In Texas Gov. Rick Perry's first out-of-state appearance since being indicted on two felony charges, he spoke on the border crisis on Thursday to a Washington, D.C., audience at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. But he also addressed his legal battle.
“There is some interesting things going on back in my home state,” Perry said. “There are a few public officials in Travis County that have taken issue with an exercise of my constitutional veto authority. These are fundamentally principles that are very important, namely a governor's power to veto legislation and funding and the right of free speech.”
Perry touched on the tense conditions in the Middle East, saying the violence and terrorism occurring overseas should serve as a warning of the types of dangers that could pass through an unprotected border.
“Border security is the nearest front of national security,” Perry said. “So many people come across the border without us ever knowing about them, and the cartel, as vicious and brutal as they are, might be the least of our worries. Just consider the events in Syria and Iraq, other places in the Middle East — they should have us thinking about the possibility of another terrorist attack in this country.”
Perry was asked to clarify whether he thought the Islamic State extremist group, or ISIS, was using the Texas-Mexico border to access the United States. He answered that "it is a very real possibility" that people "from ISIS or other terrorist states" could be using the border.
“Certainly I think there is great concern that the border between the United States and Mexico is unsecure and we don’t know who is using that,” Perry said.