Rick Perry’s Latino problem
Some Texas Latinos might appreciate Gov. Rick Perry's illegal-immigrant tuition stance, but Latinos still largely don't vote for him.
October 12th, 2011
11:25 PM ET

Rick Perry’s Latino problem

Presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is taking heat from many in his own party for supporting a state policy giving in-state tuition rates to children of illegal immigrants.

But while this position may be seen as favorable for Latinos - a large majority of Texas’ illegal immigrants are Latino, with more than 60 percent of them hailing from Mexico alone, according to the Pew Hispanic Center - it hasn’t gained him much Latino support in his own state.

Almost two-thirds of Latino voters in Texas vote Democratic, and Latinos overwhelmingly vote against Perry, a Republican.

In a GOP presidential debate last month, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criticized Perry for supporting Texas’ illegal-immigrant tuition policy. Perry responded this way: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state … by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

After the debate, Perry fell from frontrunner status.

Some Texas Latinos came out in support of Perry’s stand in that debate, including state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio.

“I was happy to hear that,” Villarreal said of Perry’s in-debate response. “I thought, wow, this is the first time I’ve seen Gov. Perry take a position based on principle at a political cost.”

But Villarreal also said Perry’s policy priorities, especially cuts to education, have hurt Latino families in Texas.

“I look at the policy outcomes of the last legislative session, and think this is the exact opposite of what Hispanic families want for them and their children,” Villarreal said.

And many Latino voters apparently feel the same. So what does this mean for Perry and the rest of the GOP? Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story from CNN Radio's John Sepulvado:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Immigration • Politics • Republican Party • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. JJ


    October 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • no


      October 13, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • hey, you all


      October 13, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |

      the government continue to accept people from Somalia, Pakistan and Asia( Hmongs ) as a refugees and they are the ones who come with many children and the first thing they do is to get Medical assistance, cash, housing assistance free from the government. They take tax payer’s money, get big houses and nobody cares. In addition, the Somalis do not even thank the USA for helping them; on the contrary, mostly all of them hate the USA and they send money to terrorists groups in their countries. How about that?.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. the prophet

    America is finished....don't vote for crocks

    October 13, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You mean like the shoes?

      October 13, 2011 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      I think he means the cold-blooded, scaly, sharp-toothed reptiles with the habit of ambushing their prey. Or maybe he's referring to crocodiles instead.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jj

    this is the grown up jj. i think he meant crooks or maybe a combo of crack pots lol

    October 13, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. gung hoe

    Do you remember almost 4yrs ago when you went to the polls and voted for change well change is here,that being herman cain .Yep if you wanted change then that is who you have to vote for. 999 and cain in 12

    October 13, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      You must be daft.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • WhatYou WouldGet

      That reminds me of a car sticker I saw that read REPUBLICANS - WHAT YOU GET FOR NOT VOTING!

      October 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Do you remember almost 3yrs ago when you went to the polls and voted for change well change is here,that being herman cain .Yep if you wanted change then that is who you have to vote for. 999 and cain in 12

    October 13, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |

      EVEN cain's political party do not like his 999 plan.

      NOBODY likes his 999 plan.

      October 13, 2011 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Unselfish Meme

    Just to clarify as I always cringe when I see the word LATINO used as if ALL Latino's are Mexican.

    Not all Latino's are Mexican but in this country they are the majority. Thus, the majority of Latino's being Mexican, look at the census numbers, are what we're talking about here.

    Not Uruguayans, or Bolivians, very small number and they usually immigrate legally the right way.

    October 13, 2011 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
    • The Unselfish Meme

      Its early for me to type, I'm very tired but in other words what I'm saying is that these "Latino Problems" involve Mexican rather than other Latin Americans and in no way are Mexicans representative of all Latin American cultures.

      The only shared thing is basic Spanish and even then, minus Brazil, etc., Spanish is spoken and expressed differently, and more importantly, the mind sets, the MOTIVES for coming to the USA differ somewhat.

      Meaning that immigrants from South America for example, don't come to the USA because they want to take it back versus that being one of the main motives behind the HUGE influx of Mexicans into the USA.

      They feel the USA stole "their land" and regardless of what they say or which flags they wave, they have that in their culture and mentality.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
    • And such.

      *Latinos, not Latino's.

      Just to clarify. I always cringe when I see improper possessive noun agreement.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      you are jealous and uneducated. you make racist generalizations, and you are completely wrong on all things you mentioned.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Meep

    Rick Perry is very Democratic in the way he liberally treats illegals.

    October 13, 2011 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Blessings Always

      May God Bless Him For That!!

      October 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. W.G.

    This is the season of hate . No matter what or who , people do not want to listen to any inclusive Ideas .
    The money drain on our country has been "self inflicted" . You can´t blame Latinos for that when in truth
    even illegals pay taxes whenever they buy something or pay rent or a bill . It´s a fact of life that taxes go up every
    year regardless of who or what . Now America is going to kick itself one more time in the buns by helping to raise
    it´s own food prices by demonizing Latinos . An educated person is a benefit and a potential money earner for any
    host country .

    October 13, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      W.G.-This is the nation of hate, didn't you know that? During the Ellis Island days, New York natives would hate on the incoming Irish, because they were the root of all problems, then the Irish would hate on the incoming Italians for the same reason, then they all hated on the Poles, Germans and Lithuanians, then after the Civil War they all hated on Blacks, then during the mid 20th century all THOSE hated on Puerto Ricans and Cuban refugees. W.G., hating someone different from you because you are led to imagine that they are the root of all your evils is the American Way, it seems to come naturally once you become 'assimilated'.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • tcsewell3

      First off there are many studies that Labor wages don't increase the prices of products very much. That being said, do you believe that an educated person is going to do those jobs whether it is an American or an illegal immigrant?

      October 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. doug the practical

    I don't really care for Rick Perry but his rational makes perfect sense and indeed will in the end save money and create educated working people whether their parents are illegal or ignorant. If the kids couldn't afford to pay "out of state" dollars they will end up uneducated and costing the great state of TX much more in the end. Maybe the right wing idiots could build more prisons and confine them there for safe keeping....

    October 13, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. NukeTim

    TRickster is done. He might as well slither back into his hole.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rich

    It won't be long before the USA is officially a 3rd world country.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. layne

    While I can commend GoodHair regarding his stance about educating children, regardless of how they got here, his other education stances: political textbook revisioning, textbook kickbacks, teacher salaries, breaking the teachers' association, corporate school food kickbacks for crap food, ineffective standardized testing, property tax inequity across counties/districts, lack of accountability on lottery $ for education – all point to posturing and no consistent stand. All hypocritical, self-centered politicking. Sorry Rick. You may have a heart, but it's pretty convenient, sometimes.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. mr tunji

    govt perry he cannot get to earting pies in both ways on imimgration issues because he is truly not trust worthy to latino voters rick perry has to choose one side between tea party and latino voters perry he is playing gameswith him self i personal hate candidate like him because he dosnt understands where he stand on imimgration issues and he is definitely going to get hurt politically he is already getting hurt anyway because of his flip flopper

    October 13, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Remember Herman Cain's name well.
    Heck, remember what ALL of the candidates say...
    If Cain is elected I can't *wait* for the 9-9-9 to NOT go into effect because congress won't let it, and every one calls him a liar and breaker of promises.

    On a different note, when I saw the headline, I thought "that isn't remotely Perry's problem'...
    Split ends, maybe...

    October 13, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |

    Us Mexicans are very very good ! We keep your country running. We build your houses and do your yardwork. We make your dinner. OLE. Tacos y burritos es muy bueno.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
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