As the Republican governor of Texas, Rick Perry has walked both sides of the immigration line, at one point implementing a Texas-style Dream Act that some say was the model for the national act. On the other hand, he’s authorized local police to inquire about the immigration status of anyone they come in contact with.
One of those positions will play like gangbusters in the GOP primary and the other one will appeal to Latino voters in the general election if he gets that far. For both groups, though, there is that other Rick Perry who will always be on their minds.
In fact, Somos Republican leader Dee Dee Garcia Blase has told The Colorado Independent that Latinos have long considered Perry a friend, but that his recent positions have begun alienating Latinos.
Perry’s Latino problem or immigration problem eloquently noting how swiftly he has gone from Latino hero as a new governor to Latino enemy as a long-serving governor with his eye on a bigger prize.
A decade later in June 2011, Perry traveled to San Antonio to offer an address to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials at their annual convention. This time, however, immigrant rights activists were gathered outside the building to protest and he faced a frosty, even hostile, reception from the guests inside. Perry again emphasized his pride in the state’s Hispanic population, but it was no use — a failed attempt by the governor to crack down on “sanctuary cities” with legislation that would free police officers to question people on their immigration status had poisoned the atmosphere completely. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who spoke before the governor, condemned Perry’s bill as “easily the most anti-Latino agenda in more than a generation.”