Monday, August 22, 2011

Perry calls idea of U.S.-Mexico border wall 'ridiculous'

August 17
by Sarah Blackwill, Domenico Montanaro, and Jo Ling Kent

Rick Perry called the idea of a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border “ridiculous” today in a stop in New Hampshire.

“You got strategic fencing in some of the metropolitan areas – it’s very helpful,” the Texas governor said. “But the idea that you’re going to build a wall from Brownsville to El Paso is just -- it’s ridiculous on its face.”

That was in the context of Perry saying how he'd asked Washington for 1,000 National Guard troops and how current efforts at border security are ineffective.

Perry swatted at the Obama administration’s assertion that the “border is safer than it’s ever been.”

“Six week ago, the president went to El Paso and sai the border is safer than it’s ever been,” Perry began. “I have no idea, maybe he was talking about the Canadian border. I will assure you one thing, if I’m president of the United States, the border will be secure.”

In June, the AP wrote of the border:

“It's one of the safest parts of America, and it's getting safer. … The four big cities in America with the lowest rates of violent crime are all in border states: San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso and Austin, according to a new FBI report. And an in-house Customs and Border Protection report shows that Border Patrol agents face far less danger than street cops in most U.S. cities. The Customs and Border Protection study, obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request, shows 3 percent of Border Patrol agents and officers were assaulted last year, mostly when assailants threw rocks at them. That compares with 11 percent of police officers and sheriff's deputies assaulted during the same period, usually with guns or knives. In addition, violent attacks against agents declined in 2009 along most of the border for the first time in seven years. So far this year assaults are slightly up, but data is incomplete.”

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