Presidential candidate Rick Perry explained over the weekend his support for a 2001 law that gave illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates in Texas by saying that, on the state level, it was the best option available.
According to the National Journal, Perry told a crowd at a campaign stop in New Hampshire that his state had to choose between providing lower tuition rates to illegal immigrants, or footing a larger bill to deal with the repercussions of an uneducated populace later on.
“We either kick them to the curb and pick up the cost of whatever that’s going to be later down the road,” Perry was quoted as saying. “They were going to cost us more money if we did not allow them to be educated and become part of the workforce in the state of Texas.”
While Perry defended his support for the so-called DREAM Act in his home state, he added that he opposed doing so on the national level. His action on the state level, he said, was actually necessitated by the federal governments failure to secure the border and prevent illegal immigrants from crossing over int he first place.
In elaborating on his position, Perry sought to explain himself without again maligning his GOP rivals. In the last Republican debate, Perry called his opponents “heartless” for opposing such legislation, prompting an immediate backlash from the other candidates. Last week, Perry attempted to quell the mounting furor set off by his accusation by admitting that his comment was “inappropriate.”
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