Despite Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) belief that nearly the entire 20th Century violates the Constitution, much of the GOP have declared him an apostate for vigorously defending a bill he signed giving undocumented immigrant students in Texas the ability to pay in-state tuition to state universities. The latest Republican to jump on this bandwagon is Perry’s presidential rival Herman Cain, who told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday that he could not support Perry in large part because of Perry’s somewhat moderate stance on immigration:
Today I could not support Rick Perry as the nominee for a host of reasons. Him being soft on securing the border is one of the reasons. I feel very strongly about the need to secure the border for real, the need to enforce the laws that are already there, the need to promote the path to citizenship that is already there. But, more importantly, empower the states to enforce the national federal immigration laws, because the federal government didn’t do it, can’t do it and they never will do it.
As the Supreme Court established almost 70 years ago, the states have very little business weighing into immigration policy because “[e]xperience has shown that international controversies of the gravest moment, sometimes even leading to war, may arise from real or imagined wrongs to another’s subjects inflicted, or permitted, by a government.” If a single state mangles an immigration prosecution, for example, or directs disparate resources against the citizens of one nationality, it will impact the foreign relations of the entire United States — potentially even thrusting America into a needless war. The Constitution leaves these kinds of decisions up to a leader who has actually been elected by the whole nation, and not to the governor of just one state.
Nevertheless, Cain’s weak understanding of law and policy is apparently quite appealing to the kind of voters who cheer death and boo U.S. servicemembers. A new Fox News poll shows previous frontrunner Rick Perry hemorrhaging support — more than one third of his previous supporters ditched his candidacy in the wake of Perry’s defense of humane treatment for immigrants — while Cain has surged 11 points to third place in the GOP primary.