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. Noah1003

    They were born in this country. They're citizens. What is the f***ing problem with applying the law equally??

    October 13, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper

      Because white people are more equal than taco bellies.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • YourIgnorance IsShowing

      rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper, you are so naive that you don't even realize that when you speak of "White" people, you are also including Latinos, Hispanics and Mexicans, like it or not. They are members of the *White* Race. Hispanic or Latino is an Ethnicity, not a race. Look at any Latino's birth certificate or call the state for verification if you are so inclined. They'll tell you so. So, again, like it or not, if you speak about RACE, Hispanics/Latinos are White. End of story.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • YouGot ThatRight

      YourIgnorance IsShowing you have great common sense and are of course correct in what you are saying. BTW, don't people realize that many Mexicans/Latinos/Hispanics have blue eyes, blond hair and are very fair skinned? Just go into Mexico or even in this country and you'll find a great many of them! Yes, they are Hispanics/Latinos but the ones who have a tanner complexion would be due to a mixture of their Native American heritage. Therefore, if they are of Native American extraction, that would give even more credence or reason to keep them here as this is rightfully their land in the first place, to begin with! End of story.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. cacique

    The in-state tuition cost depends on the residence requirement. If a student has been in the state the time required to be considered a resident then the student pays in-state tuition. If your student and you are upset because you come from another state and want to register paying in-state tuition you know that is not possible as you will be charged out of state tuition. The child of illegal parents will pay in state tuition because him or her has lived in the state long enough to satisfy residence requirements. Additionally, it is a human right to have access to education whatever your citizenship or legal status happens to be. Especially, if your kid happens to be college material despite of the fact that your kid may come from poverty or a barrio environment. I really find it disgusting that you want to keep valuable human beings who have a lot of potential from getting a well-deserved education.
    Usually, a kid who is seeking a higher education comes from parents who are very hard working ones who see the importance of getting ahead in life by using the universal key available to all: EDUCATION.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Quenepo

      Are you aware that ALL the money the government gives to non-USA citizens is coming from us? Despite the rights you claim everyone have, I challenge you to give money from your pocket to any of the people you are defending here... you don't feel it because it's coming from your taxes, that maybe don't exceed an amount that concerns you... but it should.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • education!

      Agree with CACIQUE. They ARE paying tuition, it's not free education. Anyone who puts their mind to it, can succeed in this country. Education is the key to a country's success or failure. It's a reality that illegal kids are here, its better if they are educated and contribute positively to society than the alternative. And it is a lie that illegal immigrants don't pay taxes. They pay sales taxes every time they buy a product or service, many of them have homes and pay property taxes, many of them use a tax id to pay income taxes so when a immigration reforms takes place they have that in order. Look at the facts and stop listening to all the lies that the tea party and other politicians are saying. And Mexico and Latin America is giving the USA more than you think, the USA controls a lot of things in these countries including oil supply and MANY other things you just are not aware of. They benefit so much from latin american I don't even know where to start . You should visit these countries just to see the amount of imports, companies and american products that make their profit in Latin American countries. And their US born kids, are US citizens, like it or not. These are human beings, not animals or trash, people don't learn from history. I am tired of the tea party and republicans creating so much hate against latinos, but at the same time they use religion and morality to manipulate ignorant people. Hypocrites.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • rhobere

      quenepo: illegal immigrant or not, paying in-state tuition is still PAYING tuition. the state likely won't see a dime if they ask children of impoverished illegal immigrants to pay 9000 dollars for a semester at a state university (for eight semesters that's more than 60 grand being paid WITHOUT federal aid). on the contrary, offering them in-state tuition costs makes education affordable to more people and means more money being paid to the state. its true that some of your tax money goes to maintain the campuses and such, but you're going to pay that whether there are children of illegals attending or not. at least if you allow them to attend, the school gets more money out of it.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    Latinos are not the only problem Perry has. He still has his own big mouth to deal with.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • gman21

      And a Palin like brain!

      October 13, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      Hey ! What's wrong with my brain ?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Quenepo

    Mexico is not giving us, or any other country, anything. The rest of the latin American countries are not giving us anything, so, why is the goverment only making/offering programs to benefit illegal immigrants, including their USA borned children, and not looking to improve the benefits of the middle class (aka main tax payers) who are basically carrying everyone in the nation? You are undressing my doll to dress up other ones doll... not fair!

    October 13, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Sebastian

      Because a lot of the Latinos also fit the middle-class category – it's not like if you're Latino you're automatically not middle class. And government is doing tons, as is grassroot organizations (Occupy Wall Street!). I am a Latino, I am middle class, I want justice for both Latinos and middle class. We need to unite, not separate.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • becer

      borned?? really?! what school you go to?

      October 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Justin Bieber's Colon

    How many of Rick Perry's lovers have been Latina or Latino?

    October 13, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Texan

      That accusation has been disproven long, long ago. Drop it.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Not Fat

    And here we have the typical Republican racist. Did you know that, statistically, most whites won't go to college either?

    October 13, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Most whites don't go to college, but most finish high school because more whites still value education. How about comparing Chinese-Americans to Hispanics? Chinese-Americans force their children to get educated and succeed. How many Hispanic Tiger moms do you know?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • cacique

      ..and on top of that we want to make education more difficult for Hispanics to get? So if a Hispanic kid has the impulse of going to school beyond high school let's support his effort even if his mommie is not that much of a tiger. I happen to know many moms that fully support their kids to attend school regularly and many kids who are actually succeeding at it, and it is because of those kids that we are having this interesting conversation. As you can see most of the readers posting their comments on this section are against said kids getting an education, which is very sad. I see a lot of racism behind their posts. Racism diguised of "my rights being stomped on by the children of illegals"

      October 13, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      Why is it racism when we want illegals sent back home?

      October 13, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • LastModerateTexan

      There's a historical question which we must first answer as we deal with the issue of illegal immigration and it is this: "Were the settlers at Jamestown legal immigrants, because the law didn't yet exist?" The next question we must answer is this: "Why do we only focus on illegal immigrants that hail from Mexico/Latin America, and other non Anglos" I'm all for enforcing the current immigration laws, but the enforcement must be applied to EVERYONE that doesn't have a valid visa regardless of their country of origin.

      October 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatsYour Excuse

      More than you care to realize with your prejudice. And what's *your* excuse for your lack of education that keeps you from knowing better than to post what you do!

      October 13, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Anakaraya23

      well for one... my mom.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sebastian

      How many Hispanics in general do you know in personal terms to even make such a disgraceful assumption? Shame on you.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      You have to know some Hispanics to know any Hispanic Tiger moms you ignorant fool. Read the literature on Latinos and education. When asked about their values, Latinos resoundingly list education as their top pick. Educate yourself on the cycle of marginalization and lack of quality education in Latino neighborhoods.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pedro

      I know at least 6 , my sister is one of them.

      October 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Estefan

      Not Fat:

      What does "the typical Republican racist mean?" First of all, and for all of the pseudo-intellectuals who love to spout "race, race, race," scientifically, there is only ONE race – human. You're not of another race, you may be of another ethnicity (I can't see you) but you're certainly not of another race.

      Second of all, what is the statement about most "whites" supposed to mean? THAT's not an ethnic slur? You certainly do seem to want to hide behind accusations of ethnic discrimination and bias, but are more than at home dishing it out! What is a "white" by the way? Is an Italian a "white?" How about an Irish, or for that matter and English? As far as I'm aware, they've all been lumped into the "white" category, but I can tell you that in many regards, their cultural backgrounds have historically clashed.

      The idea that it's wrong if people don't agree is asinine. The idea that it's because they have differing skin colors is just as asinine, completely childish in understanding, and is played. Get a new line, that one's tired...

      October 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Texan

      Good! Very well stated and NEEDED !

      October 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • AS Herman Cain said

      the most racist people are black people in this country, just go to Alabama, Georgia, and other cities and you will see how racists blacks are,

      October 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Quenepo

    I don't get the government's infatuation with Mexico lately. Lot of money and efforts going to Mexico while us, the 99%, struggles to support our families and send our kids to school or college.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Clay

      That's cause when Mexico was looking to make some drugs legal the us play a large roll and changing their policy in review and now we want them to declare war on the cartel for the most part was not that bad in Mexico in till a couple of years ago when they did that's when it all went crazy and now the war we are fighting we want them to fight

      October 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cacique

    As per Mr. Romney, I wonder what he will do for the children of illegal parents residing in his state. I notice that he is throwing to Mr. Perry's face the dirt that he thinks will make himself look more resolute and as being more against the education of said kids. I don't think he sees the importance of universal education for all the people living in our country. It looks that he sees education as a privilege to be had only by the chosen few. I am sure that he is not even following the guidelines of his holly book, neither one of the two.
    So, Mr. Romney, I pretty much think that you're using seggregation and discrimination to awaken feelings of hatred and bigotry against a group of our society who are mostly disempowered and vulnerable. That does not say much about a man who wants to be the president of the USA.
    Mr. Perry was right to point out to you that you have no heart.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper

    It's time to get the deportation busses running. Head 'em up ! Round 'em up ! Load 'em up ! Get 'em out !

    October 13, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • LetsStart WithYou

      rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper, let's start with you first to be deported as your uncontrolled prejudice is stifling an otherwise excellent day! Unless you are Native American, YOU need to be the first to be deported to the country of your ancestry dude! Enough said.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Thayer

      LetsStart WithYou – I say we start with anyone who would side with people who illegally enter our country and do their best to leach off the system and push their culture on us. That would mean people like YOU.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ack-Ack

    Rick Perry is an A$$.....always has been always will be. He's got the mental capacity of a large rodent (I'm thinking squirrel in this case.).

    Nuff said........

    October 13, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Texan

      Wow! Such venom, but thank goodness you're absolutely perfect.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AGreat Reminder

    Boomer, as the mouthpiece echoing what the Republican Party thinks about Latinos, you are exemplifying the main reason why Latinos and many others would Never vote Republican! They have not in the past and it will be a cold day in hell that they support a Republican in 2012! Thanks for reminding Latinos everywhere NOT to vote for the Republican Party that seeks to marginalize Latinos!

    October 13, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Who cares? most of them can't vote anyway.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    I agree that it is not acceptable for illegals to get free or reduced tution, while tax paying legal Americans are not offered the same...However, we need to find a middle ground here to stop the cycle...We all know that there is countless illegal immigrants here in our country...most work behind the curtain...abide by our laws...those with no criminal records need to be offered some sort of visa that leads into citizenship...our borders need to be sealed up tight...hand outs from our governments need to stop...We have always embraced those who are different than us...simply if you want to stay in this country be productive...illegals born here shouldn't have a free pass to American citizenship nor should they be tossed aside due to their parents fault either

    October 13, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Really?

    Please, when u write an article about the Latino community, I will suggest being more specific, since the Latino community includes many countries and as far as I am concerned, in Texas the Latino community are Mexicans. Mr. Perry may have problems with Mexicans voters in Texas no in the rest of the country.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Exactly

      Precisely. A large problem is the majority of "latino" journalist are of Mexican descent and believe it is okay to speak for all of us. Notice how no "latino" journalist or "spanish" television station has covered the illegal immigration problem in Puerto Rico. Ask yourself why.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Anakaraya23

      @exactly: Um... Puerto Rican's are not considered illegal immigrants because Puerto Rico is a common wealth of the U.S.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JOE

    I'm an illegal alien and I voted for Obama. How's that possible? Well, first of all my ancestors were brought to America against their will as slaves. And the southern welfare states that benefited from our free labor are also illegal too.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Terri

    Perry is an imbecile but if a young person has been in the state long enough to garner in state tuition, qualifies with required grades, test scores, etc... and is seeking higher education they are willing and able to pay for they should have in state tuition costs. I agree with the imbecile on this issue so I guess I am an imbecile as well. So be it. I don't care what their race is. If the young person is here illegally though, they should be required to seek legal status before they can qualify.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      If they are getting good grades in high school they should get a chance to go to college? Why is an illegal alien allowed to go to high school. The government gives the states money for each student in school so we are now spending our tax dollars to educate people that have no right to be here. One of the reasons our budgets are going bust. Read up on what mexico would do to you if you were illegally there and you will see it is one sided.

      October 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
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