Rick Perry did not offer a clear answer when pressed on how he would handle immigration reform during an interview Tuesday night. Continually asked by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News to pinpoint a solution, the Texas governor would not offer one.
“I know it’s one that people ask a lot and the fact is it’s just an intellectual conversation until we secure the border,” Perry said on “On the Record,” Van Susteren’s show. She asked how he would deal with the 11 million-plus illegal immigrants currently residing in the country.
“What would you do? What would you do?” Van Susteren continued to ask.
“I’m not going to sit here and go through and talk about all the different options because there may be some ideas that haven’t been talked about yet, so I’m going to stick with folks like Sheriff Arpaio who is with me today and who is endorsing my candidacy, and work on securing the border, because until you get the border secure, all of these issues about immigration reform are frankly just intellectual engagement,” Perry said.
“You know, governor, with all due respect, I think that’s half an answer,” Van Susteren said.
“I think I’ve laid out a number of concepts and ideas. I don’t know which of those the American people want and that’s the reason we need to have this long and lengthy conversation,” Perry said later in the interview. “I don’t know if I have all of the right answers and one thing I have learned on this very volatile issue of immigration and immigration reform, we need to talk to the American people, we need to get their input, we need to listen to them.”
Perry spent the majority of his day in New Hampshire flanked by Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, discussing immigration and border security. The Texas governor suggested any illegal immigrants who are apprehended by law enforcement officials should be detained and deported and adamantly said he would not support any form of amnesty, though he left the door open on how to deal with the current illegal immigrant population in the United States.