Rick Perry: The Anti-Latino Presidential Candidate

So it’s official, Texas Governor Rick Perry will seek the Republican nomination for president. At News Taco we thought it would be good to point out all of the anti-Latino things Perry has done in Texas just in the past year as we move forward for the big 2012 push. The entire list is pretty long and luckily our partner publication the Texas Observer has an entire website dedicated to Perry’s foibles here.

But first, let me give you an overview.

When Texas was $27 billion in the hole, a budget crisis the likes of which few had ever seen in the state, Perry decided to make a few items top priority — including abortion and so-called sanctuary cities (or, cities that don’t want their local police to be charged with enforcing immigration law). That’s right, Perry put the needs and suffering of millions of Texas on hold so he could politick and ready for this very moment, his announcement for president. Honestly, everyone (even other Republicans) were shocked that Perry would put the budget on the back burner for such divisive and obviously political items.

Here’s more:

  • Perry pretty much devastated public schools by refusing to either raise taxes or dip into the state’s rainy day fund (even Republicans wanted to dip into the fund).
  • But who cares? Public schools are majority Latino now anyways. It’s not like these Latino kids are the future of Texas or anything.
  • While millions of Texans are trying to recover from the recession, Perry is getting involved in congressional redistricting.
  • Under Perry the state passed what amounted to a racial profiling mandate for police to enforce immigration law.
  •  Oh, and also the law made it harder for people to get driver’s licenses, even though you can’t get a Texas driver’s license without papers anyway.
  • Similarly, there’s those Voter ID bills that basically target poor people and Latinos by putting up more barriers to vote. Because, even though you can’t vote unless you’re here legally, putting up barriers adversely affects Latino voters specifically.
  • Sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities. More sanctuary cities.  And then sanctuary cities died — so what was it for you ask? Hm, probably Rick Perry’s post-Texas political career.
  • He made some quasi-racist jokes at the NALEO conference, which surprisingly, were not well received by the mostly Latino audience.

But all of that is just the last session or so. One of my favorite Perry foibles is when he announced $5 million dollars for a “virtual border fence” in which people could sit at home and watch a few cameras set up for a website to “police” the border from their computers. Supposedly about 30 crossings have been reported by the site, which prompts a few questions: one, is that worth $5 million dollars? and secondly, what does Rick Perry have to offer Latino voters nationwide if he can’t even put the needs of Texans before his own political ambitions?

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD.

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