Perry Campaign Wants Town Hall Attendees To Prove Citizenship

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry participates at a Forum on Manufacturing at Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella, Iowa, on Nov. 1, 2011. (credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry participates at a Forum on Manufacturing at Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella, Iowa, on Nov. 1, 2011. (credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS Washington/AP) — People attending a Rick Perry presidential campaign event are being asked to prove they are American citizens.

Wednesday’s event at Granite State Manufacturing is open to the public.

The company handles defense contracts for the federal government. A company employee sat beside a Perry staffer at the door and asked attendees whether they were citizens. People were also told that non-citizens wouldn’t be admitted.

Perry’s campaign said later that that was a mistake. The company also later clarified that federal regulations allow immigrants on the premises, but they must be accompanied by an escort.

The Texas governor has spent much of the campaign under fire for his immigration record, specifically his state’s policy of allowing in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.

It was unclear whether any immigrants attended Perry’s event.

Perry is looking to repair his image after he was unable to name the three federal departments he would cut during a GOP presidential debate. He has recently been lagging in the polls behind Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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