GUEST VIEW: Perry should defend immigration stance

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday, Sept. 27:

It’s rare to see Gov. Rick Perry getting roughed up politically for not being hawkish enough, but his fellow Republicans are having a merry time outflanking him on the right over the national immigration issue. The once-soaring Perry candidacy suddenly looks like a wounded duck in descent.

Perry has a choice: He could get medieval and fire up the anti-immigrant talk, or he could more effectively defend the principles he has laid out.

We urge Perry to stand by the two common-sense positions that are costing him dearly — his opposition to a 2,000-mile border fence and his signature on a bill that grants in-state tuition to some students who are in the state illegally.

The fence is an obvious call. As a border governor, Perry speaks with authority about the absurdity of trying to secure the boundary between the United States and Mexico with a mere fence. He has done the math, and he knows the terrain along the 1,200-mile Texas border.

Yet his GOP rivals remain crassly calculating with their toss-offs about walling off the border, as if it were like building across the living room with a pail of Legos.

Perhaps worse for Perry, politically, is his defense of signing the 2001 bill that allows students who are illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition in Texas if they meet certain conditions. …

It’s hard not to wince when Perry says opposing the Texas law means you have no heart. …

And Perry says his prescription for border security is “boots on the ground,” as if that alone will do it.

We’d rather that Perry, with his experience as a pro-business border governor, go all in on the immigration issue and tell the truth about individual fixes: They don’t work.

It will take a comprehensive program including border security, a guest-worker program, workplace enforcement and a pathway to legalized immigration status.

Illegal immigration is no sound-bite issue. The governor knows that, and he’s in a better position than any other candidate to make the case for lasting reforms.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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