09/29/2011 11:49 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Rick Perry Defends Immigration Policy, Stands By Ben Bernanke Criticism

Rick Perry once again defended his comments on immigration, telling CNBC Thursday that "we need to have an immigration policy that's thoughtful."

The Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate said it was the federal government's failure to secure the border with Mexico that prompted him to extend in-state tuition breaks to undocumented immigrants who have lived in Texas for three years or graduated from a Texas high school.

"The federal government allowed them to come in with their lack of security," Perry said. "We decided in our state it was better to have those kids be educated. How to cure that is for the federal government to secure that border."

It's not the first time Perry has criticized government at the federal level. He has also publicly spoken out against Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, saying "we would treat him pretty ugly" in Texas for what Perry views as "bad public policy."

He stood by his criticism of Bernanke in the CNBC interview Thursday, saying "The statement towards Chairman Bernanke needs to be very clear to him, that making monetary policy to cover up bad fiscal policy is just bad public policy."

Perry adopted the policy of allowing undocumented immigrants to receive tuition assistance at state colleges in 2001 because he believed "it was in the best interest of our state to have these young people educated than kicking them to the curb," he told CNBC.

During his campaign, Perry has said that he would solve the problem of drug trafficking, undocumented immigration and violence along the southern border of the United States if elected president. He has continually had to defend his view after receiving constant criticism from his fellow candidates.

At a recent GOP debate, Perry told his fellow Republican presidential contenders -- all of whom are against education for undocumented immigrants -- "I don't think you have a heart." He apologized for the statement this week, saying he was being "over-passionate" and he "chose a poor word" to defend his views.


Rick Perry 2012