CEDAR RAPIDS — America needs to have a conversation about how to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants living in this country, but “it will not be amnesty in any form or fashion,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry promised Iowans Nov. 29.
The border state governor’s hard line on illegal immigration won him the endorsement of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has built a reputation for rounding up thousands of undocumented visitors to Arizona for deportation.
Arpaio, who is referred to as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” called Perry “the only governor that really knows about the border.” He praised Perry’s commitment of $400 million in resources including deploying Texas Rangers, Department of Public Safety and National Guard troops along the Texas-Mexico border to stop trafficking in people, drugs and weapons.
Perry, who asked for Iowans’ support in the Jan. 3 first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses, said he is the “only candidate with a record of addressing border security.”
Arpaio went further, calling Perry “the only one running for president who knows where Mexico is.”
Arpaio, who campaigned with Perry in New Hampshire Tuesday, made his comments in a conference call with what the campaign said were 15,000 “likely Iowa caucusgoers,” both Republicans and independents.