Perry Asks Town Hall Audience To Prove Citizenship

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – People attending a Rick Perry presidential campaign event Wednesday were asked to prove they are American citizens.

The town hall-style meeting at Granite State Manufacturing, the first of two events Perry was holding in New Hampshire, was open to the public.

But campaign officials said federal regulations required proof of citizenship because the company handles defense contracts. A Granite State employee sat beside a Perry campaign staffer at the door and asked attendees whether they were citizens.

The employee, who refused to give her name, said non-citizens wouldn’t be admitted.

While the Texas governor’s rivals have faced similar restrictions when they held events on the premises of federal defense contractors, the issue Wednesday brought unwanted attention to Perry’s complicated immigration record at a critical point in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

Some of his rivals privately seized on his decision to hold an event with such restrictions. The leader of a regional immigration advocacy group was more vocal.

“It’s disturbing, especially given his record on immigration,” said Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

Perry has faced sustained criticism over a Texas policy that allows in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. He also has struggled to win over some conservatives for being against putting up a fence along the border with Mexico.

John Stephen, a prominent Perry supporter in New Hampshire and recent Republican gubernatorial candidate, defended Perry.

“This is a manufacturing business where the governor wanted to meet with workers,” Stephen said.

“There is no one that’s done more through action to oppose illegal immigration than Rick Perry.”

A Granite State employee, assembly manager Shawn O’Hagan, later said immigrants should not have been blocked from attending the event. But he said those without proof of citizenship would need to be escorted inside.

It was unclear whether any immigrants attended.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • NiteNurse

    Honestly I don’t think I could prove I’m a citizen. I haven’t seen my birth certificate in years. My mother was an immigrant. So how do others who were born here but don’t have their birth certificate available prove they are citizens? Oh wait I know…they check to see if you look latino. Oops!

    • Pat Smith

      I am white and have no birth cert. orignal lost in 40s and dup lost when we moved west. Guess they will prick finger for your blood next

  • darrell

    understand that even though im conservative and tend to vote that way i am not a big rick perry fan. the only reason this is in the news is because it was a perry event. as the article states, other candidates have had the same experience at simular locations. most likely this resulted from a failure of officials to mention that if escorted immigrants were allowed on the facility while generally immigrants cant just walk up and enter. i think the media in this case is just looking for a fresh bone to chew on with perry.

    • ib lobar

      Darrell: of course we all know the real question that was burning his lips was: HOW MUCH CAN U PAY FOR A FAVOR?

      • darrell

        ib lobar (name fits) your confused with the SOP of the DNC and the obama administration on their vote buying policies with unions and hispanics. perhaps if you cut that misleading link between their propaganda machine and that pea between your ears you will in time regain some sort of rudimentary intelligence. the best place to cut that link at is about 3 inches below the chin.

      • ib lo bar

        darrell u stupid pendejo,,,,iblobar is short for my name, and something to bring up el perros name,perry, is and idiota and mensa and ur fellow gop pendejos!!!! suck on that!! u know u what to,,,,loll

    • altha

      Darrell the news media had nothing to do with this, this was Rick Perry doing you and everybody know this. Rick Perry is a stone-idiot but! people like you will stand in the rain to vote for this fool he really think his money will put him in the White House. stupid

      • darrell

        altha i have never stated that i support perry and at this point the money isnt important. the reason im standing anywhere is because morons like you lack the intelligence to be pro-active and instead stumble around in a state of confusion creating chaos because of your stupidity. my suggestion is that you use your mouth only for your night job.

  • Pat Smith

    God is watching us. God is watching us. God is watching us from a distance.

  • YRofTexas

    My hubby lost all of his personal id’s when he suffered a stroke and his room mates threw away all ALL of his stuff because they thought he was essentially dead (this was back in 2001). So a social worker was able to secure his Social Security Card and Medicare, but nothing else. When I moved him here from up north, I needed to get him a Texas ID (he can’t drive). I was able to get a certified copy of his birth certificate, with his social security card was able to get him a State Issued Legal ID. Now he has a voter’s registration card and can vote ok, even with the new rules in 2012.
    Go ahead and do some legwork and get a Certified Copy of your Birth Certificate and have it on hand. Always good to have it filed away in a protective safe.
    As darrell said, this was just a news article, something to gossip about and bring up Perry’s name. Media just bored.
    And God is watching us, but not from a distance, as much as Bette Midler would like us to believe her song…God is with us, near us, and knows what is going on…always in control. Don’t kid yourself.

    • iblobar

      No, media is awstruck by his stupidity!!!!

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