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. Wayne

    Perry's Latino problem? He also has a black problem, asian problem..basically any minority will not vote for this guy.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. WOT

    Give them everything free food stamps cards, houses, cars, land and whatever else. Then BILL the country they came from to pay!

    October 13, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Give ThemJobs

      WOT, you know what, since they are already here the answer to your concern or problem would be to allow them to WORK as they want to do instead of passing prejudiced laws that would penalize employers from hiring them. They WANT to work but they are not allowed therefore, they have to resort to seeking state services in order to put food on their table for their family. Don't you get it yet! THAT'S the problem that needs to be rectified and Pronto! Give Them Jobs! They pay their fair share of taxes and contribute to this country doing the work Americans don't want to do. So, Give Them Jobs and Stop enacting stupid laws that only serve to prohibit them from working and earning their own way!!

      October 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cacique

    The fact that I support education for the children of illegals does not mean that I don't support the education of all the other ethnic groups. This is the USA we live in, and as a country we are competing with the rest of the planet... we can not allow our differences to get the best of us. We have to make education available to all who wish to have an education. Education will make all kinds of pegs and clogs become ingrained within the national machinery, it will enrich all of our country to our benefit, we can not allow to choose who gets an education or not. Fortunately, it is each individual's right to make that decision. I apologize for being so loud regarding those kids' right to an education, but I would be just as loud for the rights of any other kid wanting to further his or her education.
    I would ask you to re-read your posts and notice all the visceral feelings that you instill against people different from you. I know that, individually, some of us would be very difficult to get along with but we can exercise some tolerance of other people's life status to kind of be more accepting and avoid any destructive hate.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kweg Yung

    Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm and ALL the banks are state owned. These former American companies only pay tax in China, supporting a growing communist government and military. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. KC

    Yea Perry has a problem, he isn't going to be president since there are not enough crazy people in America to vote for him.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nick

    I currentlty am in school and if I break the law, I am jeapardizing my educational future because I rely on my student loans to be able to attend. The law states that if I engage in unlawful activity to a certain severity, I will not qulaify for financial aid to go to school and it should be that way. Why it does not apply to illegals does not make any sense.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      The article mentions the CHILDREN of illegal immigrants, not the illegal immigrants themselves.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. JoeS

    This is very conflicting Idea for Perry. Just like saying to illegal immigrants that they cannot come here illegally since the State of Texas spend enormous amount of money in the border but if you manage to come here illegally, it would be right to help you to educate your children.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Latinos favor Democrats........because they want hand outs. That is a well known fact. That is also why the Democrats are refusing to take any action to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US from Mexico.

    The ONLY way that ANYTHING will get done, about illegal immigrants, is to get Democrats out of power.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Zippy

      Yeah, let's get the Republicans back in power, they know how to take care of the illegal immigration problem. Just look at what a great job George Bush– oh, never mind.

      October 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc W. McCord

      Mr. McDaniel, you are in serious denial. Republicans had complete control of Congress during the last two years of the Clinton Administration and the entire eight years of the last Bush Administration, yet they never even tried to do anything about border security, even after 9-11. In your vain attempt to villify liberals and Democrats you conveniently refuse to consider that your own preferred party does nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. You also conveniently forget that Reagan led the charge for and signed into law a bill giving legal status to millions of illegals who had crossed our borders without proper authorization.

      The GOP also failed to even bring up legislation for consideration related to gay marriage, flag burning amendments, prayer in school, abortion or any of myriad other "social conservative" red meat issues when they had absolute control of the White House and BOTH Houses of Congress.

      If you really want to see them problem, then try looking in the mirror.

      October 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Getyourfactsstraight.

      Fact? Where are you getting this "fact"? Most people on government assistance are white. I dont support illegal immigration, but saying that "Latinos favor Democrats........because they want hand outs. That is a well known fact" is another misleading theory that apparently people are blind enough to believe.

      October 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • HEY RICK MCDANIEL , STUPID IGNORANT

      Latinos love green, green is good .

      October 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Proud Latina

    To jbblineman, I consider myself an American citizen. Born and raised here. All of my family was born and raised here. There is nothing wrong with picking crops did it as a kid and so did my family. I would lke to see you do that.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper

    How many Mexicans does it take to shingle a roof ?
    It depends on how thin they're sliced.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. petemg

    This giving aid to illegals is going to cause problems between them and the citizens of America. Perry and California are saying illegals are more important. They do not need to aid illegals so that Obama can smile upon the states as good and proper people. Is Obama willing to assist illegals because he and his family are all illegals. Obama does not need to hold illegals hostage. It is more of Obama saying that he will give citizenship to the illegals if they will vote for him. Illegals are no dummies. Illegals are hardworking people who have pride in making it on their own. The problem is the ones who bring them here and hire them at pauper's salaries. Now if the illegals will just be given the chance to get green cards or become legals. I guess what I am saying why pit one class against another under Obama's rule.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • TheDarkRide

      Bad news, petemg. 2009 called and it said the birther movement was already dead. You'll need to do some catching up, because Obama is a natural-born American citizen.

      October 14, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marge

    I think he has a problem with every body most of the republicans included.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. pchoiseman

    Theodore Roosevelt on immigration: "In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

    October 13, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brown and proud

    Some of you are dumb as a box of rocks, have some of you been leaving under a big rock together? Where do you think everyones ancestors came from in this country? What's funny is that all the racist comments come from uneducated people who think they are doing something important. keep hiding behind these messeage boards you faceless cowards.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Proud Latina

    To Jack Me, well next time make sure you don't buy any other fruit and vegetable at the store because for the most part, I am sure you need to eat. And the next house you buy, you build it yourself! We worked to pay for our education because our family wanted to have a better life. No handouts. Quit griping and feeling sorry for yourself and do something about it.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
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