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Governor Rick Perry’s Position on Immigration

September 8, 2011

Last night’s debate among the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination was the first involving Texas Governor Rick Perry. Since he entered the race, Governor Perry has led the field of nominees, and an average of current polls places him 11 points ahead of his nearest rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

One press report has suggested that an area of vulnerability for Governor Perry within his own Republican party is on the issue of immigration:  “Texas remains welcoming to immigrants in ways some other states are not. Illegal immigrants can get in-state tuition at Texas universities. Neither employers nor state agencies are required to run job applicants through a federal database [known as E-Verify] to determine their legal status. Illegal immigrants have access to services for drug treatment, mental health and children with special health care needs.”

The report goes on to explain that a major financial supporter of Governor Perry’s in past elections is the Texas Association of Business which supports comprehensive immigration reform, “acknowledg[ing] the $17.7 billion contribution that immigrant workers make to the Texas economy.”  The association also supports “allow[ing] hard-working, tax-paying undocumented workers to earn legal status [and] unit[ing], rather than divid[ing], employers and immigrant workers.”

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