Perry’s Stance on In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens at Odds with American Voters

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Texas Governor Perry caused a sensation last week when he told Americans who oppose in-state tuition for illegal aliens, “I don’t think you have a heart.” Perry’s vigorous defense of this policy in Texas opens up serious questions about his position on the federal DREAM Act and his support for amnesty. Some pundits see Perry’s “lenient” attitude toward illegal immigration (he also opposes a border fence and E-Verify) will prove to be an advantage in a national Presidential race, particularly among Hispanic voters, if Perry can make it through the Republican primary.

The supposition that granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens is popular with the general voting public, however, is not supported by polling data. A February 2011 poll by the University of Texas at Austin found that registered voters in Texas oppose in-state tuition for illegal aliens 59% to 27%. That includes 43% of Democrats, 74% of Republicans, and 55% of Independents. Nationally, the situation is even worse for Perry. A Rasmussen poll, taken only a month ago, revealed that 81% of likely U.S. voters oppose in-state tuition for illegal aliens with a paltry 12% in favor.

Perry signed the in-state tuition bill into law a decade ago, and he has not had to answer for it much since then. But Governor Perry had to know that this question would be put to him in a presidential race, yet, he seemed ill-prepared to answer and apparently unaware that his position was so unpopular with American voters. Denigrating those who disagree with you is impolitic, but alienating the vast majority of the electorate is not smart politics. As Politico noted after the fallout from his comments became clear, Governor Perry’s campaign has hit an immigration roadblock.

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14 Comments

  1. Pingback: “Paging Dr. Perry, paging Dr. Perry, there is an outbreak of heartlessness” « Coach is Right

  2. avatar

    Perry thinks we don’t have a heart, well I think Perry doesn’t have a brain! Can we send him to Mexico with his children and let him see the welcome they would get in Mexico? Bet they all end up beat up, dead or held for hostage money! Think he would be running back ASAP and changing his tune about letting the illegals come here and bringing the fine culture of Mexico to the USA! Reality needs to enter his life. Think he is a bleeding heart Dem in Rep clothing. Throw him back!

  3. avatar
    disgruntled American on

    I am so glad to read the comments of other like-minded Americans of Mexican descent. We need to honor our parents that did it the right way. They sacrificed and did not get a free ride or did they want it. Our country cannot continue to sustain the economy of Mexico or harbor thugs in the U.N. Every action that is taken must be to recognize those politicians that will cater to the “mexican” vote to get ahead in the polls and take them out. Even if Perry could not have done much to squash the in-state tuition for illegal aliens, he could have vetoed in principle. We have to stand on principle and enforce our laws. I feel sorry for children that were brought in by their ignorant parents but as the saying goes” you reap what you sow.” I feel sorrier for every legal citizen that does not have a job and has to go without food! Mexicans can go back to Mexico. Where do we turn to? Certainly not to our elected officials.

    • avatar
      susan mariano on

      AS LONG AS AMERICAN CITIZEN DON’T GET A BREAK, GUESS THATS OK FOR OBAMA……CAN’T WAIT TILL THIS BLOWS UP RIGHT IN HIS FACE…..HEY OBAM GIVE ”AMERICANS A BREAK!

  4. avatar

    I am also an American of Hispanic ancestry. My parents legally immigrated to the USA long before they met or I was even thought of. It is an insult to them and all the other law abiding decent people who met all of the requirements, waited their turn to be accepted for entry, and were finally permitted to enter as guests of the people of the United States of America. They were very grateful for the opportunity to work hard, make a better life for themselves, and eventually their American born children, and contribute their talents to this great melting pot. They went to night school to learn English and never expected nor asked for a handout of any kind, were happy to pay their taxes and obey the laws, and considered it an honor to vote their conscience each election. They became Naturalized Citizens as soon as the rules permitted and they spoke enough English to pass the test. My parents never let us forget what a privilege it is to be an American.
    They and the millions of other legal immigrants from all over the world are what made this country great, not this wave of illegal aliens who want to receive all of the benefits of the United States of America but are not interested in following our laws or giving this great country their allegiance.
    Politicians are making a grave mistake if they do not understand that there are millions of us Americans of Hispanic ancestry who are opposed to illegal immigration and all the problems and costs associated with the issue. I am a Decline to State voter (independent) and will only give my vote to a candidate willing to secure and defend our national borders, and uphold our laws.

  5. avatar

    Perry is a prima donna and takes credit for all these jobs in Texas.Truth be known most of them are filled by his illegal aliens what a disgrace he is to the real American children.I’d vote for Elmer Fudd before I’d vote for Perry or Christie.

  6. avatar

    I find it insulting that Americans of hispanic heritage are considered “hispanic” first and Americans second by our politicians. I am an American of hispanic heritage and am staunchly against illegal immigration. The illegals steal our identities and drain our resources. My cousin has an MBA and is a teacher. Her school just changed to an “immersion” program. That means her classes can only speak in english for 1 hour each day. The rest of the day the class must be taught in spanish. The idiot liberal parents of white children in her class think this is so “cool” because their children learn to speak spanish. Problem: The spanish speaking kids don’t learn to speak english. When I point this out, they scratch their heads and say “Oh, I didn’t think about that”. There is a lot that goes unnoticed. In Los Angeles, our animal shelters are crammed with their discarded dogs and cats. They are being killed at the tune of millions of tax dollars each year, because the culture in Mexico does not embrace spay/neuter. The illegals bring their “culture” with them and let their dogs run free in the streets and breed, get hit by cars, etc. I was in the shelter one afternoon and a woman, accompanied by 3 of her small children came in to dump her dog. The dog was petrified, the kids were crying. In spanish I heard her tell her kids “to shut up and stop crying. We’ll get you a puppy at the swap meet”. This one is old. I hear this over and over. Just another typical day at the animal shelter. Governor Perry needs to remember that this Hispanic American (Republican) can vote. Illegals cannot. So kiss my vote goodbye.

    • avatar

      Rene I am also an American of Hispanic ancestry. My parents legally immigrated to the USA long before they met or I was even thought of. It is an insult to them and all the other law abiding decent people who met all of the requirements, waited their turn to be accepted for entry, and were finally permitted to enter as guests of the people of the United States of America. They were very grateful for the opportunity to work hard, make a better life for themselves, and eventually their American born children, and contribute their talents to this great melting pot. They went to night school to learn English and never expected nor asked for a handout of any kind, were happy to pay their taxes and obey the laws, and considered it an honor to vote their conscience each election. They became Naturalized Citizens as soon as the rules permitted and they spoke enough English to pass the test. My parents never let us forget what a privilege it is to be an American.
      They and the millions of other legal immigrants from all over the world are what made this country great, not this wave of illegal aliens who want to receive all of the benefits of the United States of America but are not interested in following our laws or giving this great country their allegiance.
      Politicians are making a grave mistake if they do not understand that there are millions of us Americans of Hispanic ancestry who are opposed to illegal immigration and all the problems and costs associated with the issue. I am a Decline to State voter (independent) and will only give my vote to a candidate willing to secure and defend our national borders, and uphold our laws.

  7. avatar
    Walt of Florida on

    I recently watched a US citizenship ceremony. There were approximately 200 people in the room, and they were so proud to become citizens of our country, and I applaud them for the time and effort they put into becoming an American citizen. That’s why it’s so unfair to these people when we have illegals jumping our borders. When border officials had asked a group of illegals that were rounded up in Arizona, ” why do you come to our country?” They say, “we have work in Mexico, but they don’t pay as much down there like they do in America.” Others say that there isn’t any work in Mexico. Why don’t they just stay in their own country and fight their government for higher wages? Nevertheless, this issue isn’t America’s problem. Our problem is illegal immigration. Our problem is, our government allows illegals to come over our borders because of politics. We have laws on the books that aren’t being enforced. It’s all for vote mongering.

    I urge the American people that are fed up with the government rhetoric to take you vote to the polls in 2012 and make a difference. Take our country back before we don’t have a country left. You can also send a message to your congressman ans senators. Let them know how you feel. They do listen, and they will respond back to you. One quick reminder. Perry isn’t going to change his policies to satisfy the American people. If he tells you otherwise, he’s not telling you the truth. So, let’s take a quick look at what we have so far. We have, Romney, that wants to change our, “Second Amendment,” rights, and we have, Perry who won’t change the laws on immigration. Well, that’s two people I won’t be voting for. For those of you who own a firearm. Once they take your weapon, they will take your freedom, one piece at a time. Next will be your rights to using the Internet. They’re already working on that issue. Ladies and gentleman, I urge you to wake up and smell the coffee, we’re losing our country, a little bit at a time. In 2012, get out and vote, tell them you had enough. This is our country, and we ‘re not taking it anymore!

  8. avatar

    Here’s my two cents…Blog I have been pushing along pointing out the unfairness of Blaming only Perry. I am not as good a writer as others…but here goes..

    I do agree Perry has not had a good debate yet. And I know it is hard for others outside of Texas to understand why most Texans were (note past Tense) OK with the in-state tuition because…..

    With a little history…This bill was passed in Texas in 2001…long before the Mexican / Central American Massive invasion began. Sure there were a number each year beginning with the Reagan Amnesty….but not MASSIVE.

    Illegal immigration in Texas was not considered a real problem in 2001. There was no controversy in Texas on this bill before the Massive Illegal invasion. I have been in this state for 63 years and each year when I was in school, a new dozen or so Mexicans came to class. With Reagan’s foolish 1986 Amnesty law…the rates picked up to the 100,000’s a year.
    It was the massive invasion solicited by George Bush and Vicente Fox during our bogus home building boom that incentivized this invasion in large part. (+/-1 Million Criminal Trespassers)

    The massive invasion began for real in 2003 and up to 2009, The invasion is more slowly today from Central America, China, Viet Nam, India, Brazil…various other countries. Last report was about equal 50% Mexican and 50% Other Than Mexican…largest group recently are from India…they speak English well and melt right in to our society. I am a border volunteer… who uses a thermal camera to spot criminal trespassers and then calls Border Patrol to go after them. BP is much better prepared to apprehend criminal trespassers, but the cartel violence is a whole new ball game.

    THIS BILL WOULD NOT PASS TODAY…NOT after the massive invasion and federal laws are making us go broke because the fed will NOT secure the border…but as proven in this last Texas Legislative session…there is NO appetite to change this law. A bill to revoke this never made it out of committee.

    There is no singular blame for this Tuition Bill here for Perry unless YOU are willing to recognize the lunacy of the 1986 Reagan Amnesty law. The bill was easily passed at the time in Texas.

    The passage of this bill was overwhelming… the House was at the time controlled by democrats…the Senate was 16-15 Republican. Of the 181 available votes for a bill in Texas…only 4 house reps voted against it

    With those numbers, You will note…his veto would have been overridden should he have done that…again in that time frame, there was virtually no issue, no controversy with this bill for we were not yet under invasion.

    Sure , As a border volunteer today, I wish he would have vetoed it and let’s see what would have happened. But I nor others were border volunteers in 2001.

    If you don’t like Perry for President, it should not be because of a non-controversial bill passed by almost all of the Texas Legislature two years before the GWB/VF Mass invasion of illegals began.

    Note: In state tuition is based on length of residence NOT status.
    Move here…have a job for 1 year…you get in-state tuition.

  9. avatar

    I’m puzzled when anyone says a lax illegal immigration policy touted by Perry or anyone else would be a lure for Hispanic voters. That’s saying that all Hispanics, like many of our politicians and businessmen, are okay with people ignoring our laws and breaking into our country. I would hope that Hispancis aren’t all as bad as so many of our politicians. We are in a war for our country. We have fought off countries with great armies and weapons, yet now, when we have been invaded and attacked by foreign criminals, primarily Mexico, on our own land, our government weves a white flag. Glad they weren’t around in 1941.

  10. avatar

    Unfortunately, Gov. Perry does not even know the wishes of the people of his own state. If he doesn’t listen to them, will he listen to the voice of the entire country? Perry is more of a democrat than a republican. He is not presidential material…period. The only three viable candidates who are not getting much press are Bachmann, Paul and Santorum. The public need to hear more from these candidates rather than be forced to hear those who the media choose to be nominated. We are tired of manipulation from the media and the government.

  11. avatar

    It is depressing that we don’t seem to have anyone who believes in upholding the laws of our country. Romney’s health plan, etc. Government has no business in getting involved with private enterprise such as the solar or auto industries. I will be reading more, but of the contenders in view as of now, I see no one. We must, in order to save our nation, rid ourselves of Obama and his ilk. Will this election be another one of settling for the devil we know?