Rick Perry: Blame Obama and Harry Reid for Murders Committed by Border Crossers

by Joel Gehrke

Governor Rick Perry (R., Texas) warned that President Obama’s expected executive orders regarding immigration would “exacerbate” the border crisis and undermine state efforts to secure the border in the midst of an influx of Central American migrants.

Perry called it “the height of irresponsibility” for Obama to use executive orders to provide administrative legalization of immigrants, saying he and Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will be responsible for the deaths of Americans murdered by criminals coming into the country.

“What they will be doing, from my perspective, would be to just exacerbate the problem that we’ve already got [of] these massive amounts of individuals, both the unaccompanied alien children and the 80 percent of other individuals — you’re just going to send the message of ‘more of you come, more of you get on a train, more of you put yourselves or your family in the position of being misused, abused, being recruited into these drug cartels and transnational gangs,’” Perry told National Review Online during a Wednesday phone interview.

“We are a country of laws, and if this president continues to flaunt the laws of America, he’s putting, number one, our people in jeopardy, because there are a substantial number of criminal aliens that are coming across the border, conducting themselves in ways that are very dangerous to our citizens, up to and including homicide,” the governor says.

Perry recalled the murder of an off-duty Border Patrol agent, allegedly shot by illegal immigrants. “That Border Patrol agent . . . was killed by an individual who had been deported multiple times, and for the president to not understand the impact that he’s having on this country is of great concern to me as a governor and as a citizen of this country,” he says.

The governor stopped short of calling for the end of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides temporary legal status to children who would qualify for citizenship if the DREAM Act ever passes Congress.

“I’m more concerned about the security of the border right now and the cost to the citizens of the State of Texas,” Perry said when asked if Congress needs to block the DACA program. “If Harry Reid wants to stand up and say that the border is secure, then he needs to do that, but I will suggest to you, Americans know that is the big lie, and that no longer are they going to accept an individual who is in a leadership position misrepresenting what’s going on in this country, particularly when it is putting the citizens of his state in jeopardy. When an individual who has come into Nevada [commits] a heinous crime against his citizens, the people of Nevada are going to say, ‘wait a minute, Mr. Majority Leader, why are you not addressing this issue of border security?’”

Perry says that the border-security efforts undertaken by Texas law enforcement are already having success.

“Five weeks ago, prior to the announcement of the deployment of the Guard, we had approved a surge operation by our Department of Public Safety, which included our Texas Ranger Recon Teams and the Texas Parks and Wildlife wardens,” he says. “We have seen now over that five-week period of time a decrease in apprehensions by 56 percent.”