This timeline will map Gov. Perry's stance and action on immigration policy through the years.
Created by avasquez on Jul 8, 2011
Last updated: 08/12/11 at 02:00 PM
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Perry got his wish when the White House announced the 1,200 National Guard troops patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border would stay put three months past the initial June 30 end date. To do so, President Obama had to ask Congress to redirect $30 million to cover the additional cost.
Perry's bill banning sanctuary cities passed in the Texas House but was killed in the Senate.
Perry added immigration to the Texas legislature's special session agenda, reviving a bill that had died in May during the regular session. The bill banned so-called sanctuary cities, ensuring law enforcement officers are protected in asking the immigration status of people who have been detained or arrested.
Perry also pushed legislation to run the names of anyone arrested through a database, as well as another to ensure a person's legal status before issuing a driver's license.
Perry signed a bill into law that requires voters to provide either a drivers license, military ID, passport, concealed handgun license or state-issued voter ID card. The bill was rushed through the state legislature's special session as an "emergency" item.
In an interview with conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham, Rick Perry showed his dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama's actions on the border security by calling the president "a stand-up comic."
“Anyone who knows what’s happening on the border of Texas and Mexico or, for that matter, the southern border of the United States with Mexico realizes this is not comedy," Perry said in the interview. "There are people’s lives in jeopardy every day.”
During a trip to Washington, Perry spoke at a roundtable discussion with reporters about the danger posed by the drug war and cartel violence near the Texas-Mexico border. While urging the federal government to help provide border security, Perry called Juarez, Mexico, “the most dangerous city in America.”
At a Politico-sponsored policy forum, Perry said, "Today, the Mexican border is a war zone. It is every bit as dangerous as Iraq.”
Perry spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference and said the feds “continue their record of abject failure in that area." He demanded unmanned aircrafts to monitor the border as well as 1,000 National Guard troops to fill in until 3,000 more border patrol agents could be trained and sent out.
During Perry's annual address, he called for stricter consequences for businesses that hire undocumented workers, an end to drug cartel cross-border violence and praise for Texas law enforcement.
In an interview with Fox News, Perry spoke out against the Obama Administration's advocacy of granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants. "The idea that the administration unilaterally is going to be handing out citizenship to the United States is pretty offensive to people who stood in line for long periods of time to become citizens," Perry said. "So I think it’s a really bad idea.”
Texas was one of 10 states that filed a legal brief in support of Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law SB1070. The "friend of the court" brief was filed with San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and claims the federal judge was wrong to block parts of law.
In response to stray bullets from Juarez hitting a building on the University of Texas-El Paso, Perry called it "unconscionable that the Obama Administration is gambling with American lives, betting that escalating violence from these cartels won’t eventually shed the blood of innocent people on U.S. soil,” he said in a statement. “It’s time for Washington to stop the rhetoric and immediately deploy a significant force of personnel and resources to the border to protect our homeland.”
As soon as President Obama landed in Austin, Perry greeted him with a handshake and a letter. The four-page letter urges the president to take stronger action along the border to ward off drug cartels, and asks for 1,000 National Guard troops to help do the job.
The White House announced the deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops for the Mexican border, for which Congress had to approve $600 million in spending. About 20 percent of the troops were assigned to the Texas-Mexico border.
“We welcome any and all resources the federal government sends to secure the border since this is a federal responsibility," Perry said in a statement, "however, this latest effort is insufficient to meet the needs of securing the Texas-Mexico border.”
The Federal Aviation Administration approved Perry's demand for unmanned aircrafts to fly over and monitor the Texas-Mexico border. Customs and Border Protection will operate aircrafts out of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
Perry released the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan 2010-2015. The plan aims to find and prosecute high-threat gangs, enhance public-private partnerships and increase communication between government, law enforcement and the public.
Perry met with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about border issues. Perry blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for being slow to approve his request for unmanned aircrafts to monitor the border, but Napolitano said feds could provide the drones by June.
Perry came out against Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law, which, among other things, would require anyone suspected of being undocumented to show identification. "I fully recognize and support a state's right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas," Perry said.
Perry spoke out against Arizona's tough anti-illegal immigration law SB 1070. Perry said the law takes away from police officers' regular duties, and that it was just "not right" for Texas.
Perry set off the first phase of a Texas spillover violence contingency plan, which added more surveillance and patrol along the border and provided more resources for quick deployment of officers on standby.
"With the growing threat of violence in Mexico spilling over the border, we have taken important measures to increase the law enforcement presence along the Texas border and have placed additional resources on standby to combat any potential situation," Perry said.
In a gubernatorial debate against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Perry confirmed that the state does not use the E-Verify system to check workers' immigration status. "E-Verify would not make a hill of beans' difference when it comes to what's happening in America today," he said. "You secure the border first, then you can talk about how to identify individuals in an immigration situation."
Perry sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, asking her to stop the Alien Transfer and Exit Program. The program, which was scheduled to begin the following day, would transfer tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants through Presidio, Texas, each year, on their way to deportation.
"Turning the Presidio area into a way station for the repatriation of illegal immigrants adds responsibility to local authorities and holds the potential of increasing the strain on local and state infrastructure and resources," Perry said.
Perry granted an additional $2 million to the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition to continue the Texas Virtual Border Watch program that was launched in 2008.
Texas lawmakers OK'ed another $113 million to amp up border security.
The governor announced during his 2006 gubernatorial campaign that $5 million would go to this pilot program, which would install cameras along the Texas-Mexico border and allow individuals to watch online and report any activity. The program launched in 2008 and cost $2 million its first year. By November 2008 it had led to 2,780 reports of suspicious activity.
Texas lawmakers shelled out $110, per Perry's request, to increase patrol along the border. Expenses included overtime pay for law enforcement officers to help Customs and Border Protection with random inspections.
Perry pushed for a guest-worker program as a realistic approach to immigration reform. "We must have a guest-worker program that recognizes the economic contributions of foreign workers and the desperate conditions that bring them here," he said in a statement.
In Perry's 2007 oath of office, he said Texas "must secure the border with manpower, not unmanned walls."
In an editorial, Perry made the following points on immigration issues:
- he is against building a wall along the border
- he is in favor of putting more "boots on the ground" at the border
- he believes illegal aliens are "a great cost to taxpayers"
- he is against amnesty
- he is against deportation
- he is in favor of creating a guest worker program
- he plans to ask the legislature for $100 million for border security
Perry winning campaign in the six-way gubernatorial race included tough talk about immigration.
Perry signed the Taxpayer Protection Bill, which included a provision that raised taxes for businesses that hire undocumented workers.
Perry advocated for importing farm workers from Mexico.
Perry supported the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, a bill to allow undocumented students in Texas to pay in-state tuition at the state's colleges and universities. "We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, “we don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.” And that vision must include the children of undocumented workers."
Perry later opposed a federal DREAM Act that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pursued higher education or served in the military.