Rick Perry's unworkable immigration idea: work visas for illegal aliens (John King, CNN, secure the border)

Rick Perry appeared on CNN's John King show yesterday and supported an unworkable plan: giving work visas to the millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. He also briefly discussed immigration on Wednesday's Sean Hannity show; in both interviews he promised to secure the border within a year.

Video of the Hannity appearance is at peekURL.com/vLPBrP2 and the transcript of the relevant parts of CNN interview is at [1].


1. Perry said:

...you have to identify [all the illegal aliens in the U.S.], you have to be able to give them some type of identification. Here's how they pay their taxes and they become a contributing part of the society instead of, as some people see them, just as a leech on society. That you can put a program into place of what these individuals can be identified and work visas and where they can move back and forth between countries, but not become United States citizens...

This is the Great Circular Migration Dream: the idea that Mexican citizens would just come here to work and then go home. To a certain extent it's happened now and it's happened in the past. The problem is that those millions of former illegal aliens ("FIA") would be a constant temptation to the Democratic Party and the far-left. Both of those groups would have those FIAs as a huge power base and the Democrats would see them as millions of future Democratic Party voters. Both the Democrats and the far-left would have a huge political motivation to keep the millions of FIAs here, and they'd pull out all the stops to do so. The Dems and the far-left would work day and night to pass bills letting some (and then more) FIAs get on the "path to citizenship", they'd highlight the trials and travails of FIAs using mainstream media propaganda (see PIIPP and crops rotting in the fields for current immigration propaganda), and they'd probably even invite FIAs to Congress to speak about their issues.

In other words, there isn't much of a chance that most or many of those FIAs would ever go home, especially after comparing their lives in the two different countries. They'd also invite their friends and extended family to come here and join them, as happens now. Under Rick Perry workplace enforcement would probably be as weak as it was under George W Bush, so over time we'd have a new population of newly-arrived illegal aliens.

At the same time, we'd have a two-tier society: millions of people living in the U.S. would be second-class semi-citizens. That would cause social friction and the Democrats, of course, would make a somewhat compelling argument that people who live here more or less permanently and who are a legal part of our society should be able to vote.

And, of course, those FIAs would have U.S. citizen children, making it even harder to deport their parents if we decided to, for instance, revoke their work visas. Those U.S. citizen children would also form a future power base for the Democrats and the far-left.

Perry's plan is similar to one of George W. Bush's plans and similar plans from those like Mike Pence. None of them will work, if your standard is what's best for the U.S. as a whole. If your standard is what's best for cheap labor employers or the leaders of the Democratic Party, they'd work wonders, at least for a while.

See guest workers for additional information.

2. Regarding the bill Rick Perry signed that gave in-state tuition to illegal aliens, Hannity was more truthful in his interview than King. Hannity correctly said the bill was for illegal immigrants; King misled by saying it was for the children of illegal immigrants (the transcript below is incorrect; the video shows that King said "and your support for the in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants"). This would be an honest mistake, if not for the fact that illegal immigration supporters keep tending to make the same mistake. Note that King works for CNN, which portrays itself as the center of what journalism is. Yet he was less truthful than Hannity, a partisan hack, someone who works for a news source which we're constantly told isn't a real news source. Other than that, both interviews were, of course, incredibly weak. Rick Perry is proposing a huge change to our country, and all CNN and Fox News can do is basically just sit there and listen to him speak. Hannity's and King's interns are probably subjected to tougher job interviews.

3. King allowed Rick Perry to engage in the deportations false choice: the idea that we're forced to choose between mass deportations and some form of amnesty (whether a path to citizenship or the massive guest workers program that Rick Perry supports).

4. And, last but not by any means whatsoever in Rick Perry's eyes, Perry endlessly harped on securing the border. See the secure the border page. At least he's not trying to mislead people: we know just how weak he'd be on immigration overall, even if he did put lots of "boots on the ground". Under Rick Perry the border would probably be more secure, yet we also might have millions of restive second-class semi-citizens, the Democrats and the far-left would have much more power and would be working on obtaining even more, and we'd have even more competition for low-skilled American workers.

UPDATE: I replaced a typo: "King misled by saying it was for the children of illegal immigrations" with "King misled by saying it was for the children of illegal immigrants" and bolded the word "children" to make the difference between what Hannity and Kind said clearer.

Also note that Perry said "We know Hamas and Hezbollah are using Mexico as a base of operation". I didn't highlight that before, but I will now. See the immigration terrorism page for more on that.

[1] From transcripts.cnn . com/TRANSCRIPTS/1111/03/jkusa.01.html

KING: Immigration is one of the issues that if you ask voters has hurt you a bit since you got into the race as they learn about your Texas record. We have governor Brewer of Arizona on the program last night and she said, when it comes to your views on the fence, that you can't have a fence everywhere, you think it's unrealistic, and your support for the in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, she thinks that will hurt you in the state of Arizona. In her words, what works in Texas won't work or sell in Arizona.

How would you answer that?

PERRY: Well, I think that's correct, and that's the reason we have 50 states and it's a reason I'm a big believer of the 10th Amendment, is that all states aren't alike.

What I do know is how to secure the border, and there's not anybody on that stage that's had to deal with this issue more than I have. The federal government's been abject failure in securing our border.

I do know how to secure the border, use the strategic fencing in the appropriate places, you have the boots on the ground, use technology and particularly the Predator drones and the aviation assets and you can shut the border down, you can secure it, you can stop the drug cartels from having easy access and the other terrorist groups. We know Hamas and Hezbollah are using Mexico as a base of operation.

Shut the border down. I know how to do it. I have had to deal with it. I have had Texas rangers, I have had our people there who have been harassed and shot out. Thank god none of them have been killed.

KING: I believe it was in an interview with Sean Hannity the other day, you said you could secure the border within a year.

PERRY: I think so.

KING: Is that -- is that realistic?

PERRY: Absolutely. I think you can secure that border within a year, but you've got to have a president that's committed to it.

You shift those aviation assets of which we have and put them on the border, we have a substantial number of aviation assets that could be used to download that real-time information to the local and the federal and the state law enforcement, and know exactly what's going on, on that border and be able to move very quickly to the place where you're having that type of action and shut that border down. I think you can do it in 12 months.

KING: But not a fence all the way across? You stand by...


PERRY: Well, the idea --

KING: -- unrealistic.

PERRY: Well, it'd take 10 to 15 years to build a fence.

KING: Right.

PERRY: I'm about securing this border now. There's places where a secure fence will work and that strategic type fencing will work, but the idea that people can easily just stand up and say, oh, let's build a fence and be done with it, wipe our hands, it's going to secure the border, that's not reality.

I have to deal with reality as a governor in the state of Texas, and the way that you secure that border the most quickly is by using the strategic fencing that you have, continue to be using it and putting it in place, but boots on the ground and those aviation assets and real-time information, that's how you secure the border.

KING: When you get criticized on the in-state tuition program, you've defended it and you've explained why you think you'd rather have them in school than sitting in the welfare line, rather have them in school than out committing crime on the streets somewhere, I would put that under the umbrella of what your predecessor as governor, President Bush, used to call compassionate conservatism.

What happened to that, especially in the Republican Party on the immigration issue? Why has the debate become so harsh?

PERRY: I put that in the category of being very wise economically. I mean, when you judge are you going to have taxpayers or tax wasters, and that's how Texans looked at it.

One thing you should have to keep in mind here, the reason we're having to deal with this is, again, because of the total failure of the federal government to secure that border. But beside that point, and whether it's Governor Brewer or governors in other states that have to deal with these issues, they're forced upon us. We don't get to sit on the sidelines. We have to make decisions on how we're going to deal with this.

Texans, by an overwhelming margin in the legislature, said we would rather have these young people moving towards getting their United States citizenship, be in our schools paying full in-state tuition and being taxpayers rather than kicking them over to the curb here, if you will, and having the state have to pick up the cost of this non-skilled, and in some cases, imprisoned individual.

KING: What does it mean, extend the definition of the conversation for me, when you say you oppose amnesty in any form? What does that mean for the millions of illegal immigrants who are here, some people say 20, some people say 10, some people say 8 million to 12 million, regardless of the number what does it mean for them? Does opposing amnesty mean round them up and kick them out?

PERRY: No. We've already had that conversation in this country. The idea that somehow we're going to round up 12 or however million people and ship them back to the country of origin is not reality.

KING: As you know, a lot of conservatives say that's the way do it, they don't want them to get any path to status, they say that's amnesty.

PERRY: And we're not talking about path to status here. We're talking about you're not going to pick up these folks.

But here what you do have to do, I think, is you have to identify them, you have to be able to give them some type of identification. Here's how they pay their taxes and they become a contributing part of the society instead of, as some people see them, just as a leech on society. That you can put a program into place of what these individuals can be identified and work visas and where they can move back and forth between countries, but not become United States citizens.

And I think that's where both McCain, that's where Romney, that's where even Bush went wrong when they talked about the issue of we're going to give amnesty to these individuals and people just said, no we're not.

KING: If you let them stay at all, though, and let them have those visas, some conservatives will say that's a form of amnesty. Because they came in illegally, they should not be able to get any benefits.

PERRY: Well, I disagree with the concept that somehow or other we're going to pack up 10 to 12 to 15 million people and ship them back to the country of origin. That's not going to happen. So we need to have -- reality has to be part of our conversation, and then you need to have a strategy to deal with it.

And that is what I think we will have, but first you have to secure that border. If you do not secure the border then there's no use in having conversations about how are you going to deal with these individuals.