U.S. Congress lacks 'maturity' to solve immigration, Perry says - Brownsville Herald: News

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U.S. Congress lacks 'maturity' to solve immigration, Perry says

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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 12:00 am

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the U.S. Congress on Tuesday for failing to make progress on immigration reform, suggesting its members lack "maturity" and calling the proposed construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border "idiocy."

Perry was in Mexico City on a trade mission intended to strengthen Texas and Mexico's economic ties through trade, investment and energy initiatives, especially renewable energy.

"I don't think this is that difficult of an issue if Congress would have the maturity to sit down and really discuss it and cut out all of the mean rhetoric and really talk about what is a solution to this issue," Perry told a news conference.

Regarding immigration reform, Perry highlighted the importance of developing a foolproof biometric identification system to track individuals and to ensure that they pay taxes and "live within our laws."

He suggested offering renewable, 24-month visas for those who follow such requirements and "incarceration and/or deportation" for those who do not.

He added that, under such a system, he would support a "free flow of individuals between these two countries who want to work and want to be an asset to our country and to Mexico."

Perry also said Texas has given a blueprint for securing the U.S.-Mexico border to the federal government.

"We know how to deal with border security, and you don't do it by building a fence," he said. "You do it by putting boots on the ground; you do it by using the technology that's available ... and coordinating very highly with local, state and federal officials.

"But the idea that you're going to build a 1,200-mile wall ... is idiocy. It absolutely would not work. If you build a 40-foot wall, then the 42-foot ladder industry takes off."

Perry was in Mexico City on a trade mission intended to strengthen Texas and Mexico's economic ties through trade, investment and energy initiatives.

Mexico is Texas' largest trading partner and receives $158 billion worth of Texas exports per year, Perry said.

He noted that a possible area of expansion for Texan businesses in Mexico is renewable energy, a subject he said he hoped to discuss during his meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon later Tuesday.

"The fact is that Mexico and Texas are going to need every source of energy that we can appropriately get our hands around, if you will, and to develop over the course of the next few decades," Perry said.

Perry said Texas is the leading producer of wind-generated energy in the United States and expects the field to grow by $13 billion in the next four years.

Perry launched into the discourse on renewable energy in response to a question that pointed out Mexico's constitutional ban on private investment in its petroleum resources.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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