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Perry Gains Support Of Minutemen He Once Opposed

By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

Governor Rick Perry sought to sew up his conservative credentials Wednesday as he announced an endorsement by the Minutemen. The Minutemen are volunteers who patrol the US-Mexican border in an effort to stop illegal immigration and smuggling.

Perry didn't support the group five years ago, but says he now backs the Minutemen because he's convinced their patrols operate within the law.

Perry: We wanted to make sure as they were being formulated in their early days that these weren't vigilante groups, that these weren't individuals that were going out and being armed and taking laws into their own hands. They proved to be what they said they'd be: another set of eyes in the neighborhood.

Perry and the Minutemen still differ on the need for a physical fence along the border. Perry says a wall from Brownsville to El Paso is not "doable." Perry supports patrolling the border with technology. Minuteman Founder Jim Gilchrist says he'll support a wall until Congress provides enough personnel to prevent border violence and crime.

Email Shelley Kofler