On immigration, Rick Perry takes heat for Texas DREAM Act
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The candidates on this stage have repeatedly said they won't elaborate on their plans for dealing with the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country until the border with Mexico is secured.
Perry, who signed a Texas version of the DREAM Act (which allows young people in the country illegally to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities) drew several rounds of boos when he defended the policy.
"If you've been in the state of Texas for three years, and working toward citizenship, you pay in-state tuition," said Perry. "It doesn't matter what the sound of your last name is. That's the American way."
The point, he said several times, is to allow immigrants to become "contributing members of our society, rather than be on the dole."
As he has often done, Perry reiterated this evening that he does not believe a fence along the entire border is feasible.
"The idea you're going to build a wall from Brownsville to El Paso and go left to Tijuana is not reality," said Perry to booing. "What you gotta have is boots on the ground … the aviation assets in the air. We understand and know how to secure that border, but the federal government needs to step up and do their constitutional duty and secure the border with Mexico."