler v. Doe. It states that: In the United States, every child, no matter his or her immigration status, has the right to attend a US public school from kindergarten through 12th grade. That is happening right now in every state in the Union.

    Currently 10 states offer in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrant students: Texas, California, Utah, New York, Washington, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Texas bill was a bipartisan effort passed by the Texas legislature wherein only 4 legislators voted against it.

    The idea of providing these students with a means to further their education was not met with opposition in the state of Texas. In a state where nearly 38% of the population is Hispanic, we consider it an investment in Texas.

    The students have to have lived in Texas for 3 years, graduated from a Texas high school and complete a rigorous application to meet the standards. They make up 1% of all the students attending college in Texas. It is not a free education. They must pay for all their costs. The only break they get is that they don’t have to pay the out of state fee. When you say that they get “tuition assistance” it implies that they are getting money. It’s just a break. As a Christian and as a former teacher I have to have a certain degree of compassion for this children who have grown up as Americans and who show the desire to become better, more productive citizens.

    Their parents broke the law when they came here ilegally and brought them along. Are we to punish the children for the sins of the fathers? Were it more than just a reduction in tuition we certainly would have balked. But in order to take advantage of the program, this students pay their own way as other do.

    You do Mr. Perry an injustice when you say “Perry’s continued backing of illegal immigrants…..” The law was introduced and passed in the Texas legislature by an overwhelming majority. Had he vetoed it they would have been easily able to override it. It was the will of the people.

    Although Hispanics, especially from Mexico have the highest rate of illegal immigration in the country,there are other groups that are benefitting from the original Plyler v. Doe ruling nationwide.

    In July of this year, through the power of Executive Order Barack Husseing Obama passed what is in essence “the spirit of the DREAM Act.” By passing such a law, he had forbidden deportation which happens to be my preferred method of dealing with illegal immigration, and he has also passed into law the ability for illegal high school graduates to either opt to go to college or join the military as a path to citizenship.

    Our law in Texas is applicable to 1% of students entering college in Texas. Obama’s Law encourages illegal immigration.

    As for that kid in Oklahoma who wants to attend a Texas school and has to pay out of state tuition, I say the same I said to mine, “It’s cheaper to stay in state.” Instead I wound up paying private school tuition for college which is one fee for all, and out of state tuition for The University of Florida. I don’t regret it or the Texas law for one moment.

    I know that many fear that Rick Perry would mandate other states to follow Texas’ lead, and that is where they are completely wrong. They’ve grown too acustomed to Barack Hussein Obama shoving HIS laws down our collective throats. Rick Perry wants to give power BACK to the states. He’s is purely a states’ rights man, and that is to his favor.

    I know a lot of people were offended by Gov. Perry’s remaks that “they didn’t have a heart.” But when I see people who profess to be such devout Christians express such anger over kindness extended to a child, I have to wonder how much they remember Christ’s teaching.
    Matthew 25:40

    • AAfterwit says:

      In 1982, the US Supreme Court upheld the landmark case Plyler v. Doe.

      I am unsure how a ruling on K – 12 education applies to colleges.

      The only break they get is that they don’t have to pay the out of state fee. When you say that they get “tuition assistance” it implies that they are getting money. It’s just a break.

      They are getting money. By definition, they cannot be a legal resident of the State of Texas as they are not legal residents of the United States. That is the issue. They are no more residents of Texas than a resident of Colorado is a resident of Texas. A compromise that also invests in Texas and allows the state to have more money for education is the kids who are here illegally paying the same rate as out of state residents pay for. That has an appearance of being fair and equitable. As it is, allowing illegal immigrants tax support on tuition is wrong.

      By passing such a law, he had forbidden deportation which happens to be my preferred method of dealing with illegal immigration….

      I am sorry Marie, I find a contraction with your preferred method of dealing with illegal immigration through deportation and the idea we should reward illegal immigrants with benefits of a tuition “break” or whatever you want to call it.

      Had he vetoed it they would have been easily able to override it.

      But he didn’t veto it. He did not take a stand. He apparently believes that people should profit from illegal actions and illegal immigration. As I said, his unwillingness to look at the most logical, third option is not a good sign for him. If he believes in the provision now, what will he do if a similar measure comes to his desk as president? Given his record, he will sign it.

      But when I see people who profess to be such devout Christians express such anger over kindness extended to a child, I have to wonder how much they remember Christ’s teaching.

      I am not angry over what you term to be “kindness extended to a child.” I am only saying that Perry’s view of immigration and allowing people to profit from it is contrary to what I hold to be true.

      Matthew 25:40

      Sorry, but I am unpersuaded that Christ felt people should profit from illegal actions. (Render unto Ceasar and all that.) Furthermore, no one is preventing the kid from going to college. The discussion is whether a person should profit from breaking the law and having the rest of the people pay for it.

  2. […] We had written several weeks ago that Perry’s stance on aid for illegal immigrants in the state of Texas was, at best, poorly thought out. The moment he said people who did not want to support education benefits for those who are here in the country illegally as being “without a heart,” it was clear to us that Perry was not tuned into the conservatives of the country, and could not think beyond an all or nothing solution. Many people did not understand his explanation at the time. A few days later he was having problems making his case. Even today, many are still not understanding the reasoning behind his position. […]

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