Perdue stumps in Washington

Published 3:36 am Friday, October 10, 2008

By Staff
Candidate opposedto illegal immigrantsin community colleges
Staff Writer
Gubernatorial candidate Bev Perdue was in Washington lunching with supporters and preaching a message of unity Thursday.
The Democrat said she wants to see North Carolina’s economy continue to grow with military, agricultural and green jobs. Many of those jobs don’t have to be in rural areas, she said.
North Carolina’s farmland has the potential to play a key role in new technologies, she said.
She also praised development projects like Washington’s Stewart Parkway as key to developing tourism, and she accused her Republican opponent, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, of undervaluing it.
Perdue, the state’s lieutenant governor, said she worries about the risks off-shore drilling could pose to that future if it’s not done right.
She wants oil companies to focus on extracting petroleum from land they already lease but haven’t yet drilled.
And she said that, if elected, she would work to use the state’s authority to write permits for offshore drilling to ensure that any drilling that does happen won’t damage beaches or marine environments.
But once those safety concerns are addressed, she supports drilling, Perdue said.
And she complained that the current drilling arrangement will deny the state’s government a slice of the oil-revenue pie.
Perdue praised Gov. Mike Easley’s call for state agencies to make budge cuts because of the nation’s financial situation.
Perdue also urged the state’s residents to hold tight and ride out Wall Street’s current economic woes.
And Perdue said she’s sticking with her position favoring the state’s temporary ban on illegal immigrants enrolling in community colleges because providing them with educations wouldn’t help the economy.
Locally, that issue has been hot of late, with some county commissioners slamming English-as-second-language courses at Beaufort County Community College that allows illegal immigrants inside the college.
The immigrants are allowed because they’re taking life-skills courses, not academically accredited courses.
Because illegal immigrants can’t work in the United States legally, it’s illogical for the state to prepare them to enter the work force, Perdue said.
That position differs from the stance of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, who recently said he supports admitting the illegal aliens.
But Perdue said she’s sticking to her guns.
Perdue said she has a history of working with opposition political figures to accomplish her goals.
The key, she said, is for the U.S. Congress to revamp the country’s immigration system to stem the tide of illegal immigrants.
She said, “I just think that they need to sit up and do their job.”