Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yo querer su voto para Pre-see-dayn-tay de Ey-stados You-nidos

From Time Magazine
By Steven Gray

In his gubernatorial campaigns, Perry, who speaks moderate Spanish, frequently traveled to Hispanic neighborhoods. Last November, he won a third term with about 38% of the Latino vote, up from 31% in 2006, according to exit polls. And his record on immigration, a key issue for Latino voters nationwide,  is nuanced. Even though three-fourths of Latinos in the U.S. are American citizens, a new spate of severe state laws pursued by Republican legislatures have made the issue a foremost concern. Perry supported making undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state college tuition. Shortly after Arizona passed a restrictive measure requiring local law enforcement authorities to check the citizenship status of people believed to be undocumented immigrants, Perry flatly told a gathering of the National Council of La Raza: “It may be right for Arizona, but it ain’t right for Texas.”


When Perry called a special legislative session to resolve a fiscal crisis, the governor revived the sanctuary cities bill and declared it a priority. With other pressing matters – health care, education – on the table, some Texas political observers were taken aback. “That didn’t reflect the traditional Republican pragmatism in Texas,” says Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an El Paso-based immigration reform advocacy group.

The sanctuary cities effort drew the ire of Texas’ business community and Latinos. Somos Republicans, one of the nation’s largest Latino Republican groups, in June downgraded Perry from an “A” to a “B-“ on its influential scorecard. DeeDee Garcia Blasé, the 6,000-member group’s president, told TIME the governor’s handling of the bill “was a chance to get anti-immigration points with the Tea Party people.” The bill still ultimately failed, but damage persists: several prominent Hispanic evangelical pastors declined invitations to Perry’s Aug. 5 Houston prayer event, known as the “The Response,” in protest to the legislative campaign.

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