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Rick Perry bills Obama administration for $350 million in illegal immigrant costs

August 29, 2011 |  5:42 am

Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns in Iowa 8-15-11

Under the Don't Hold Your Breath Department, we learned over the weekend that Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry has sent a bill to the federal government.

The frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination thinks the Department of Homeland Security should reimburse Texas for $350 million, give or take.

With the help of state Comptroller Susan Combs, Perry developed a formula to determine how much his state has had to spend on housing and feeding illegal immigrants that should have been taken care of by federal authorities.

The issue of securing the border with Mexico is a contentious one between numerous states and the Obama administration, which wants to first address the overall illegal immigrant issue, not just closing the border. The Democratic White House has sued states over their enforcement of immigration laws.

Perry has come under criticism in recent days from some conservatives who suggest  he is soft on the issue of immigrant law enforcement. But his letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, herself a former border state governor, obtained by the Associated Press, was dated Aug. 10, several days before Perry announced his candidacy in South Carolina.


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-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images (Perry campaigns in Iowa).