Rick Perry: Educate illegals with public money, no fence.
Ronald Reagan: Educate illegals with public money, no fence.
Republicans worship selectively at the altar of Ronald Reagan. Almost the exact same position that has sent Rick Perry from the top of the heap to the bottom, was also held by Reagan and Bush 41 at a time when unemployment was within a point and a half of what it is now.
From a 1980 Republican primary presidential debate (although very much in agreement on this subject) between George HW. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. How 30 years have changed the Republican base into a hateful, jingoistic, xenophobic, protectionist bunch of Know Nothings who cheer state-sponsored killing, and boo servicemen and positions held by Reagan. Today’s is NOT the Republican Party I grew up with:
Question: Do you think the children of illegal aliens should be allowed to attend Texas public schools for free, or do you think that their parents should pay for their education?
Look, I’d like to see something done about the illegal alien problem that would be so sensitive and so understanding about labor needs and human needs, that that problem wouldn’t come up. But today, if those people are here, I would reluctantly say that they would get whatever it is that society is giving to their neighbors.
But the problem has to be solved. As we have made illegal some kinds of labor that I’d like to see legal, we’re doing two things: We’re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent, family loving people that are in violation of the law. And secondly, we’re exacerbating relations with Mexico. The answer to your question is much more fundamental than whether they attend Houston schools it seems to me. If they’re living here, I don’t want to see a whole gang of six and eight year old kids made, one, totally uneducated, and made to feel that they’re living outside the law. Let’s address the fundamentals. These are good people! Strong people! Part of my family is a Mexican.
Can I add to that? I think the time has come that the United States and our neighbors, particularly our neighbor to the south, should have a better understanding and a better relationship than we’ve ever had. And I think that we haven’t been sensitive enough to our size, and our power.
They have a problem with 40-50% unemployment. Now, this cannot continue without the possibility arising… of trouble below the border and we could have a very hostile and strange neighbor on our border.
Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit, and then while they’re working and earning here, they pay taxes here. And when they want to go back, they can go back, and cross. And open the border both ways by understanding their problems…
From a 1984 debate (Youtube video) against Mondale at the 1:20 mark: I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and have lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally.