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. Indu

    You have mentioned India and Pakistan. Can you please show proof that Indians give birth to too many kids??You are the first person I have comes across who said this. Indians have one or atmost 2kids and not more than that(in US and India.few states like UP,Bihar,Rajasthan and Gujrat have 3+Kids).Seriosuly,majority of Indians do not depend on food stamps,government funds and also they are not crazy about getting green cards or citizenship.many indian parents are sending their children(american citizens) to india for high school education as education is not upto the mark in few school districts.and they spend their hard own money for their children's education in US or anywhereelse. Please think twice before you blame a particular person or community.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • d

      Igonart post on Asian Indians....highest par capita income ethinic group, highest median house hold income and most educated ethinic group in US.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Magie

      anyways, Indu people are invading this country like rats and then more. They are not good looking, their accents is terrible and smell like pigs.

      October 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |

      While we, people from American continent are fighting, people from India arrive here in dozens, they come as students, they take USA jobs, their women get pregnant and then very soon we are being invaded by Indus who not even good looking people who not even asimilate our customs because they continue wearing that ridiculous oufits.

      October 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • TO INDU


      October 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • to INDU ( is that a name or a religion)

      Indu people come to the US as students and then the women get pregnant , have kids and they stay here illegally, they also take our jobs. By the way i desplite the way you people talk and dress.

      October 13, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • XYZ

      I love the Indians, but they and other Asian groups are taking our jobs and technologies back to their homes. We will have a generation that cannot do IT, Engineering or Science. They are still great people.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. repubes are insane

    The republican party has apparently done everything possible to alienate nearly every ethnic group out there. They can pretty much kiss the black vote goodbye, and possibly the Latin vote too.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gg

    the cheap labour no benifits govenor

    October 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jc

    I don't think that Perry can go the distance. Obama has been so centrist thoughout his administration (the last month being an anomoly), that most independents will vote for him rather than a far right republican candidate. Perry's active role in trying to reduce the Latino vote in Texas through redistricting will turn off Latinos nationwide. Romney seems like the only candidate that has both momentum and is moderate enough to bring in the independents. A lot of people think (I am one of them) that the intrasingence of the far right republicans (and moderate republicans who go along with them as part of a "make Obama ineffective" strategy) ulitimately will hurt our grand old party.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pchoiseman

    To understand how this great nation came into being, all you have to do is take a look at your nearest African American friend... Yes, immigrants, although they were brought into our country kicking and screaming, against their own will, to become someone's property after being hunted down and exported, like cattle, from their ancestral homes. Another good place to understand how we became a superpower is to visit Ellis Island and take a look at all the millions of immigrants who came without papers (yes, illegals!) who just may be the great grandparents of many of those posting some of the vile rhetoric...

    October 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LastModerateTexan

    If we're going to get serious about illegal immigration in this country then we can no longer afford to be double-minded about the issue. The current administration has deported more illegals than any other administration, and you can verify that from several independent sources. Deportation is not a quick nor cheap solution, and I wonder how many on this thread are willing to volunteer the needed tax increases to fund the requirements to increase deportation. To effectively patrol the entire US-Mexico border ICE and US Border Patrol would need roughly another 18,000 employees each. They would also require more aircraft, vehicles, drones, and etc. all of which have a cost associated with them. Illegals come here looking for work, and unless we get tough on those that employee them, and stay consistent in montioring those who routinely employee them, the problem only gets larger. Are we willing to impose crippling monetary fines, and impose minimum mandatory sentences of 3 years confinement to those who hire illegals? Maybe we should explore the option of offering a period of indentured servitude to those who are facing deportation?

    October 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil in Oregon

      In my area, there are a lot of labor intensive forestry jobs. On federal land, paid for by the taxpayers(since they don't do much logging any more). I work in the woods too, and seldom see any of those forestry laborers that can speak English.
      Since the Latinos don't support Perry anyway he should dump them. On the other side of the border. Or better yet – in Mexico City, so the Mexican govt can see the problem up close and personal.

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

      .on the other hand , 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 get Medical, 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 send money to terrorists groups in their countries. How about that?.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • somebody you would get along with

      Hey all of you sounding like you all talk out your ass's because you don't understand how most of it works. I'm sure none of you have ever seen the system in place. Lucky for you I have. More then once so please if you think you can read on it from the internet or think you know please tell me so I can laugh. See I seen how this all is done.now first off the aid comes From texas you should know that  Texas state aid not federal aid cause  federal aid they can't apply now if you think that it pays for a full trip well your worng see Texas only puts so much out there for students which is a small amount every year also I bet you anything all most  students get federal aids cause it gives more. Texas aid also not only dose it give way less the grades play a roll also 2.0 dose not roll if you want a larger amount. Now while most of you read this and start yelling well it's against the law throw them back lock them up in a airport hangers. Now most of these kids who are using Texas aid have probbbly been living here since less the one years old -four years old so they are completely americans while there parents may not be  the kids who grow up here their whole life probably  don't know anything much about country that there mom and dad are from.  but that they will love to be able to live here with out feat  and they feel that they are an American they love this place. Now they are 17 or 18 they know prefect English since they were babies   they only know living in the united states they been here there whole life  they love this place thinking about  being sent back to where because theire heart belongs to America they can't love any where else. We need to stop and think before we just start rounding people up and throwing them away we need to find the ones who should become legal and fast track them cause the moral crime committed Is sending American. Who had no fault of coming cause they were babies and now they are old they only know this country   They only love this place . They love the system of the government while sometimes it dose not always work but when it dose it's like no other and to love and dream why am I an American. But you don't think I am because I do not have papers. Who are you to tell me that I am not who are you to say my love is any less then yours who are you to say I deserve to be here less then you so who are you to talk so much hate on this topic and not think of the few who  do belong here but the system needs to be fixed why can't I get a fast track on here why  do I have to wait 10 years and be sent back to a place I don't know I don't care for. Who are you to break my dreams and my heart. How about us how about the few!!! Don't push me under the rug don't forget about us. I am American while I may not have any papers  I am still proud to be here proud of this country proud  to wake up everyday and see this amazing place. For you This can be normal for me it's something that you see in your dreams I wake in fear every. Morning what happens if this Is the day. Everyday I blend in nobody noticing that I am one of them cause I have lived here so long since I was a baby. I get to hear you say round them up send them back. I get to hear the worse   and so I look at you and smile and laugh and say yeah but my hearts breaks cause I am one of them. I want to say no!!!! No!!! Look at me look at me !!! You talk to me like I belong I am one of you!!! this topic brings so much hate and all of you talk with no regardes  all of you talk with out the otherside. It's easy to think the laws and system are right but we know that the worse events have came under laws and systems that the people have set up. but just cause it's not 500 years ago 100 years ago dose not make us better or dose not mean what we have right now is right.  Btw talking about cost you should stop reading from no name websites check your information try reading a congressional report your will find alot out and don't forget securing of the border and how much dose that cost and why did we do it and  sorry for the bad spelling and writing what seems like a manifesto one horrible huge sentence lol but I will forgive my self cause Its  a comment 

      October 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NorCalMojo

    Perry needs to read Aesop's fable about the dog and his reflection.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Keith

    We are all immigrants

    October 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • chelsea12

      Yes, but we are not illegal!

      October 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris_Bon

      Not true, we are NOT all immigrants. We may be descended from immigrants, but American born individuals are not immigrants.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Epacific

      We drove native americans off of their land, rounded them up, put them on reservations, decimated their culture, and, at times, massacred them without mercy because they "were not civilized Christians" and because "they were in the way." Does it matter if we were illegal vs legal immigrants? As far as morality is concerned, we were certainly illegal citizens.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • mama panda

      @ Chris_Bon - Assume you apply that standard to the so-called "anchor babies," right?

      October 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlos mendez

      You are so full of Crap!. Immigrants back than enter America legally. Today they come here illegal and they don't come here to work they come here to take advantage of welfare and others social programs. Now a day is not the same it was 50 years ago. In addition, many are criminal from another country come here to hide. Furthermore, it is against the law to hired and harbor any illegal immigrants that come here. If you are illegal immigrants I suggest you get the hell out of here. I mean now!!

      October 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. msgabbymac

    I wonder if half of the people that wish to deport illegal immigrants could pass the naturalization test....

    Before you admonish people for not having citizenship, perhaps you should explore how difficult it is. Additionally, the issue is not whether or not children of illegal immigrants should get a free education, it is if they should have access.

    Let me make this a little simpler for you tea party members, if a child gets a straight A's all through school, should they go to college?
    (Hint: there are 2 possible answers, one of them is YES and the other option is incorrect)

    October 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      YES. But what does a child getting straight As and going to college have anything to do with illegal immigration????

      October 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris_Bon

      Wow, really mis-guided response. It is not a question of whether someone could pass the citizenship test, and it SHOULD be difficult to attain citizenship (as it is in most countries) – the issue IS whether children of illegals should get in-state college tuition. The answer, of course, is no. Those children have already had the benefit of free elementary and high school education, while their parents have likely not paid taxes. To allow for further free or reduced education is an insult to those who work hard to pay for their own education.
      Also, the straight A question – really, that's just silly. BTW, I am a Democrat.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper

    Old, abandoned airplane hangars can be used to temporarily house large numbers of illegal Mexicans while they are waiting to be processed for deportation.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TheTraveler

    Well folks, It's just not Perry's problem, it's America's problem ...

    October 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ancient Texan

    Since the Supreme Court says states cannot refuse to educate illegal youngsters in public schools, the legislature decided that if they're going to be here anyway, they should be educated in our colleges so that they can better contribute. If Perry had felt differently and vetoed the bill, it would have no good, because he would have had only four negative votes to side with him and he would have been over-ridden. I'm not a Perry supporter but the truth is the truth.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. George

    What do you mean? You forgot all the drug wars they engage in???

    October 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catherine Smith

      give Indu, Pakistanean, Asian, Middle East people a one way ticket to their little countries, they are invading us and we do not like them.

      October 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Garry

    This issue can also be used to project our anger from our collective fears about our economic futures and loss of good paying jobs even with education. Truth is that 'illegals' do the labor intensive (hard back breaking manual) jobs at low pay that we don't want in road construction, cement work, roofing, forestry, farming. Alabama scares off its Hispanic work force and farmers and meat packers can't find workers to take their places. But, we feel better venting our anger at 'illegals' (read brown skinned peoples).

    October 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jack Be Humble

    The Republican position: if the children of illegal immigrants become too edjamucated, they will want higher paying "Citizen" jobs and not be satisfied with picking fruit and other day labor tasks, which is why they are permitted here in the first place.

    October 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
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