Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

Rick Perry Versus the Nativists

Stephen Piggott • Sep 30, 2011

The anti-immigrant movement is not a big fan of Rick Perry. In fact, presidential hopeful is rapidly turning into public enemy number one for his stance on immigration.

Perry’s comments during the recent debates have caused an uproar within the anti-immigrant movement, with major players Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and NumbersUSA all publically condemning Perry for his views on immigration.

William Gheen of the anti-immigrant group American for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) has also attacked Perry on his immigration policies, issuing a press release after the last debate saying “Rick Perry is finished.”

Over the past week or so, Perry’s campaign decided to fight back against the anti-immigrant groups. First, Perry’s campaign responded to a memo written by Steven Camarota of CIS where he claimed that most of the jobs the Perry created in Texas during his time as governor were given to immigrants. A Perry campaign worker, Ray Sullivan, responded to Camarota’s memo stating that CIS’s numbers were, “really off base and wrong.”

This is not the first time CIS has been accused of manipulating numbers for its reports, which always conclude, whether the topic be environment or economy, with the same message: immigrants are to blame.

Camarota responded to criticism of his report via a blog article on the CIS website. Gheen, however, took things a step further.

Yesterday he organized a protest at a Perry fundraiser in Charlotte, North Carolina. When Perry’s people got wind the planned protest, they attempted to halt the protest by appealing to Facebook to get the event page taken down stating, “Your [sic] a liar and deserve to be censored…people are on to you!”

Speaking of Facebook, ALIPAC’s Facebook page contains a number of obscenely racist comments that appear on an almost daily basis. Take a look for yourself. ALIPAC indicated that yesterday’s protest was the first in a series it has planned across the country. Considering only 15 people showed up and ALIPAC is based in North Carolina, it’s unlikely that other protests will gain momentum.

It’s obvious that the anti-immigrant movement is very worried about the potential of Rick Perry being the Republican nominee in next year’s election and they are doing everything they can to prevent it from happening.

Perry, though, is not backing down and seems willing to take the fight to the anti-immigrant movement. With many months left in the GOP nominee race, this debate has the potential to last a long time and get very ugly.

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