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. SwilliamP

    It is ironic that the one thing Governor Perry said that showed compassion and tolerance cost him badly with his own party. Add to this booing the gay soldier and Cain's 'look-in-the-mirror-if-you-are-out-of-work' comment and you have to say, what country are these people from? Do they know what happened to the US economy? Do they know that hard work and personal responsibility they worship, have not protected people from the current economic necrosis?

    October 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Duane

    Buying votes....he should be locked up

    October 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. FrankinSD

    Gee, who ever would have guessed that a rightwinger from Texas would have trouble with Latino voters?

    October 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sarahrhs

    11th generation Latina Texan (kudos for not using term "Hispanic") here. You bet your butt we don't vote for him. He's a racist pile of compost...wait, I shouldn't give him the credit of being compost. He's said a lot of things during his governorship that make him extremely questionable to our demographic. Throwing around a few words of Spanish seem disingenuous. ALSOOOOO, a large majority of Mexican-AMERICANS and Latinos in Texas have parents or grandparents that were already born here even before the Bracero Program, a lot of us are anti-ILLEGAL immigration and one more thing.... When they tried to bring about legislation that would allow police officers the ability to question citizenship he was initially for it but got pressure from a lot of different places. He's puro politics...he could care less about us and we know it.

    October 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Elisa

    I just do not understand why all these people who made horrible comments,think all illegals are mexicans!that is just not fair.

    October 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jiaozi

    why should ANY illegal deserve state tuition? Who cares if they're latino or whatever? Why do they even live here? I'm a legal immigrant and no one offered me state tuition

    October 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. snow

    I really like the comment this guy made below – if we were not to be branded illegal immigrants then and kicked out, we do not have right to judge the morality of illegal aliens now..:

    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 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • to all the ignorants in the USA and England

      AMERICA IS NOT A COUNTRY BUT A CONTINENT, comprende, A CONTINENT.. repit that 100 before u go to bed.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pat

    Ron Paul 2012!!!!

    October 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper

    One time when I was vacationing in Mexico I saw an old Mexican guy by the side of the road with his arm up a donkey's butt. " Car trouble ? " I asked. Badda Boom !! Badda Bing !!

    October 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Could be a friend

    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 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper

      I'm not going to read this. It's way too long.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Lol it could be worth reading.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shehulk

      You are absolutely right! You are one of US! You are no different than any of us who have papers. I applaud you for standing up! Its takes great courage to stand up for what is right, and you my dear have a heart full of courage. Do not let anyone tell you any different.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanGR8

      I agree. way too long to spend time on.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • awaker

      Everybody has a sad story, who cares. They should go home.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BostonRob

      First off the word is DOES not DOSE. Second if you came here illegally you are not an American citizen period end of discussion. If you want to blame anyone for your current situation blame your parents. If you want to be here legally go back to your country and apply for a visa.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • If I had a penny for every stupid Republican

      what did you say, huh?

      October 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Magie

      hey, do you love tacos and pina colada as well.

      October 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever!


      October 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emmy

      Magie: I love taco's does that make me mexican?

      October 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • programmergirl

      Get out of my country. If you are here illegally, then you are no more an American than somebody living in China. This is OUR country and we have the right to say who stays here and who doesn't. IF you had bothered to take the legal route, long though it may be, I would welcome you with open arms. But SNEAK across the border, break out laws and you are NOTHING BUT A CRIMINAL. So stop your whining and better yet, go back to Mexico where you belong!

      October 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I love that Emmy loves tacos.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadAsAMoose

      If only the US/Mexican border had a wall put together as well as your wall of text, illegal immigration would not be a problem.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ron G

    Again the parties have won, they have turned people against each other. Instead of watching what corrupt
    Politicians are doing as we should be, they have convinced
    Americans that illegal immigrants are the
    Evil party in the united states. And they have succeeded . Read all the comments , not one comment mentions any of the crazy insane things that happen in Washington . Your all to busy judging eachother instead of keeping an eye on your government . I say lets all unite forget all this immigration silliness and let's kick all these money grubbing millionaire politicians who are destroying our government and this country!!!

    October 13, 2011 at 2:26 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.

      October 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alicia

      It is not imigration silliness to those uf us who have watched our cities become decimated by illegal filth.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shehulk

    I find it quite odd how millions upon millions of dollars go to waste because "legal" American students refuse to go to college. You cannot complain that the "illegals" as you call them want to use some of that money to go to college and get an education. Just like you cannot complain about the "illegals" taking all of the jobs, that by the way are there but you are too fat and lazy to go and do. Instead of grabbing that welfare check go cut someone's yard in the 100+ degree heat. Go build a house, go fix someone's roof, put down those food stamps and go pick vegetables. Those "illegals" as you like to call them do the work that you refuse to do. Just like the children want to go to college and get the education that the "legal" children refuse. If you are so gung ho about your "rights being stomped on" then use those rights, go to college, go to work and stop complaining. Lastly, look at your self in the mirror, do you really think that you are not an illegal? Where did your parents come from? We are all illegal.

    October 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • awaker

      Illegal's should go home, the only right they should have is where to sit on the bus,

      October 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • InGA

      "I find it quite odd how millions upon millions of dollars go to waste because "legal" American students refuse to go to college. You cannot complain that the "illegals" as you call them want to use some of that money to go to college and get an education."

      "Some of that Money"... ALL of that money comes from tax payers (since we're talking about gov't aid for tuition). *If* there was more money taken from taxpayers than is needed for the citizens using it to go to school, they should return it, and/or at least reduce taxes for the following year. You don't just say, "we took extra money, give it to other people who didn't contribute!". I am a taxpayer, my parents were tax payers, and I've worked my way through college (and it is taking a long time since I work full time), and I've worked to put my fiance through college. Why shouldn't that money either be given to me as a contributor, or at least have less TAKEN from me in my taxes instead? How does it makes sense to take the money from my taxes, not give it to me for tuition, and give it to others who haven't contributed? I don't think most Americans "refuse" to go to college, it is just too expensive for many. Others can make good livings without College, and choose not to. That does not mean we should give the money away, it means we should TAKE less money from people since they don't want to go. Really, does it makes any sense for that person who chooses not to go to college, to pay taxes for others to go to college...especially those not contributing to the tax base?

      I'm not even saying they shouldn't have the ability to attend college, but to ask me to help fund their college instead of my own families is crazy. If that is your stance...I'll ask you to give me some of your money you wanted to spend on college instead. Sounds fair right?

      Someone who doesn't contribute to the tax base as they are illegal to start with, should have NO claim on the money collected. If people choose to create private scholarships with their own money to fund illegals, that is honestly fine with me. And if you don't have enough people willing to contribute to the fund to support the large base, it only proves that the support is not there and people shouldn't be forced to contribute (taxes). To force me to pay for it, isn't right.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • legal2010

      Shehulk, talk about yourself... I am a LEGAL IMMIGRANT. Do you even understand what is being said here? America is made of immgrants but they are legal. Just crossing the border and occupying a country is called INVASION.

      What job are you talking about? Thoese illegals go do these jobs because they won't get any other jobs. Do you think that once they get the legal status, they will go for such jobs???? Really?? Who are you kidding?? Their sole aim is to come to this country by crossing the border illegally and start using up all the resources without paying for anything. Start producing babies as fast as one can and then go collect foodstamp, free healthcare, free education, free everything. So they are not paying for anything but at the same time they do have a soucre of income by doing these jobs. They send the money back home and build houses in their country. SO in summary one can say that they are robbing this country blind and demanding that this should be legalized!!!!

      Don't talk as though the rest of us don't know what they are upto.

      October 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Right On!

      Shehulk: I agree completely with your comments. While I don't agree with illegal immigration, I understand where you're coming from and it couldn't be more true! There are so many who are quick to judge illegal immigrants and put them down. As Americans, we are so lucky that we never have to walk a day in an illegal alien's shoes. Americans are so fortunate to be born in a place where we have opportunities right here in our own country. But so many legal Americans squander those opportunities and take them for granted. They put themselves above menial jobs that illegal aliens are glad to take. Even if it's the only job illegal immigrants are able to take, I'm sure they're glad and thankful for the work and the opportunity to in a small way, make it in the greatest country in the world.

      October 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • MichealMay

      FWI there are 10,000 applicants applying for every 90 jobs available. I like what you said about immigrants not being the problem but when you call every body out of a job fat and lazy (i realize some people do fit that decription) you come off as bigot

      October 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • CONFUSED??

      @Shehulk- My great, great, grandparents arrived in 1873 from England & Ireland and became NATURALIZED CITIZENS; therefore, they and their DECENDENTS are LEGAL!! Many people in this country are DECENDENTS of IMMIGRANTS many who became NATURALIZED CITIZENS making their DECENDENTS LEGAL!! WE ARE NOT ALL ILLEGAL!!

      Only those who pop over the border from Mexico, Canada or any other place UNDER THE RADAR are ILLEGAL!!

      October 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I stopped reading after: “You cannot complain that the "illegals" as you call them.” That is in fact what they are. If this concept is beyond you, the rest of your statement is a waste of time.

      October 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SUN

    whats up...nothing ( even no brains).

    What do you think of india and pakis,to they multiple ? u id**, indians have only 2 kids at most. Not like you american having 5 to 10 kids and blame chirstianity. you dumb. no indian beg for food stamp and socail security.

    I am paying my taxes to feed ato mom ( 8 kids). have you every heard any indian having 8 kids in one shot....u dumbo

    October 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • to INDU ( is that a name or a religion)

      hope you do not have more kids because you people are ugly.

      October 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catherine Smith

      yeah, and you people in India are eating flys and praying to a fat man, what a culture!!

      October 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lokiman301

    Rick perrys Latino problem? I think that we all have a Latino problem. If they are'nt clogging up our prison system and getting us to pay for their education and health care, then they are taking our jobs. All while being illegal aliens. Gotta wonder why when combined with two wars and a corrupt wall street that the USA is broke.

    October 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GwatS

    Rick, you can't have it both ways. Hispanics will never
    Support a candidate that throws them under the bus when it's not election time.

    October 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
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