Perry Hits Skepticism on Immigration Record

Perry's in-state tuition for some illegals widely seen as wrong
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2011 8:22 AM CDT
Perry Hits Skepticism on Immigration Record
Republican presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington,DC on October 7, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Rick Perry is claiming his 11 years as Texas governor makes him an expert on illegal immigration, but GOP voters are increasingly skeptical, believing his in-state tuition plan for some illegals is broader and more "sinister" than it actually is, reports Politico. At three stops in Iowa yesterday, Perry was asked each time about the program, with voters claiming illegal immigrants were getting a "free ride" from his education policies. “I’m not sure exactly what he wants,” said an 88-year-old woman at one event. “I’m guessing that he expected to give money toward tuition to these illegal people.”

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Perry repeatedly tried to explain his education policy, saying in-state tuition rates were only for illegals who were on the path to citizenship. “Are we going to create a class of tax wasters or are we going to create taxpayers? Texas chose the latter,” Perry said. But voters don't seem to be buying his pitch. "When he got in the race, everybody was really excited,” said a woman at one Perry event who called herself a Ron Paul supporter. "If you’re going to be a strong conservative, you’ve got to be right on the issues. You have to have the background to prove it. You can’t say you believe one thing and then have a record of something else." (Read more Rick Perry 2012 stories.)

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