Perry NH supporter backs his immigration policies
October 1st, 2011
07:48 AM ET
9 years ago

Perry NH supporter backs his immigration policies

Derry, New Hampshire (CNN) - At his first New Hampshire town hall, Rick Perry did not field a question on the controversial immigration policies that have dogged the candidate for weeks.

But that doesn't mean the topic didn't come up.

Instead, the man who introduced the Texas governor offered a rousing endorsement of Perry's conservative bona fides on cracking down on illegal immigration.

"There is no person in this race stronger in taking a stance against illegal immigration in actions than Gov. Rick Perry," declared John Stephen, a former gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire and one of Perry's most visible and tireless supporters here.

Stephen ticked through Perry's actions as governor, including vetoes of legislation that would grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and actions Perry took to "support and allow" for $400 million in state funds to protect the border.

Notably absent on the list was Perry's support of legislation granting in-state college tuition to children of some illegal immigrants - a policy which has alienated some conservatives and energized many of Perry's GOP opponents. The legislation is similar to the federal Dream Act.

Stephen pre-emptively sought to reassure the audience in Derry, many of whom wore Perry stickers and applauded Stephen's remarks.

"He also is opposed to the federal Dream Act and he absolutely is opposed to granting illegal immigrants amnesty," Stephen said. "That is leadership."

Later, some of the audience members said they had hoped to hear from Perry himself on the issue. Perry took eight questions from the audience but none was on his immigration policies in Texas. He did not mention the issue in his short speech before taking questions.

Katherine Prudhomme-O'Brien, of Derry, had wanted to ask Perry to explain his position.

"All my friends are talking about the in-state tuition thing," she said, explaining her child was a high school senior so the issue of college tuition was an important consideration. "It's very frustrating and after awhile you start to feel like an idiot for playing by the rules."

She hopes to hear more from Perry at another event during the primary season.

"Maybe there's more to it," she said of his position on the tuition issue.

Perry has pointed out the decision was widely popular among state legislators and said he believed it was a state's rights issue.

"I was hoping he'd elaborate. He didn't mention it at all," said a woman from Derry. "I'm not against immigrants. I'm against the illegal part. I think sometimes people forget what illegal means."

Others who attended the meeting said illegal immigration did not stack high on their list of priorities.

"It doesn't hit home like it does maybe in some of the border states," said John Trainor, of Derry.

Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. The Elephant In The Room

    Anytime someone has to tip-toe around an issue, picking & choosing from inconsistent positions, THINKING VOTERS are going to question the candidates character & motives. Rick Perry has been such a slimey, slick politician his whole life that he falls into that category.

    So-called "conservatives" – – [I still don`t know what they want to "conserve" except the status quo which benefits them] – – WILL NEVER be able to explain away Perry wanting to give a right or benefit to non-citizens that American citizens CAN NOT GET.

    He used the word "heartless" to describe it. The question that the old-southerner-mental-lites will have is whether Perry`s " inner liberal" comming out. They won`t be sure and when in doubt, sit it out.

    October 1, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    So now, Trump, Pawlenty, Cotter, Perry and Bachmann have flamed out, leaving Mittens and Paul to duke it out.

    October 1, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. mary kaczala

    I know. Of several illegals that have kids get medicad and drive new cars live in.nice apartments. They live large. Ian on disability and the government wants to take. It away from me. I paid into it for 50 year yust for illegals to take it what is right about that.

    October 1, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |

    Rick Bush can run,but he can't hide. His wingnuts won't let him. Uncle Tom Cain can look forward to the same soon.

    October 1, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  5. Kenny K

    If that is Obama who allow instate tuition to illegals' children, the GOP/TP will be screaming on their highest tones.

    October 1, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Thanks to John Stephen, Perry just lost the bible belt, and the "We Bare All, Couples Welcome" crowd.

    October 1, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    The truth is now being spoken.

    October 1, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  8. RLA

    Perry is not up to being president any more than Bush or Obama. The GOP has better candidates!

    October 1, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  9. a in austin

    Perry just appointed a former lobbyist/friend as executive director of TXDOT paying him $100,000 more than the last guy. Putting another person in the position to keep his secrets under the table until after his campaign ends....

    October 1, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  10. Clwyd

    Pr!@k Perry talks tough in public and on the campaign trail, but the rich ranchers and businesses are reaping the $ profits from cheap illegal immigrant labor!

    October 1, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  11. diridi

    This dude is a stupid Idiot, o.k, Texas is full of Illegals, for Votes He backs them up. What a nasty TRICK. Shame, America, Shame.....listen, our Unemployment is 9 percent. Citizens are ready to work....God bless.

    October 1, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Perry NH supporter backs his immigration policies◄
    NORTH side will accept him and the SOUTH disagrees!!
    Wow, this is a division along the “Mason Dixon Line”
    And PerryWinkle is in the middle – “fighting” without a spine!!

    All of the Flip-Flopping coming from the candidates will get NONE of them anywhere
    They pass laws they feel are right and then all of a sudden switch gears
    Romney is in the same boat with his Health Care for all in his state
    Then he “fully reverse” when the Tea Party raise hell then he walks through their wicket gate!!

    This will HAUNT the candidates from the RIGHT and why they’ll have difficult times
    The SOUTH rules their actions and the NORTH plucks their minds
    Maybe that’s why they want Christie to jump in and take over the race
    He has the hate/arrogance of the SOUTH and not so much in the NORTH a disgrace

    Obama/Biden 2012!!

    October 1, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. no1atall

    Just one case where Perry' trying to be every thing to every one for votes comes back to haunt him. There will be more; bet on it.

    October 1, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. ya sure

    This got to be the first watch his hips not his lips moment for Perry because would be easy to I never said that moments when he signs a mass amesty like Reagan did.

    October 1, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. lynn

    No problem with Perry's in-state tuition for illegal's, maybe that will keep them in Texas and not spread their freebie grabs to my state of Arkansas. We voted against the preposterous equalization of legal kids with illegal kids in their education expenses.

    October 1, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Lady

    How can we elect a president that can not even put his hand over his heart when the pledge is been said. I wont to know if he is a american or is he from mexico. And if so that why he let all the peolple from mexico go to school at tx. rate

    October 1, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Jerry

    As a parent of a junior in college I take great offense to Illegal Immigrants getting in state tuition in whatever state they choose to reside. My son would have rather gone to a college in Colorado but because of the out of state tuition, it was out of the question. Should the people of Colorado had to go ahead and pay for the reduction in tuition for my son? I wouldn't even have considered it.

    October 1, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. not again

    Read my lips no new Texans

    October 1, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Tea Party Member

    I like Rick Perry.

    He is a classic conservative

    He calls the stimulus a failed plan – Yet he took more money then all but 2 other governors.

    He is Pro Life – yet leads all others in executions.

    He is against big government – yet half of the jobs he takes credit for creating and government dependent jobs, created with stimulus money.

    He wants to get rid of Obama care – yet offers no plan as an alternative.

    See, he is the perfect GOP canidate…

    October 1, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. JennyTX

    Texas is not the only state that offers in-state tuition to illegal immigrant children. There are about 10 other states that do the same.

    October 1, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    After reading following article I totally support Rick Perry immigration policies
    From local news paper by Jay Reeves Ap
    “In Russellville, which has one of the largest immigrant populations in the state because of its poultry plants, overall school attendance was down more than 2 percent after the ruling, and the rate was higher among Hispanic students.”

    The fact is When large group people leave the town that town will become ghost town city will lose revenue , property owners couldn’t rent their properties they can’t pay mortgage lot of chain reaction
    Federal government step up do something

    October 1, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. thomas

    Perry has more PAC money then Mexico's GNP !

    Perry / Enron ?

    October 1, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |