Rick Perry supported guest worker program

Libertarian leader Wes Benedict made this video message for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

Wes Benedict, who guides the Libertarian Party nationally, compliments Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an online video that Benedict brought to our attention in August.

Benedict, the party’s executive director, says in the video: "Compared to most Republicans, you (Perry) have been pretty open to immigration. I credit you for being friendly to our southern neighbors. Rick Perry, I support amnesty, and I think you do too. You supported a guest worker program to help people who would otherwise be illegal aliens."

Immigration has been a tough subject for Perry since he entered the Republican presidential contest in August. Fellow candidate Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has criticized Perry’s continued support for a Texas law allowing some children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. And Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who also is seeking the Republican nomination, has pointed to Perry’s belief that building a fence along the entire border with Mexico doesn’t make sense.

In response, Perry has cited policies he’s supported that he says show he’s tough on immigration, including hundreds of millions of dollars that the state of Texas has spent on border security while he has been governor.

We took Benedict’s reference to Perry’s position on amnesty as his opinion, which he thinks Perry shares. But we don’t check opinions, so focused instead on whether Perry indeed supported a guest worker program, as Benedict claimed.

Bluntly, it looks like Benedict mostly got this right; we counted more than half a dozen instances, from 2003 through 2007, of the governor talking up a guest worker program--though none since then. Read on.