Bachmann: Tuition breaks a "magnet" for undocumented immigrants

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during the California Republican Party Fall Convention dinner in Los Angeles, Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
Michele Bachmann
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.,
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann continued swinging at fellow GOP contender Rick Perry for his immigration record on Friday, suggesting that the Texas governor had introduced into his state policies that were a "magnet" for inducing immigrants to enter the U.S. illegally.

Bachmann, in a post-GOP debate appearance on CBS' "The Early Show," argued that when it comes to immigration, "we shouldn't be benefiting people who are violating our laws" -- and that granting in-state tuition to some undocumented immigrants was akin to providing them with "inducements" to break the law.

Perry continues to take heat for a law he signed in 2001 that enables students who have lived in Texas for at least three years and have graduated from high school or obtained a GED certificate to pay in-state tuition in Texas universities.

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In Thursday night's GOP presidential debate, Perry again defended the law, and told fellow candidates that "I don't think you have a heart" for their lack of sympathy toward young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally through no fault of their own.

Bachmann, however, said Friday that "we have laws in this country to secure our borders" and that taxpayer funds should not be granted to those who were violating them.

"If a student comes from any other state into Texas, they pay out-of-state tuition and as was brought up in the debate last night, that is $88,000 worth of taxpayer subsidized value that the people of Texas are giving to individuals who come in," she said. "It's a magnet. That is really the point of this."

"We're inducing more people to break the law by giving them inducements and if someone comes into this state, they can subsequently also obtain other benefits on occasion as well," she continued. "So we don't want to have any inducements that will be a magnet to induce more people to come into the united states illegally."

Bachmnann proposed that "What we have to do, quite frankly, is support United States sovereignty and build the fence."