Rand Paul Revives Immigration Attack Against Rick Perry

By Beth Reinhard, WSJ

secede-1-1113Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul sought to undercut Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a potential rival for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, by reviving an immigration-related attack used in the 2012 campaign.

Mr. Paul said a Texas law supported by Mr. Perry that grants in-state tuition to undocumented students brought to the U.S. as children is a “beacon” that encourages more illegal immigration. In an interview Monday evening with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Paul compared the law to President Barack Obama’s decision to offer work permits to some illegal immigrants, and added that both policies have encouraged the current surge of illegal border crossings.

“President Obama won’t send them home, and Gov. Perry has done the same thing by giving them in-state tuition. That’s a beacon without any kind of border security,” he said.

During his 2012 bid for the White House, Mr. Perry lashed out at critics of the law and said they didn’t “have a heart.” But in recent months, as tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America have arrived at the southern border, Mr. Perry has taken a tough stand and called for deploying the National Guard. The border crisis has put Mr. Perry back in the national spotlight as he considers another campaign that would emphasize his independence from Washington.

“As governor of Texas, Rick Perry has taken extraordinary steps to secure the border, stepping in where Washington has failed,” said Travis Considine, a Perry spokesman. “The Washington dysfunction that Sen. Paul is a part of has resulted in a porous border that jeopardizes the security of our country.”

The back-and-forth between Messrs. Perry and Paul marks their second clash in recent weeks. Last month, Mr. Perry criticized Mr. Paul in a newspaper column for wanting the U.S. to have a less active role in foreign affairs. That will likely be a major line of attack against Mr. Paul in 2016, just as immigration is likely to dog Mr. Perry.

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