"WASHINGTON – A leading immigrant advocacy group warned Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Thursday that his endorsement by Rep. Lamar Smith, author of several immigration bills, could later haunt his White House aspirations in a general election.
Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, endorsed Romney over his home state Gov. Rick Perry, earlier this week.
'The Obama campaign must be watching with glee,' said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a group that advocates comprehensive immigration reform and citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
'For a candidate whose best "vote for me" argument to Republicans is that he is electable in a potential general election match-up, Romney’s recent endorsements seem instead calculated to alienate Latinos and shrink the number of potential battleground states in the process,' Sharry said.
Romney has attacked Perry in televised debates over the Texas governor’s positions on immigration measures.
Perry signed a bill that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, and he has opposed a mandatory statewide E-Verify program that would require businesses to check a new employee’s immigration status against government data bases after the person is hired." Read more …
"Illegal immigrants who do well in high school are not only eligible for lower-cost, in-state tuition rates at Texas universities and colleges. Thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Rick Perryin 2001, many are also receiving publicly funded grants to pay for their education.
The in-state tuition policy, which was broadened in 2005 and again signed by Perry, has become a major flashpoint in the 2012 presidential race. Perry has taken repeated fire from his conservative base — and from his chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — for supporting the lower residency tuition rates for students in the country illegally. What isn't as well known is that the very same law also allows some of these students to access the state's limited amount of financial aid." Read more …
"AUSTIN — If you believe the pundits, Gov. Rick Perry didn’t win this week’s Republican presidential debate but did much better than in previous contests. Yet, given his low standing in the polls, whether Perry can rebound and win his party’s nomination is, well, debatable.
But you can count on this: Dozens of controversial anti-illegal immigration bills should be filed when the Texas Legislature is back in session in 2013. Buoyed by the attention the issue has received in almost every presidential debate — and Perry fired the first shot Tuesday night — if re-elected next year, some of the most conservative Republican lawmakers intend to re-introduce bills killed in recent sessions." Read more …