Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration
September 23rd, 2011
11:08 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued attacking rival Rick Perry over illegal immigration Friday.

The former Massachusetts governor responded to Perry's assertion during Thursday's GOP presidential debate that those who disagree with providing in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants lack a heart.

"My friend Gov. Perry said if you don't agree with his position on giving that in-state tuition to illegals, that you don't have a heart," Romney said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. "I think if you're opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn't mean that you don't have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain."

Perry passed a state-based DREAM Act in Texas, which allowed children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates, a decision he defended Thursday.

"If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for on other reason that they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart," Perry said.

During the debate Romney said the discount "makes no sense," and on Friday said it was a plan that "cannot be sustained."


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Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    @FedUp: "If my grandchildren, whose father has put 18 years in the military so far, can not get in-state tuition to any college she chooses, then an illegal immigrant should not get it either."

    Your grandchildren can get in-state tuition in the state that is your child's home of record, even though they may have never lived in that state. I know, because my dad served a total of 30 years in the Army and I got in-state tuition at the University of my dad's home of record, even though I'd only lived there one year when I was a kid growing up.

    That said, I agree that illegal immigrants should not get in-state tuition, since they don't have citizenship. I think this is just Parry pandering to the Hispanic vote.

    September 23, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. annie s

    I actually agree with Perry on something! The DREAM ACT is a no brainer and should be federal policy.

    September 23, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. William Fusco

    Enough is enough already. I am so tired of hearing Obama did this to the economy and Obama did that to unemployment rate, etc. I am NOT a Obama lover , but anyone that makes those ridiculous statements has no clue on how the government works. All they are doing is showing how ignorant they are. We DO NOT live in a monarchy. He is not king and DOES NOT have the power to make the decisions alone that he is being accused of making. HELLO, remember fifth grade history (CHECKS AND BALANCES). Congress and the president have hands in the problem. Both are to be held responsible.

    September 23, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. DanH

    Someone has stated that "there's a human element" and therefore we should pay for educating illegal immigrants.

    Hey pal... Go Take a Flying Leap!! We have enough problems and high enough taxes and a stressed out infrastructure.

    Enough is enough. It's time to start shooting these cretins as they try to break into our country and rape it.

    September 23, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. protectUSA

    I have no problem Perry wanna support children of the illegals as long as he totally funds it with his own pocket.

    September 23, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. ED FL

    Perry doesnt want people that are smarter than him WITHOUT and education so he lets the illegal Immmigrants go to a Texas college so the public thinks they are at an educational standard equal to his. From his perfomance in the debates he could get the same impression with 1ST grade talent.

    September 23, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  7. Demo-craps are destroying this country

    What does it matter come 2012 all the democraps and that taliban muslim loving president will be kicked to the curb. Citzens are tired of Democraps destroying this country for their own greed.

    September 23, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Human

    I am ok with giving illegal children instate tution. It does not affect me and I have nothing against others getting it. For people who are trying to prove a point , may I make a point : Mind Your Own Business .

    September 23, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. matt houston

    Those of you who don't think kids should be educated...I hope you volunteer for the police force when these kids grow up being used to no education, no guidance, no respect for authority or law....yeah, that's right folks, the more you think you are protecting your own interests by not helping other human beings...they more you actually harm your own interests.

    Compassion, Kindness, Generosity....consider them very small "investments" for your own lives and the lives of your progeny in the future.

    September 23, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. Malcreado

    I wasn't going to vote in the next election because of the all the broken campaign promises. But now that Obama has issued and Executive Order halting deportation of non-felony immigrants, he won my vote.

    September 23, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. fernace

    Perry is the author of the bill to penalize cities in Texas known as "santuary cities"! But he wants to educate illegal immigrants children!? It seems contradictory to most of us, but that's Perrys way! His behavior seems secular, favoring big biz & capitalism, but he swears to be a "born-again-christian", who prays for rain & the betterment of the nation! I never knew he was a christian til he joined the presidental bid & I'm a Texan! Also, where is his wife? We know he has 1, but we never see her! Perhaps she's a good fundamental christian submissive wife!?

    September 23, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  12. H Gomez

    The problem with a lot of americans is when they try to demonize "illegal" immigrants. This is a question of how they get into the country, but it doesn't take away their dignity as human beings. This country has put immigration laws that made it hard for immigrants to cross the border and work legally. The immigration laws are broken. No matter how you guard the borders 24/7, it will not solve "illegal" crossing of the border. Fix the problem, that is, the laws. Let these people come here in a more easier way, work here legally, and thus they will be able to pay their equal share of taxes and contribute to the building up of the economy. These people will eventually buy or rent houses, buy basic needs, etc. and it will help - again - the economy, instead of demonizing them like most americans do!

    September 23, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. Frank Cardenas

    Romney has no heart an no brain and most of all, no Latino votes!

    September 23, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  14. Jessica Zacarias

    Matthew 18:3 and jesus said "i tell you the truth,unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." What right do we have to judge the illigal immirants? they already have their papers THE PAPERS OF THE BIBLE and in the bible it doesnt matter what race illigal or legal God loves All of us how we are. so why cant you do what God does for you?he gave all of you life and if you forgot so fastly that california also was a part of mexico at one time.

    September 23, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. bigwilliestyles

    Big tent, big top, big hair; the point is that they're all repub cons and circus clowns.

    September 23, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  16. DoNotWorry

    This is the most absurd conversation in this country... even Mexico can shut down its southern border. Dig deeper and you will find the big money interests keeping this going.

    September 23, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  17. Kris

    Perry simply has a different perspective being Mexico's neighbor and there is probably a lot of commerce between cities on the border. And in addition to courting the Latino vote, he is also courting businessmen who routinely come out against strict immigration laws....he is pandering to both.

    September 24, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  18. Anonymous

    While the rest of the country is worried about the illegal latinos coming into America, I'm from San Francisco and have watched(to my horror) illegal Chinese come into this city. Practically take it over and displace Americans ((blacks, Irish and American born Latinos). It's disgusting and maddening because the politicians here are sooo busy falling over the newly generated Chinese money acquired from the greed of American corporations who have screwed our economy by sending jobs to this filthy, human rights violating, 3rd world country in the first place. Native San Franciscans such as myself have had enough. NO MORE SANCTUARY CITIIES!!!

    September 24, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  19. Holly

    As a US citizen who paid out-of-state tuition at double the cost, I side with Romney on this issue.

    September 24, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  20. idb

    It is clear that Perry lacks a brain. Any measure that does not tell illegal aliens that they are not welcome here (and criminals are not) does not make sense.

    September 24, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. idb

    Any measure that does not tell illegal aliens that they are not welcome here (and criminals are not) does not make sense. It has nothing to do with having a heart or not, it has to do with common sense.

    September 24, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Dean

    What Rick Perry wants is for anybody who graduated from a Texas High School be able to go to any Texan University without having to prove citizenship. That will bring their universities' processing costs way down, and basically doesn't insult teenaged graduates by questioning their right to further their education.

    -------------------------------He should not allow them to even attend high school.

    September 24, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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