(CNSNews.com) - A thousand people a day are being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, which is "an absolute overflowing mess," Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Fox News's Sean Hannity Tuesday night.
"And this is something we brought to the attention of the president over two years ago, back in 2012, when we saw this was a major issue. We flagged this. And we're still waiting for a response, not just from the president but from the administration. So it is a major problem."
Perry said it's not the state's responsibility to deal with the influx.
"We're doing our part to make sure we can keep our citizens as safe as we can. But the federal government is just absolutely failing. We either have an incredibly inept administration or they're in on this somehow. I hate to be conspiratorial, but how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?"
Perry said his big concern as governor is the advent of hurricane season: If evacuations become necessary, "I don't have any place to go because the facilities we have historically had available to house our citizens in the United States are full of these individuals now who are coming in from Mexico."
Perry noted that Texas has spent more than $500 million of taxpayer money on helping the feds secure the border. "And we get zero -- what I consider to be zero -- help
from this administration when it comes to addressing one of the core responsibilities.
"You know...I'm a big proponent of the 10th Amendment, that the states need to be making a lot of decisions about issues like transportation or education or health care delivery, but the federal government has a few enumerated constitutional duties, and this administration is totally failing."
Section 4, Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion..."
On the topic of immigration reform, Perry -- a possible Republican presidential contender in 2016 -- insisted that amnesty is not the answer: "And anyone who would be for that has no concept of what is going on. You have to secure the border. If you don't get that border secure, all of these conversations are absolutely for naught."
Immigration reform must include a "reworking" of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Perry added: "If you don't reform the INS, then you are completely wasting your time. So there are a lot of steps before you can even have a legitimate conversation about immigration or immigration reform in this country.
"And I think Hispanic voters out there, they want to live in safe communities. They want to live in a place where they get to keep more of what they work for. The policies of the Republican Party are in line with the Hispanic voter across this country from the standpoint of economics in particular. And securing that border, first step before you can ever have these conversations."