September 23, 2011

Where Perry falls down on immigration

Illegal means not legal.
Jim Geraghty has a point about Perry's worst moment during the debate last night when he talked about allowing children of illegal immigrants to receive state paid tuition.
Hey, Governor, if we wanted to hear suggestions that folks on the Right are heartless, we would have tuned in to watch a bunch of Democrats.

If you want to alienate Americans concerned about illegal immigration, the quickest and surest way is to suggest that they have cruel, draconian, xenophobic, or racist motives for their focus on border security
True.  But the real point where Perry falls down is basic logic. 

If people are prevented from sneaking in and creating anchor babies that can then get a free education, then Texas wouldn't have to pay to educate them.  Surely enforcing the immigration laws of the land is not being heartless.  Texas wouldn't have to subsidize the education if the children weren't born in Texas.

Instead, they'd either not be born (because anchor babies aren't needed in Mexico), or they'd be born in Mexico.  If they were born in Mexico would the governor feel the same compulsion to educate them?  I doubt it.  So perhaps it's really about dollars for the governor after all and not compassion.

Perry might have a case on the basis of compassion if we were talking about dozens of children of illegals, but it's more like dozens of thousands.  Rick Perry is missing the Tea Party message on cost containment.  Worse still, he makes his own compassion argument fall flat when he starts to argue that the alternative to the free education is paying for welfare.  Neither would be a problem if the parents hadn't come to the United States illegally.  

No wonder that portion of Perry's comments polled so poorly.

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