Texas Governor Rick Perry with former President of Mexico Vicente Fox discussing the virtues of open borders.
By Gary P Jackson
Legislation authored by border legislators Pat Haggerty and Eddie Lucio establishes an important study that will look at the feasibility of bi-national health insurance. This study recognizes that the Mexican and U.S. sides of the border compose one region, and we must address health care problems throughout that region.
That’s why I am also excited that Texas Secretary of State Henry Cuellar is working on an initiative that could extend the benefits of telemedicine to individuals living on the Mexican side of the border.
~ Rick Perry
As a Texan, born and bred, I like to think we lead the world in all things that matter. Texas is one of the most beautiful, and diverse places on earth. Big country. Texans have big fun. If you can’t enjoy yourself in Texas, you are incapable of the emotion! We have a rich heritage of hard won Freedom and Liberty.
Unfortunately, sometimes we lead on the wrong things. Rick Perry most certainly has. Right from the start, when Perry assumed office, to finish out George W. Bush’s second term, he started leading the way for an open border between the United States and Mexico. And while he may be trying to sound tough on border control now, as late as 2006 he was attempting to steal a half million acres of some of the best land in Texas to build a superhighway [complete with high speed rail] that would run from the Texas-Mexico border in Laredo straight through the state and eventually to Kansas City.
When Governor Jan Brewer signed Arizona’s common sense immigration bill into law, Perry was quick to say it “wasn’t right for Texas.”
Texas and Mexico do have a special relationship. The great Mexican heritage of Texas is loved and respected. Texas wouldn’t be Texas without it. That said, illegal immigration is killing our state, and as Governor, Rick Perry has put in place many policies that encourage it. Perry signed into law the Dream Act, that would give illegals the right to pay the same tuition as Texans. The legislation floating around Washington resembles Perry’s law.
Before there was there was RomneyCare and before there was ObamaCare, Rick Perry was pushing for a bi-national health insurance plan that would serve both Texans and Mexicans. Americans, and Mexicans.
On August 22, 2001, almost 10 years to the day of this article, Rick Perry spoke at a border summit. Below is the transcript of the speech from Governor Perry’s official state government website.[Emphasis mine]
Thank you Senator Lucio. President Nevarez, UT-Pan American is to be commended for its vision and leadership in hosting this unprecedented border summit in the beautiful Texas town of Edinburg. My friends from Mexico, including Governor Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba of Tamaulipas, and Governor Fernando Canales Clariond of Nuevo Leon, it is an honor to be in your presence. I want to extend my gratitude to our Mexican neighbors for hosting me this July as I sought to learn one of the world’s great languages, Spanish. I enjoyed your hospitality, and was grateful for your patience as I worked on my vocabulary. No longer do I refer to “la verdad” as “la verdura.” I am delighted to see friends from the U.S. side of the border as well, including our distinguished members of the Legislature, and our county and city leaders along the border.
Today we begin a new dialogue about our shared future, a future of promising potential if we work together to solve the challenges we both face. It is fitting that we convene this summit where the great, meandering river known as the Rio Grande – or the Rio Bravo – forms the long border between Texas and Mexico. In years past, that famed body of water has been seen by many as a dividing point, If you were to walk along its banks and look to the other side, based on the stereotypes of the past, you would think you were seeing things a million miles away, instead of a stone’s throw away. But I am here today to say that while we have honest differences, there is more that unites us than divides us. The Rio Grande does not separate two nations, it joins two peoples. Mexico and the United States have a shared history, and a common future. And it is along this border where we will either fail or succeed in addressing the education, health care and transportation needs of our two peoples.
Critical to our future is meeting our border infrastructure needs. We must get traffic moving along the border so that businesses along the border and thousands of miles away can deliver products on time, and continue to grow. Companies from Spokane, Washington to Concord, New Hampshire depend on Texas highways and Texas bridges to move their products south. Seventy percent of all U.S.-Mexico truck traffic goes to, or through, the Lone Star state. Fifteen of our twenty-seven border crossings with Mexico are located in Texas. Fifty-four percent of all U.S.-Mexico trade crosses just between Brownsville and Laredo. This year the Texas legislature appropriated approximately $1 billion more in transportation funding. But more can be done.
With Texas serving as the Gateway to Mexico, it is time that we receive congressional funding that reflects the instrumental role our state plays as a port of entry. With a Texan in the White House, I believe there is no greater opportunity to end the funding discrimination that crippled Texas infrastructure under the previous administration. Good infrastructure is essential to the free flow of commerce. It is a matter of economic fact that free trade lifts the tide for all the boats in the harbor. U.S. trade with Mexico has increased by 500% since 1994. Exports and imports between Texas and Mexico now exceed $100 billion dollars annually. Thousands of jobs have been created for Texas and Mexican workers, confirming the indisputable fact that trade with Mexico is big business for Texas.
The fruits of NAFTA have just begun to ripen. At the same time, we must not allow the roots of the tree to become poisoned. The NAFTA agreement not only signaled a new era of economic possibility, but a new era of bi-national cooperation. That is why it is wrong, and inherently detrimental to our relationship with Mexico for the U.S. Congress to pursue a protectionist policy that forbids Mexican trucks from U.S. roadways. It is bad public policy, and it violates the terms of the NAFTA agreement we agreed to. Mexican trucks that meet our safety standards should be given the same access to U.S. roads as our Canadian neighbors to the north.
Mexico, too, must be vigilant in realizing its treaty obligations. For more than half a century, under the 1944 Water Treaty our two nations have cooperated so that the water needs of both countries are met. But as of late, Mexico is behind in delivering the water it has promised to the U.S. A Mexican judicial injunction now threatens the livelihood of our Rio Grande Valley farmers, and has become a source of contention between our two nations. It is time to end this dispute. I would ask that the Mexican government meet its obligation under the treaty, Texas growers are depending on it.
There are other challenges that require a unified approach, especially in the area of health care. A lack of preventative medicine means conditions that could have been eliminated through childhood immunizations show up in disturbing numbers later in life. Limited availability of medical specialists means conditions like heart disease and diabetes go untreated at alarming rates. In Texas, we recently placed a strong emphasis on preventative care when we expanded access to Medicaid for more low-income children by making the Medicaid enrollment process simpler. We allocated an additional $4 billion to the Medicaid program, and more than $900 million to the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I urged legislators to pass a telemedicine pilot program that will enable, through technology, a sick border resident of limited financial means to receive care from a specialist hundreds of miles away. But the effort to combat disease and illness requires greater cooperative efforts between our two nations. It is a simple truth that disease knows no boundaries. An outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis, for example, endangers citizens of both our nations. We have much to gain if we work together to expand preventative care, and treat maladies unique to this region.
Legislation authored by border legislators Pat Haggerty and Eddie Lucio establishes an important study that will look at the feasibility of bi-national health insurance. This study recognizes that the Mexican and U.S. sides of the border compose one region, and we must address health care problems throughout that region. That’s why I am also excited that Texas Secretary of State Henry Cuellar is working on an initiative that could extend the benefits of telemedicine to individuals living on the Mexican side of the border.
As a compassionate state, we know that for our children to succeed, they must not only be healthy, but educated. The future leaders of our two nations are learning their fractions and their ABC’s in classrooms all along this border. Immigrants from around the world are being taught in Texas classrooms, and our history is rich with examples of new citizens who have made great contributions. We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, “we don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.” And that vision must include the children of undocumented workers. That’s why Texas took the national lead in allowing such deserving young minds to attend a Texas college at a resident rate. Those young minds are a part of a new generation of leaders, the doors of higher education must be open to them. The message is simple: educacion es el futuro, y si se puede.
We also know that poverty is not unique to either side of the border. Some of Texas’ poorest citizens live in colonias all along the border. They often lack basic infrastructure many of us take for granted. Just today, the North American Development Bank announced it will provide $6.3 million in funding to hook up colonia residents in six border cities to water and wastewater lines. More than 18,000 residents will benefit from these water or wastewater hookups. And this November, by approving Proposition 2, Texas voters can ensure that their neighbors in colonias have quality roads so that school buses, emergency vehicles and postal trucks can reach residents, and residents can get to a job or a school reliably.
President Fox’s vision for an open border is a vision I embrace, as long as we demonstrate the will to address the obstacles to it. An open border means poverty has given way to opportunity, and Mexico’s citizens do not feel compelled to cross the border to find that opportunity. It means we have addressed pollution concerns, made substantial progress in stopping the spread of disease, and rid our crossings of illicit drug smuggling activity. Clearly we have a long way to go in addressing those issues. At the same time we must continue to deepen our economic ties, expanding opportunities for Mexican and U.S. companies to do business on both sides of the border. The outlook is promising, even if the road to prosperity is a long one. We share a bond as neighbors, and we find our culture north of the Rio Grande to be increasingly defined by the strong traits of people of Hispanic descent. Texas has long enjoyed a unique identity, an identity forged by an independent spirit, and the convergence of many different peoples. We must welcome change in the 21st Century as we have in every century before it.
Today, as we look to the south, we see a rising sun. It is perched above a people whose best days are in front of them. Let us endeavor to make the most of this new day through a new dialogue. Let us work together to combat disease, expand trade and provide educational opportunities. If we do, there are no limits to what we can accomplish for the betterment of all of our citizens. Thank you, and God bless you.
Can you imagine the disaster we’d be seeing had Rick Perry’s vision of an international insurance been fulfilled? We all know who would be footing the bill for it!
In case you don’t speak Spanish:
The message is simple: educacion es el futuro, y si se puede
Perry is saying “education is the future” and throwing in a praise that Socialist Caesar Chavez was fond of, and Barack Obama adopted for his very own: “Yes we can” Si se puede indeed! Now Perry is right education IS the future, however in Texas their future is unclear.
English is the universal language of business, and the predominant language of the United States. However, in Texas, children of illegals, many of whom only speak Spanish, are greatly disabled by the state, which has decided to teach them in their native language, rather than immerse them in English classes.
Chapter 29 of the Texas Education Code declares: “English is the basic language of this state.” In 1982 the United States Supreme Court ruled that Texas MUST educate all children, even illegals. An educated people is better than an uneducated one. Thing is, if we are going to educate them, why not make certain they know and understand the prevailing language of the nation they are in?
Illegal immigration is a modern form of slavery. Because they are in this country uninvited and unannounced, illegals are forced to work for lower wages, live in deplorable conditions, and are subject to the whims of those who employ them, rather than the law of the land. By not educating their children in English, we are sentencing them to slavery as well.
Rick Perry, as Governor of Texas has put policies in place, like the Dream Act, that do nothing but encourage more illegals to come to Texas and end up in bondage.
In 2010 Somos Republicans, a Hispanic group named Rick Perry “Number One Hispanic-friendly U.S. politician of the year.” saying: [Emphasis mine}
Governor Rick Perry has proven his executive leadership as he had to confront the slow economic growth during the great recession much like the rest of the nation; however, Texas’ decline has been milder than the rest of the country. More importantly, when asked about the harsh Arizona anti-immigration law, Governor Rick Perry said such a law “would not be the right direction for Texas” and would distract law enforcement from fighting other crimes.
The organization believes Governor Perry should be recognized for making a courageous statement with regard to the controversial immigration law during a time in which extreme anti-immigrant messaging has been on the rise. They are encouraging the rest of the GOP to embrace and emulate such a “courageous” position. Somos Republicans strongly believe Governor Perry should receive recognition for being the #1 Hispanic-friendly 2010 politician in the nation, because he did not cave in to perceived popular sentiment. Latinos who have remained as registered Republicans have been worried as they have watched Hispanic support for the Republican Party decline by almost 15 points.
This praise comes from knowing Perry is an open borders guy, and his “courageous” stance against Arizona’s popular common sense immigration bill. I never knew it took so much “courage” to pander as hard as Perry does.
As a Texan, I can say Hispanics have made this state what it is. There are no better people on earth. But even most Mexicans in Texas are against open borders, and those who immigrated legally from Mexico vs being born of the Texas soil, are dead set against illegal immigration. Legal immigrants are often the most outspoken against those who refuse to follow the law.
Texas has a very special relationship with Mexico that is similar to that of the United States and Great Britain. We fought a bloody war in order to gain independence from Mexico. But since that fight we have become trading partners, and share a lot of culture and traditions. It’s a beautiful thing.
That said, an open border policy with Mexico, especially now that we are seeing such violence on our borders is suicide. As Governor, Rick Perry has done everything to promote open borders, and almost nothing to stop illegals.
In his speech, Perry advocates a bi-national health plan because as he put it “disease knows no boundaries.” Well guess what, neither does the violence and crime that illegals bring with them. That’s a disease as well. It’s just one Perry hasn’t spent much time trying to cure.
Conservatives had the fight of their lives when George W Bush was President. He was pushing hard for amnesty for illegal aliens. Bush had a Republican House and a Republican Senate, plus a democrat party that was literally chomping at the bits to vote for it. It’s an absolute miracle that enough people rose up and spoke out.
If Rick Perry is elected President, you can bet amnesty for illegals, as well as a national version of his Dream Act, will become the law of the land in short order. Perry has embraced the open borders policy with a lot more zeal than Bush ever did.
We fought George W Bush on this with him setting in the White House. We can fight Rick Perry at the ballot box and make sure we won’t have to fight him in the White House!