Monday, June 14, 2010

Rick Perry's immigration problem

He's trying to avoid it by being coy, but the teabaggers and associated wingnuts he depends on to get re-elected aren't going to let him. From his statement of April 29, in the wake of Arizona's SB 1070, which essentially outlawed everyone who "appears" to be undocumented:

I fully recognize and support a state's right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas.

That's diametrically opposed to the majority of delegates at the just-concluded RPT convention, and with most of those who will vote Republican in the fall.

Texas Republicans adopted another get-tough policy on immigration and bilingual education Saturday that some say will make it hard for the party to attract Hispanic voters at a time when the Texas population is turning increasingly Latino.

The platform encourages state lawmakers to create a Class A misdemeanor criminal offense “for an illegal alien to intentionally or knowingly be within the State of Texas,” and to “oppose amnesty in any form leading to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

Texas Republicans also want to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a U.S. citizen “with no exceptions.” The platform calls for the end of day-labor work centers and emphasizes border security, encouraging “all means … (to) immediately prevent illegal aliens.”

The party's education platform calls for the end of federally sponsored pre-kindergarten, and opposes any mandatory pre-kindergarten or kindergarten.

“We believe that parents are best suited to train their children in their early development,” it says.

Bilingual education should end after the third year, according to the platform, and non-U.S. citizens should not be eligible for state or federal college financial assistance.

More from Christy Hoppe at the DMN, who pointed out the problem for Republicans ahead of their convention last weekend.

Rick Perry has a Latino election strategy, but it's flying squarely in the face of these recent developments, national trends, and the inexorable cultural shift. He continues to catch flak over the slightest perceived missteps in policy.

The question is not whether Latinos will vote for him -- none in their right mind will buy this head fake from the governor -- but whether Latinos will turn out in sufficient numbers to vote against Perry and his party, and whether any of the conservatives wailing about not voting for him over this issue will indeed follow through on that threat.

Meanwhile, the cost to real people and their families continues to rise.

San Antonio valedictorian faces deportation

Hispanics abandon Arizona, fleeing economy, immigration law

Arizona's next target: children of illegal immigrants

"The price that we pay": Undocumented immigrants and taxation

Update: Kuffner adds a prediction.

The conclusions I will draw are that Perry is certainly capable of getting a third or better of the vote in heavily Latino areas (throughout the state), and that if his efforts aren’t matched by something at least as strong, he will do well enough to make a Democratic victory all but unattainable.

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