UT/TT Poll – Economy, Immigration Top Voter Concerns

"Texas voters think the economy is the biggest problem facing the country but immigration is the most pressing issue facing the state, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.

That coincides with the rise of Gov. Rick Perry's policies on illegal immigration as an issue in the presidential race and with his relative electoral weakness in Texas, where the UT/TT poll has the governor in a virtual tie with former business executive Herman Cain among the state’s Republican voters."  Read more …

 

AP: Perry endorses work visas for illegal immigrants

"AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry proposed the federal government should extend work visas allowing illegal immigrants to move freely between the U.S. and their home countries — but stressed that he opposes amnesty or a path to citizenship.

Perry said in an interview with CNN's John King on Thursday that expectations that U.S. authorities are going to arrest and deport up to 15 million illegal immigrants isn't realistic. He added, however, that other Republicans, including fellow Texan George W. Bush, went too far when they previously proposed an immigration overhaul that included a path to citizenship.

The Texas governor also claimed his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, had once supported amnesty. Romney has drawn criticism for hiring a lawn care company that employed illegal immigrants at his family's property in a Boston suburb for a decade — but has also said amnesty is not appropriate for illegal immigrants."  Read more …

Chippewa Herald Opinion: Our economy relies on immigrants

Immigrants bring “new ideas, new perspectives and new talent to our workforce. To reverse the decades-long trend of economic decline in this city, we need to think globally.”

Those are the comments of Dayton, Ohio Mayor Gary Leitzell explaining why his city has adopted a plan encouraging immigrants to come to the city to help pull it out of its economic tailspin.

Dayton has lost thousands of jobs and 15 percent of its population. It hopes immigrant entrepreneurs will help rebuild and grow the city’s small business and restore the city’s neighborhoods.

Dayton’s viewpoint on immigration is countered by states like Alabama, where a new law allows police to detain indefinitely anyone suspected of being in the state illegally and requires schools to check the status of new students.  Read more …

 

Houston Examiner Opinion: All that’s left is lawlessness

"While the ATF was letting guns walk across the border, the Obama administration, Homeland Security and Gov. Rick Perry was letting marijuana and a host of other drugs walk into the country, Texas and Arizona.

Now if you're from these parts of Texas, this would be the results of a certain party banking on beefing up a voter base and another certain party attracting business to Texas. This bit of information proves without doubt, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is clueless on the border.

Mexico's drug cartels, on a interesting note, are more business savvy then the Obama administration and Perry's Texas. Unofficially speaking, cartels have created more jobs in the country then the stimulus package. They'd take a back seat to Perry's job creation among illegal immigrants though."

 

Washington Post’s Michael Gerson: Accommodation of anger

"What is it about the immigration issue that brings out the worst in politicians?

Neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Perry has a history of being an immigration hard-liner.Romney supported George W. Bush’s attempt at comprehensive immigration reform in 2005, which included a (difficult) path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. When I attended a dinner with Perry during his 2010 campaign for reelection as Texas governor, he was particularly passionate about the need for Republican outreach to Hispanics.

Yet Romney has attacked Perry for allowing educational benefits in Texas for the children of undocumented immigrants — calling this policy 'a magnet to draw illegals into the state.' Perry has responded that Romney’s Massachusetts health-care reform permitted the medical treatment of undocumented immigrants, which a Perry campaign spokesman calls an 'illegal immigration magnet.' In this exchange, both campaigns have managed — extending the metaphor — to be repellent.

It is one thing to debate techniques of enforcement along the United States’ southern border. Most of the Republican candidates seem to prefer construction of a physical wall — a public-works program of questionable utility that would make the Great Pyramid seem a minor, shovel-ready project in comparison. Herman Cain wants the barrier electrified. Michele Bachmann proposes two walls, just in case. Perry, who knows something about the vastness of Texas, seems flummoxed by the absurdity of the whole idea.'  Read more …

 

SA Express News O. Richardo Pimentel: Republican immigration ‘debate’ not so much

"Immigration is not just some esoteric issue in San Antonio or Texas, which is why what is passing for debate on the issue in the GOP should be of more than just passing interest — and distress.

A few names rise to the top in illustrating how delirious the debate has become. One would be Cain, another Seagal. But another is Perry, as in Gov. Rick, instructive on a couple of fronts, good and bad.

Herman Cain, the former Godfather CEO turned presidential candidate, recently proposed an electrified fence on the border and moats filled with alligators — one to kill undocumented immigrants, the other, I guess, to dispose of the evidence.

And action hero Steven Seagal is one of the border's newest full-time deputies, signed up in Hudspeth County."  Read more …

Dallas Morning News: Perry keeps birther controversy alive

Rick Perry appears to have no qualms about sidling up to the widely discredited conspiracy theory over President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, saying Tuesday that 'it’s a good issue to keep alive.'  

The Texas governor has now flirted with the long-settled questions about Obama’s citizenship in multiple interviews. And despite calling the issue a 'great distraction,' Perry continues to tap dance around the topic with a jocular grin.

'It’s fun to poke at him and say, "Hey, how about let’s see your grades and your birth certificate,"'Perry told CNBC.  Read more …