EDINBURG, RGV – Gov. Rick Perry linked the issue of Syria into a question about U.S.-Mexico border security when he spoke to the media at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance of Monday.

Perry was in the Rio Grande Valley for a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the passing of legislation to prevent frivolous lawsuits. The event was organized by the Texas Medical Association, the Hidalgo-Star County Medical Society and Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Perry took only one question from the media and it came from Reyna Luna of Estrella TV. Luna asked Perry what he thought of efforts in Congress to reform U.S. immigration laws. Perry responded with this:

“We have got a lot of work to do from the standpoint of continuing to make sure the border is secure. This Administration has not committed to the issue of border security to the point that I think most Americans are comfortable, that the flow of illegal activities is substantially curtailed. Until that is done I do not think the American people are going to trust the Administration or Congress to come up with policies that are equitable and appropriate.

Gov. Rick Perry takes a question about immigration reform from reporter Reyna Luna, of Estrella TV. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)
Gov. Rick Perry takes a question about immigration reform from reporter Reyna Luna, of Estrella TV. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

“So, I would highly recommend that they win the trust of the American people first and if you don’t secure the border then you are going to have a really difficult time getting the American people behind (you).

“You know, it is not unlike the situation that is going on in Syria, when you think about (it). The President says, I am going to do ‘X,’ I am going to attack Syria and the American people are going, well, why? The American people don’t trust that our interest is being taken care of, that there is something important enough for America to strike.

“The issue here, again, is one, I think of have to build the trust of the American people before you can lead. This Administration has done a very poor job of gaining the trust of the American people, whether it is on the subject of securing our border or whether it is on foreign policy.”

Janet Napolitano, who was President Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary until Sept. 6, repeatedly said the border is secure. She told a Senate panel earlier this year that “our borders have, in fact, never been stronger.” However, despite saying this Napolitano did, in June, endorse the so-called “Border Surge” plan approved by the Senate which calls for 20,000 new Border Patrol agents to be deployed to the southwestern border and about 350 miles of new pedestrian fencing to be built.

Napolitano resigned from the Cabinet to become president of the University of California System. Rand Beers is currently the acting Homeland Security Secretary.