Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration
September 23rd, 2011
11:08 AM ET
12 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. PaulC

    If six gun Perry REALLY had a heart and wanted to help students he would give in-state tuition rates to ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS attending school in Texas. Perry supporters should keep in mind that Texas has the highest rate of people with no medical insurance than any other state...even Mississippi. He has the finest medical care that tax payers can provide but he says you don't deserve self sufficient.

    September 23, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. My DOG has created more SHOVEL READY projects than Obama's Stimulus Plan

    So, explain to me how a immigrant all of a sudden gets "in-state" tuition? Aren't they out of state people? So, the gov is also admiting to harboring illegals and giving them shelter, sending their kids to school...etc?
    Our laws are just too mean to be enforced so they are ignored. Really encourages people to abide by the law right? Of course if people cross Mexico's southerm border and are caught, they are lucky to make it back alive.

    This country, compliments of the looney left, has become a laughing stock to the rest of the world. If we don't enforce the law, then get rid of the law. Do NOT selectively enforce laws!! Admit to the world we are NOT a nation of laws. Admit to the world we don't care about our security or sovereignty. Admit to the world we are complete and total suckers to be played for every last penny.

    September 23, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. SG

    While many state that the children came here through no fault of their own – some may have, but there are MANY who have been told by the parents/guardians/whoever brings them to this country that things will be wonderful and they will have so many things available to them because the government willingly hands it out to illegals, so don't say it is through no fault of their own. Our family cannot afford college for our children – yes, student loans may be available but who can find a job to pay them back these days. Some say illegals deserve the chance at a better life. Well, what about a better life for the citizens here legally?

    September 23, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Nick

    If the current laws are enforced, what will illegal alien college graduates do with that degree? Isn't it still illegal in all 50 states to hire an illegal alien? If so then will they have to leave the country to get legal employment? Subsiding education for illegal aliens may help them get a degree, but if they cannot get a legal job in this country using that degree then isn't it wasted money?

    The idea of subsidizing education for illegals makes absolutely no sense. If an illegal alien is here because their parents broke the law to bring them here, why should they demand that anyone else subsidize their kids education. If I make less than my neighbor, and can't afford full tuition for my kids should I tell my neighbor that he needs to subsidize my kids college?

    September 23, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "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.
    Tax dollars are going towards the education of children of illegal immigrants. Not to knock the kids, but that is not right. I think to agree with Perry you would have to have no brains. I see no justification to charge illegals the in-state rate over the out-of-state rates. None. We need to stop rewarding people who enter this country illegally with benefits that most Americans cannot have. I cannot move to Texas get the in-state rate.

    September 23, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. JLFuller

    No one is saying illegal kids can't get a college education here. The issue is whether the tax payers have to subsidize it to a greater degree than we do American kids. The U of Texas is a very expensive school. There are other schools that are less expensive. Illegal kids can attend one of them if they can't raise the out-of-state tuition. I have no prooblem with allowing illegal kids to become citizens if they have lived here most of their lives and know nothing else if they perform some kind of service like the military, National Guard, Vista or the like first.

    September 23, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. beevee

    I love how these GOP circus clowns squabble about who is better than the other. The truth is both are not a good choice to lead the country, but I do give Romney a slight edge over the Texan. Romney definitely is smarter of the two. The other is scarily conservative.

    September 23, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    "This country, compliments of the looney left, has become a laughing stock to the rest of the world. If we don't enforce the law, then get rid of the law. Do NOT selectively enforce laws!! Admit to the world we are NOT a nation of laws."
    Man, you have stuff backwards. There are several states with similar policies and others with the opposite. The states with similar policies had R's sign the policies into law. States with the prohibit in-state discounts had D's sign it into law.

    It was both Bush's who relaxed the laws with the I-9 forms, which made it easier for employers to mask the fact they had hired illegals.

    Republicans liked the cheap labor because it competed with union labor. You need to stop re-writing history to suit your moods.

    September 23, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Paul

    Perry is very easy to figure out. Everything has to do with getting as many votes as possible so he panders to everyone. A typical politician. Big on promises short on answers. I figure Perry is good for at least two wars. Everyone will get to work 3 minimum wage jobs.

    September 23, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    "Our laws are just too mean to be enforced so they are ignored. Really encourages people to abide by the law right? Of course if people cross Mexico's southerm border and are caught, they are lucky to make it back alive."
    Gee, that sounds like a pretty harsh critiism of Republicans and their conservative policies to me. Republicans like the cheap labor because it means higher profits to employers.

    September 23, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Enough is Enough

    I have 2 kids whose college education I have to pay for. I guess I have no heart because I don't want my money paying for illegal's toution after they stuck taxpayers for the cost of k-12. Perry what's your address so we can send you the bill for the illegals toution. Maybe your hearts big but it's clear your brain is small.

    September 23, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Kevin Canuck

    The fact tha tyou Americans have different "in-state" and "out-of-state" tuition levels is just silly. Aren't you all Americans? Donn't you all benefit when the populace is better educated? I wish you could understand how great it is to live in a prosperous democratic country like Canada, where the people have decided that everyone should have medical care, and where you pay the same tuition regardless fo what province you come from. Y'all got a lot of people callin' themselves Christian, but wouldn't Jesus want you to help the children?

    September 23, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. FM

    Perry is very smart! Unfortunately Romney is pretending. Perry knows for sure by eliminating Latinos , he can not knock the doors to the White House, so should do Romney. This is why the President has told everybody "do the maths". Without doing it , you reach nowhere!

    September 23, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. nagrom

    When did the illegals start proclaiming they were illegals? Isn't this the reason we can't get a head count as to how many of them are in this country? Why don't they force the illegals to become legal before providing any free services? Education, health or otherwise. They will never be contributing members of the country if we don't insist on them being Americanized.

    September 23, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Whammybar

    Are they talking about children born here? If they are not born here then no.
    Children born in this country to a non-citizen should not have citizens rights until they turn 18. If the parents are exported the children should stay with the parents until they are of legal age. At that point they can enjoy full citzenship with its privleges and responsibilities. That would solve a bulk of the illegal immigrant issue.

    September 23, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. David

    I live in Txas and i can tell you perry is full of crap, he hld a special legislative session , before he started runnuing for president, in that special session he kept the legilators there until they came up ith massive education cuts and mental health care cuts. He is a horrible governor and person, if he wins we should all move to canada. My daughters school fired dozens of teachers and aides because of perry, yet he wants to give illegalss in state tuition. Only idiots would vote for perry

    September 23, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. robert

    Yet again this president lacks the cahones to do anything on illegal immigration – otherwise we would not be having this conversation

    September 23, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. John

    you don't have a heart if you kill someone, perry.

    September 23, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Ben

    Perry's right on this. If you're an illegal kid...get a great education, get a great job, and pay taxes for the rest of your life. Letting an illegal kid get an education is an investment in the future of America, because that kid will grow up and contribute to society and pay taxes.

    But most Americans will disagree with me and Perry. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is a good thing since I'm done with Texan governors with no brain.

    September 23, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. wheat arded

    vote for Ron Paul. His record speaks for itself. Don't be mislead by the talking heads' lies. They are a pack of hungry wolves, and will eventually eat themselves. Paul stands on his own. Much respect for him.

    Vote for Perry and say goodbye to your liberty.


    September 23, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. IF

    The New Colossus

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    Emma Lazarus, 1883

    Can somebody please remove this plaque from the Statue of Liberty. It apparently no longer applies.

    September 23, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. SixDegrees

    So, if I drag my kid to Texas – so he's there through no fault of his own – he gets to go to college on the Texas taxpayer's dime? Sweet.

    Or does Perry's largesse only extend to those who aren't American citizens and who are here illegally to begin with?

    September 23, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. McCain-in-4

    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.

    Its that simple.

    September 23, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Ferret out the B.S.

    It must be tough to be a Republican these days and know that all of the candidates are tremendiously flawed and inconsistent with their policy statements, ideas, lack of intellegence, lack of sense, lack of worldliness, lack of heart, ideological confusion, and the stupid things they say, write, and do. It really sucks to be you doesn't it.

    September 23, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    @ My Dog, etc......

    Prepared to have the wealthy give up some of those tax breaks so we could build this giant wall/land mine/electic fence, et al? By the way, who do you think will end up doing most of the labor? Probably illegals, since its obvious most TP/GOP types think manual labor in the hot sun is something that is beneath them. They would rather go to rallies dressed in Tricorn hats and gripe and moan about how no one else in the nation but them work, then go home to receive instructions from Uncle Rupert's network on how miserable their lives are. Are you prepared to foot the bill for this, or are you expecting the money to just appear, like manna from heaven?

    September 23, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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