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. Eli

    Perhaps Rick Perry has a little Ricardo Perry somewhere in South Texas that he conceived with an illegal alien concubine named Consuela and he wants little Ricardo to attend University Texas at a lower tution rate.

    September 23, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Jay

    If a child is born Texas, resides in Texas, never lived anywhere else but Texas, never came from another country then he is a texan and should pay in state tuition, even if his parents are illegal immigrants. His nationality is American nothing else. he is not form Mexico or another state and therefore should not have to pay out of state tuition. It is a different story if the child himself is an illegal immigrant (not just his parents). in that case he should pay out of state tuition, but if the child of the illegal immigrant was born in texas he is a texan and should pay in state tuition.

    September 23, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. GBfromOhio

    OMG ... I agree with Perry on an issue.

    September 23, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. rule of law

    I'm saying illegals shouldn't get an education here! If you and your children are here illegally, you
    1. shouldn't get any government services and should
    2. go home

    September 23, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. johnborg

    Wait... Rick Perry is making more sense than Mitt Romney! The DREAM Act is a good cause that even staunch anti-illegal immigrant politicians and individuals should be for. I have friends who aren't citizens, they do have green cards, who you wouldn't even know are immigrants. I hope Perry stands by this one (because he'll be bipartisan on at least something). Romney on the other hand keeps going further right in hopes to sway the extremist in this country! Romney knows how to play this game all to well...

    September 23, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. BeverlyNC

    Didn't watch the debate of idiots – won't be watching any debates of the laughable Republican "candidates" who couldn't lead their way out of a paper bag. They hate America. They hate the working class. They hate the poor. They hate anyone not rich and white. They hate Obama just because he is black. Not one has anything credible to run on. They all LIE every single day and repeat the same old worn out inane comments. They are extremists who want to destroy our country and turn it into a corporate dictatorship. They are not even human. They are even holding FEMA hostage and preventing victims of disaster from getting aid! How much non-human and unAmerican can you get? Eric Cantor won't even stand up for the disaster victims of Hurricane Irene in his OWN district!! I sure hope Richmond remembers that come 2012 and get that weasel out of office. Same for Boehner in OH and McConnell in KY. They are NOT leaders, They are people-hating blackmailers.

    September 23, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Mittens: "You don't hate immigrants enough"

    Parry: "Oh yes I do!!!"

    Mittens: "No you don't. Parry and immigrants sittin' in a tree..."

    Parry: "You shut up...bring me an immigrant right now and I'll kick his a$$ in front of this audience."

    Mittens: "Too edumacated brown people and that's unacceptable."

    Parry: "But...but...but I'm wearing my middle-class skin boots. Don't make me go get mah spurs."

    September 23, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Stop spending

    Perry is wrong. No special discounts for illegals! Geez, don't they get enough – it should all be stopped. American citizens need the help. Remember, CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME!

    September 23, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Preston

    For all of Santorum crazy right crap... he really was the one who brought this point home and this is something anyone should get behind. Why should illegal immigrants get subsidized education when everyone else does not? It isn't a matter of whether they can go to school or not... yes, they should go to school BUT why on earth should they get a break that the rest of us do not get?

    September 23, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Didn't watch it ... if I want to see children argue, Il volunteer at at an elementary school for playground duty ... (with apologies to young children) ...

    September 23, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. RussC

    The label "illegal immigrant" provokes a knee-jerk reaction that we forget that college educated immigrants–legal or otherwise–are the kind of people that we WANT to have in this country.

    September 23, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. musicdorian

    Perry will say anything to the results he wants, in this case, the hispanic vote. We all know about the dirty tactics that Carl Rove is supposed to have used, Perry appears to play from the same rule book. I voted for one Texan, but that was one too many. Perry and Bill Clinton share something in common, that is, say anything to any group, as long as it results in getting their vote. Perry, Texas job increase claim?.... more than likely all minumum wage jobs. Rich Texan's idea of prosparity is riches for the elite, and minimum wage jobs for the masses. Don't be fooled by Perry, he's a weasle.

    September 23, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Tekk

    This whole in state tuition situation reeks. If you don't alow it, you are being heartless and not thinking of the human element. If you allow it, you are soft on illegals.
    This is a no win situation.

    September 23, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Veteran

    This how Perry protects our borders, in-state tuition?

    September 23, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Anthony


    What law did the children break? Why should we punish them for the sins of their fathers and mothers?

    September 23, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Columbus

    OK kids, now I wouldn't want you to do anything illegal or anything like that, and don't say you heard this from me, but if you want to go to a Texas university cheap, on the form where it says your nationality, write Mexican.

    September 23, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Jeff S

    I'm not sure I understand it properly. Are they children of illegals, but the children are legal citizens? If so, then fine, but if the children aren't legal citizens, then deport them. If there are really about 12 million illegals, and they were all deported, our unemployment rate would drop to about 5% as those jobs are filled by American citizens.

    However, I think a better system would be for corporations to go through an approved process to ensure their workers are legal. If they don't and they're found to be employing an illegal alien, the company is forfeit, stock is sold, and the money used to pay down the national debt. The risk would quickly outweigh the rewards, and for those who risk it, well, I'd gladly see an evil corporation liquidated to help pay off our debt.

    September 23, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Obama's DOG has created more SHOVEL READY projects than Obama's Stimulus Plan

    Why do we bother spending BILLIONS to protect our airports and ports from people trying to get into this country illegally, yet leave thousands of miles of completely open borders for millions of people to simply walk across and into this country? Total insanity that only our government could concoct. I gues it will take a massive terrorist strike that originates with a southern border crossing for our government ot take our security seriously.

    Shut down the useless Dept. of Education and use the money from one year to pay for a serious southern border fence. The fact is the Democrats don't want to do it because they want all the hispanics to vote for them after Obama gives them amnesty.

    September 23, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Brian

    @FedUp...So what you're saying is if your grandchildren, who don't live in the state of Texas, can't get in-state tuition rates, then children of illegal immigrants shouldn't? Great, so there will be twice as many uneducated 20 somethings running around and flipping burgers. Typical Teatard, piggish opinion to have.

    September 23, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Brian

    The US clearly lacks enough of an educated workforce to progress and move forward. If illegal immigrant children are able to receive an affordable college education, and their education qualifies them to work in the US for jobs, say, in technology, then US based companies will no longer have to go after the qualified labor in India and China. It may even get some companies to come back to the US again, because there is an educated, qualified workforce. Ignorant, American kids unable to hack college nor study shouldn't be the excuse for not allowing children of illegals to get affordable post secondary education. There's plenty of jobs in the US, but clearly not enough qualified individuals to fill them.

    September 23, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Peter Schaeffer

    Perry is just a dumber version of Bush. More mass immigration no matter how much it wounds America. More "free" trade no matter how much it hollows out the U.S. economy. More Neocon foreign policies no matter how much they fail.

    If you loved Bush, Perry is your guy. Enjoy.

    September 23, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Ideals and Ideas not Ideologies

    There are several factors that most of us are missing. Each state has its own definition residence which in the end determines who gets in-state tuition. In short, immigration status has nothing to do with this as long as on can prove that he's kept continuous residency within the state for the length of time required by the law. The other factor is that higher education is a business like any other. The more seats are sold the more money they make therefore the less subsidies they need from the state. It's a win-win-win for all involved.
    Let's be level headed and keep emotions out of our discussions because when it comes to it it's all about the benjamins.

    September 23, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. FIELD1stSGT

    I don't understand you idiots. You condemn Perry, but Obama has giving the Illegals everthing, but the kitchen sink. And I see you're still calling the illegals immirgrants. WHY? Look up the definitiion of illegal and immirgrants. If you can read. They the illegals under Obama have been given free schooling, free lunches(3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and a sack lunch to take home with them), free school supplies and now amnesty to all children of illegals. This was done so he could work out an amenesty program for the parents to get their votes. it hasn't flown yet. but WATCH OUT. ANY ONE OF THE rEPUBLICANS WOULD BE A BETTER CHOSE THAN THIS FRADULANT BUM.

    September 23, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Frank Youell

    Illegals get in-state tuition, but kids from Ohio don't? That's compassionate conservatism?

    The truth is that Perry loves illegals because he hates Americans. American workers cost too much for Perry and his plutocracy. The want to convert America into Mexico El Norte where they can have their PiƱa coladas brought to them by an unlimited supply of cheap servants. Will the last American please take down the flag?

    September 23, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Jack The Tripper

    "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."

    I don't get this. If they know their parents are illegal shouldn't they arrest them? Doesn't illegal me "against the law"?

    September 23, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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