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. Concerned Citizen

    "Latino" do they mean "Mexican" I live in Texas and sorry do not know the the country of Latino is? Do know that we are overrun with Miexicans. Not knocking the Mexican's just stating facts. If they live here and pay taxe's and are naturalize ciitizens no problem in helping them. Send back the one's who jump the borders.

    October 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Latino professional

      Obviously you did not pay attention in school. Latinos are people from Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico etc.. No not all Latinos are "Mexicans". I was born in the US, but my parents legally immigrated from Guatemala in the 1960's and are naturalized citizens. I personally have a successful career and am humored by the bigots who assume I'm an illegal alien if at the store with my parents and decide to speak spansh to my family.(we are fluent in English of course, but teach our kids Spanish to make them bilingual and assets in the future.) Or the same bigot assumes I'm a drug dealer if they see me in my S600 Mercedes. This country was built on immigration and ironically one of the most beloved Represidents passed amnesty legislation in the 80's to legalize thousands of immigrants. Quit being hypocrites and no one is taking your job unless they are more qualified. It's sad that there are so many racist idiots this day in age. I guess I'm just a dumb "Mexican" though. As name calling is the easiest path for bigots to follow.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. notborncynical

    Hey Could be a friend. That was one of the most rambling, unintelligable posts I've ever seen. Are you high?

    October 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. smithie12

    perry has a "latino" problem and he has a "black-n*ggerhead" problem. but his real problem is that he has an "intelligence" problem. the republican debates have shown him to be little more than a "palin with pants" !!!

    October 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Sayin

      I prefer to call him Sara Palin in cowboy boots. 🙂

      October 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean


      October 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nm1971


    October 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. el americano

    Love reading these posts. Very intelligent, ignorant, and some funny ones.It doesn't matter who we elect, it's always the same outcome.At the end of the day all the politicians reps and dems get together have a beer and laugh at us.they're all friends and play politics with us. They make it seem like if they cared but they're all the same. When it comes to inmigration, who would pick our produce and fruit? Farmers wouldn't pay 'americans'the miserables wages they pay the inmigrants. We'd get our stuff imported and it'd be hell of expensive.Give hard working people a chance to work and yes deport any criminal. Get rid of welfare and public health so these people having babies work for their money. And by the way the Obama administration has deported the most illigal inmigrants than any other administration. So neither one of them r on our side. I just don't agree with breaking up families. Illegals r here looking for an opportunity just like the europeans came here years ago. I'd rather see a 'dirty mexican' like some ignorants say, sell oranges by the freeway exit than see him stealing or begging for money on the street like some 'americans' do. And I know there are criminals in our community, have no mercy and yes deport them...

    October 13, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lion777

    His policies are bad and the man has a lot of problems keeping up in the debates. We already had a Cowboy in the White House once is enough.

    October 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MadAsAMoose

    Why must this be a "Latino" problem? This is an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT problem. Last I checked, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS came from ALL parts of the world and from all ethnic backgrounds. Not just from Mexico and they're NOT ALL LATINO!! Ignorance must be bliss!

    October 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Latino professional

      Your exactly right. Everyone always assumes immigrants are all Latino.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Real american

    If you don't like the policies please feel free to get the @#$% out.

    October 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • becer

      "Real american": you are a real dumb mother#$#%

      October 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • felipe Lopez

      Why? when we can change them.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • indyfan

      This is what I been saying for 8 years. Republicans wanted all this cheap illegal labor from people who would vote against them once Regan gave them amnesty. What a bunch of morons. Fix the border before it's to late Republican's.

      October 14, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Gkoria Mundi

      Because, you moron, there are more of us than there are of you. And all the Republican talk about building a wall from here to eternity does not endear any of the Republicans to Latinos. The variations on the theme of what to do about "them" only serves to further empower the Latino poulation and galvanizes the knowledge that we have power yet unexercised.
      You see, "Real American", there are many Latinos here who are educated (I am an attorney and criminal prosecutor, as well as a columnist), and we are in every single socio-economic level of this society. Unlike yourself, we are able to discern issues and indignities which are wrought upon us (feel free to consult a disctionary any time you like, I know it's rough when you have not even got your GED), and those are not readily forgotten.

      There will be no one leaving this country–so get used to it. And why do you not try the backbreaking, thankless work of picking crops in the fields? That is, if anyone will have you. And it beats the welfare you are probably receiving.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Keneth

    So perry was trying to buy votes and it backfired, sorry Rick.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Latino professional

    Jbblineman go clean your out your hoarded mobile home and smoke some meth. Bigot. See how stereo typical one can be?

    October 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • tensor

      Annnnddddd ... that is why so many Americans are thrilled you and your enormous family want you to go back to Mexico or whatever else craphole hispanic country you emigrated from.

      October 14, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      This is just for you. Perry doesn't have a latino problem, the entire country has a latino problem! Far too many of them, legal or not, and they are slowly changing our country and its culture.. Visitors from outerspace 50 years from now will thnk they landed in Mexico.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland Tony

      If your space folks landed in America 300 years ago they would have seen native american culture...150 years ..a slave culture. OH, and a Mexican culture in the western parts since they owned it. 100 years, perhaps an Italian, Irish, or German culture. So I guess "what comes around ...goes ...etc" . Your generation may not like it, but the next won't give a damn...And I know your extraterrestrials could care less.

      October 14, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    Hi"people from India are invading us,
    You are categorzing a group of people who come here LEGALLY, and get employed If the Companies want them and they pay taxes. Most of the students go back to India. If you are angry with the Indians i can understand. However, the majority is against ILLEGALS. You are an exception; there may be a rotten egg among thousands of eddible eggs.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. becer

    Thayer: who is pushing their culture on you? Why would Mexicans want someone like you to even try to understand what culture is? You probably don't even know the definition of culture.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. D. Guajardo

    For those of you who think that illegal immigrants don't contribute at the federal level, consider this. A lot of them use fake social security cards and then pay into social security using those fake numbers. When the federal government realizes the card numbers are non-existent, those monies go into a special fund that is used to pay out benefits. The illegals will contribute but will never collect social security. Some of them simply save their wages like you wouldn't believe and then take their savings to happily retire in Mexico. But the money they contributed into social security stays here.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. el americano

    @ becer: criticizing spelling? Did you see your own spelling?:"what school you go to?" Correction: what's school did (do) you go to? So tell me which one did you go to?

    October 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Badger

    Texas has a problem with Rick Perry....

    October 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
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