September 9, 2011

The Dustin Inman Society opposes Rick Perry for president

Posted by D.A. King at 1:18 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Of course Obama must go. But we have already seen the results of a GOP president who answers directly to the Chamber of Commerce on immigration in George W. Bush. And we have seen Perry’s record.

New York Times
September 8, 2011

Grist for Left and Right in Perry Immigration Record


Ann Coulter, the conservative pundit, has called Gov. Rick Perry “a little bit too much like George Bush” on immigration — and she does not mean it as a compliment. Tea Party loyalists have decried Mr. Perry’s opposition to a border fence and Arizona-style enforcement laws. And Mitt Romney has taken not-so-veiled jabs at Mr. Perry, criticizing officials who provide “incentives that promote illegal immigration.”

As Mr. Perry edges into front-runner status for the Republican presidential nomination, his opponents are trying to plant seeds of doubt about how tough the border state’s governor has been on illegal immigration — from his compassion for immigrant students to the tightrope he has walked between securing the border and protecting Texas’ symbiotic relationship with Mexico.

Critics hope his track record, which some have generalized as tough on security and gentle on people, will be a complicating factor for the Republican faithful.

“You can’t even have an honest discussion about the economy without taking into consideration illegal immigration,” said Katrina Pierson, a member of the Dallas Tea Party’s steering committee. “Governor Perry has not met the standards, for me, to be the president of the United States if he can’t even address the real issues in Texas.”

The governor’s campaign counters that a serious discussion about immigration reform cannot take place until the Mexican border is secure.

“The Obama administration has failed to do so, but as president, Governor Perry will deploy adequate resources, manpower and technology to get the job done,” said Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for Mr. Perry.

Mr. Perry’s first immigration-related move as governor was probably his most controversial. In 2001, he signed into law a bill making Texas the first state to grant in-state college tuition rates and financial aid to immigrant children, regardless of their legal status. In 2009, roughly 1 percent of Texas college students — about 12,000 students — benefited from the law.

Two years later, Mr. Perry joined forces with Vicente Fox, then the president of Mexico, to advocate for overhauling guest-worker laws. When the fiscal conservative commentator Lou Dobbs questioned him on immigration on CNN in 2003, Mr. Perry said that Texas had a “close, complex” relationship with Mexico, and that businesses relied on immigrants for affordable labor.

To that end, Mr. Perry has split with the platform of the Texas Republican Party, asserting that an Arizona-style immigration enforcement law — in which the authorities are required to question people about their legal status — is not a good fit for Texas.

“We have to understand why millions of people come here and why many more have died trying,” Mr. Perry said in his 2007 inaugural address. “It is for something as basic as the freedom to find a job and feed their families.”

Mr. Perry’s compassion ends where he believes Texas’ security concerns begin. He has never wavered in his desire to secure the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico border with manpower, not “preposterous” fencing, or in his frustration with the federal government, which he believes has not adequately protected Texas from the drug violence raging across the Rio Grande.

In 2005, Mr. Perry announced a $10 million state program to increase border patrols and upgrade radio systems along the border. A year later, he unveiled plans to install hundreds of video cameras, creating a multimillion-dollar “virtual” wall that in its first four years proved overly ambitious, netting few arrests. Though Mr. Perry expressed support for improving guest-worker programs in 2003, when President George W. Bush pushed for it in 2005, the governor’s frustration with the federal government kept him from supporting it.

Meanwhile, Mr. Perry has remained at war with the Obama administration over his request in 2010 for 1,000 National Guard troops along the border; he got 250. In August, he asked the federal government to reimburse Texas $350 million, the estimated cost of imprisoning illegal immigrants in state lockups.

The immigration debate has at times been a minefield for Mr. Perry, who has had to balance the ardently anti-immigration views of his base with the backing of his major donors, some of whom often rely on immigrant labor. And the governor’s rhetoric — and his tone — has ebbed and flowed, coinciding with his re-election bids and a State Legislature that is growing ever redder.

In 2009, he endorsed legislation, which has since passed, requiring Texans to present a form of photo identification to vote, although some opponents said it singled out minority voters.

And this year, in the lead-up to his run for president, Mr. Perry deemed a measure to outlaw so-called sanctuary cities in Texas a legislative emergency. The bill would have stripped state financing for municipalities that barred local law enforcement from inquiring into the immigration status of individuals detained for any crime.

Though Mr. Perry tried to differentiate the bill from the strict Arizona law, the legislation ultimately died, largely because of an 11th-hour push from Republican businessmen — some of the governor’s financial backers — who opposed it.

Despite his recent efforts, Mr. Perry has largely remained opposed to legislation backed by the most conservative lawmakers, including efforts to repeal the tuition law and measures that would end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.

This stance has been highly unpopular with the Tea Party. “Governor Perry has been governor for 10 years,” said JoAnn Fleming, the chairwoman of the Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee, “and we’ve not had enough interior enforcement of immigration laws.”

But it has not won him many fans among progressives either, whose strategy is to keep the memory of sanctuary cities fresh in the minds of Hispanic voters until the 2012 general election.

“No candidate will be more effective at alienating Hispanic voters than Rick Perry,” said Shannon Perez, the political coordinator in Texas for the Service Employees International Union.

And neither side particularly trusts the conservative business community. Last week, an e-mail surfaced from some of the Republican donors who urged Mr. Perry to back down on sanctuary cities, offering the governor’s critics low-hanging fruit. In the message, Norman Adams, a co-founder of Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy, congratulated members for helping raise $205,000 for Mr. Perry’s presidential campaign and said their efforts were the key to courting Hispanic voters.

For Mr. Perry, criticism from both sides of the political spectrum is hardly new. In past races for governor, former Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison accused him of being lax on immigration — to no avail.

On the presidential trail, and as recently as the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, Mr. Perry has taken heat from Mr. Romney, who, trailing Mr. Perry in several national polls, has made a point of reminding voters that as Massachusetts governor, he vetoed legislation that would have provided in-state tuition to illegal immigrants and strengthened the authority that state troopers have to enforce immigration laws.

Mr. Perry has said that young students should not be punished for their parents’ decisions, that a border fence will do nothing but bolster the “35-foot-ladder business, and that Arizona-style enforcement laws are not appropriate for Texas, a state that is 38 percent Hispanic.

But his latest talking points also include opposition to amnesty and to national legislation that would provide a path to legal residency for some children living in the country illegally.


September 2, 2011

Rick Perry’s pro-immigration Texas base

As Mitt Romney starts to turning to an immigration contrast with Rick Perry, the Texas governor’s own supporters are highlighting his stands on that topic that may not wear well with a majority of early-state Republican activists.

POLITICO’s Ken Vogel passes along an email sent by Perry contributor Norman Adams that contained a separate email from Steve Hotze, also a Perry bundler based in Texas. Both emails make donor solicitations that underscore Perry’s position helping to kill a bill similar to the Arizona immigration legislation, for instance.

The upshot is that these are not necessarily positions that either primary and caucus voters know about Perry, or that will sit well with them.

As I noted in another post, it’s not clear that immigration is the driver of voter interests in presidential primaries that some believe it to be. But it will be interesting to see how Perry tries to keep both his donor base of Texas businessmen, who tend to favor the immigrants who aid the state’s economy, and voters happy.

Adams’ email, titled “Governor Perry and immigration,” is below:

Thank you for signing the checks! You helped Dr. Steve Hotze fulfill his fundraising promise to Governor Perry.

We raised $43,000 of the $205,000 Steve Hotze handed him last night.

In years past I have presented the Governor honorary awards for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, for TLR, and for The Justice Foundation. However, it was the latest legislative session that gave Dr. Steve Hotze and me the best opportunity to convince Governor Perry that business owners, the economic engines that drive our economy, are overwhelmingly opposed to Arizona-style legislation. Republican Representatives and Senators, many of them our close friends, filed 108 Arizona-style bills! With the Texas legislature overwhelmingly Republican controlled, most were expected to pass.

With the help of business owners including you, we packed the hearings, we faxed, we phoned, we emailed the right people, and they listened! I was delighted last evening when the Governor looked across at me called my name and did not shoot me! Instead, he grabbed me by both arms, and of course, I grabbed him. I told him, Governor, the Houston Hispanic Chamber just named me an “Honorary Mexican” and I am here to tell you, if you will help us, Steve Hotze and I will lead the charge getting the Hispanic vote! They are Pro Life and Pro Family. They belong in the Republican Party. We must attract the Hispanic vote and together rid this country of the Obama Plague!

So, will the Governor listen? Let’s hope and pray he does! If he listens you will have played an important roll!

I have been asked to speak to the C Club on September 20th, and to the Texas Roofers Association on September 21. Both groups want to hear what happened in the Texas Legislature. I hope to inspire them to get involved. Our immediate challenge, in addition to getting Governor Perry elected, is in Washington DC. We have to convince Lamar Smith that deporting illegal immigrants is not a pathway to full employment, but rather it is a pathway to economic disaster!

It should be obvious to you, I am encouraged, and I hope you are!

God bless you, and may He help us help America!

Norman E. Adams


Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy

And here is Hotze’s email:

Dear Norman,

Thank you so much for your investment of $5,000 in Governor Rick Perry’s campaign for President and your help getting others to do the same.

You have taken advantage of a great opportunity to restore our nation and return it to its Constitutional foundation.

Because of your support and the other members of our team, we raised over $205,000 in investments for the Perry for President campaign. We were second in the greater Houston area and third in the state.

We are involved in a life and death struggle with the dark forces of socialism and Marxism.

Under the leadership of Rick Perry, free enterprise will once again flourish and conservative and Christian values will be revived.

With God’s help and your support I am confident that we shall be victorious in our efforts!

With much appreciation for your friendship and support, I remain, as always,

Sincerely yours,

Steven F. Hotze, M.D.


Conservative Republicans of Texas

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