Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry says the country cannot compromise when it comes to national security. Addressing the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC on Friday, Perry said his experience as governor of Texas has put him on the front line in the drug war with Mexico, and that the current operations are not working.
"As a border governor, I know firsthand the failures of the federal government's policies," Perry said, criticizing the Obama administration's immigration position.
President Obama has proposed an immigration policy, the DREAM Act, which would offer permanent residency to certain illegal alien students in the United States. The legislation has failed several votes in congress.
Perry says amnesty is not the answer.
But two weeks ago at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida, Perry choked on immigration, receiving much criticism for defending his in-state tuition program for illegals when he said, anyone who doesn't think kids should be educated didn't "have a heart."
The Texan says all options are on the table when it comes to fighting the war on drugs, "including security operations in cooperation with the Mexican government." Perry compares his proposed collaboration with Mexico to the US efforts to fight Colombian drug lords in the 1980s.
Only Mexico doesn't want any part of that plan. Mexico's ambassador to the United States told reporters earlier this week, "The issue of participation, or the presence of, US troops on Mexican soil is not on the table."
None the less, Perry told supporters at the conservative convention hosted by the Family Research Council, "there is no homeland security without border security."
More than three thousand registered participants at the Values Voter Summit will participate in the latest straw poll of presidential republican candidates. The results will be announced Saturday afternoon.