Illegal Immigration Imitation: The Rick Perry-Obama-O’Malley Plan, Romney Disagrees

Maryland Gov Martin O'Malley, Chairman of the Democratic Governors Assoc and Texas Gov Rick Perry, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, agree on providing in-state tuition breaks for illegals. (AP photo/Alex Brandon Feb 25, 2022)

As Rick Perry visits Baltimore, Maryland today, will he thank Martin O’Malley (Democrat Governor of Maryland) for sharing his commitment to President Obama’s illegal immigration policies?

Earlier this month, Governor O’Malley “went out of his way to praise Governor Perry for supporting “in-state tuition breaks for illegal immigrants.”

“Republican-bashing was the order of the day when Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, spoke with reporters Thursday – except when it came to GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry and one of his Texas immigration policies. Governor O’Malley went out of his way to praise Governor Perry for supporting a 2001 Texas law that allows some illegal immigrants to attend college at in-state tuition rates.” (Dave Cook, “On Immigration, A Democrat Has Kind Words For GOP’s Rick Perry,” Christian Science Monitor, 9/15/11)

Governor O’Malley Signed Legislation Allowing Tuition Breaks For Illegal Immigrants In Maryland:

In May, Governor O’Malley signed legislation that would extend in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants. “Dozens of illegal immigrants celebrated Tuesday in Annapolis as Maryland officially made them eligible for tuition discounts at colleges and universities … Gov. Martin O’Malley made good on a long-standing promise to sign the controversial measure that extended in-state tuition rates … His action came the same day that President Barack Obama said he will renew a push for federal legislation that clears a citizenship path for illegal immigrants.” (Annie Linskey, “O’Malley Signs Tuition Break,” The Baltimore Sun, 5/11/11)

• “[Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R-MD)] Vetoed Legislation To Grant Illegal Immigrants In-State Tuition.” (Annie Linskey, “O’Malley, Ehrlich Differ On Illegal Immigrants,” The Baltimore Sun, 9/29/10)

Governor Perry Signed Legislation Allowing Tuition Breaks For Illegal Immigrants In Texas:

Governor Perry led the way as Texas became the first state in the nation to offer in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. “A bipartisan coalition in Texas pushed for new policies there, culminating in June (2001) when Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, signed a bill to make Texas the first state to offer undocumented immigrants in-state tuition.” (John Gehring, “Undocumented Grads To Get Tuition Breaks From Calif. Institutions,” Education Week, 10/31/01)

In 2001, Texas Became The First State In The Country To Pass An In-State Tuition Law. The Law Created A National Movement.” (Katherine Leal Unmuth, “Number Of Illegal Immigrants Getting In-State Tuition Rises,” The Dallas Morning News, 3/15/10)

Perry, on those who differ with his position: “I don’t think you have a heart.”

PERRY: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. … I still support it greatly.” (Rick Perry, GOP Presidential Debate, Orlando, FL, 9/22/11)

President Obama Also Supports Tuition Breaks For Illegal Immigrants:

“Thousands of immigrant students … declared their illegal status during a nationwide campaign for a bill in Congress that would have put them on a path to legal residence. In December that bill, known as the Dream Act, passed the House, then failed in the Senate. President Obama insisted in his State of the Union address and in interviews that he wanted to try again on the bill this year.” (Julia Preston, “After A False Dawn, Anxiety For Illegal Immigrant Students,” The New York Times, 2/8/11)

(emphasis added )

This morning, Luke posted Gov Romney’s new video here. It is perfect to re-post here. Perry and Obama Agree:

UPDATE - Romney talks with Jordan Sekulow (segment of interview) 9/27/11:

“I fundamentally believe that it doesn’t make a lot of sense for American taxpayers to pay for the college education of illegal aliens particularly at a time when American taxpayers are having a hard time financing education for their own children. It’s a strange thing. I know that it’s popular to get some votes in some corners. But from a policy standpoint if we’re going to give benefits that are worth $100,000 to illegal aliens to come here and get a higher education degree, then people are going to try and get into the country illegally. That’s the kind of magnet that draws people into the country. It’s the wrong course for our nation. Look, I love legal immigration. I’m happy to help legal immigrants but illegal immigrants coming here getting a break – a $100,000 break on college tuition financed by taxpayers makes no sense.” - Mitt Romney

► Jayde Wyatt

Tampa, FL: Romney Speaks to Enthusiastic Audience at GOP Natl Hispanic Assembly

Mitt Romney addresses the Republican National Hispanic Assembly National Convention in Tampa, Florida. September 2, 2021 (photo by Peter Masa/

They were excited to see Mitt Romney in Tampa, Florida today!

Governor Romney was in town to greet supporters and speak at the Republican National Hispanics Assembly convention:

Romney, in Tampa, blasts president over jobs

TAMPA - The road to the White House leads through Tampa today. Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are among the top Republicans in town.

Both GOP hopefuls were here to address the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Florida, which was meeting today at the airport Hyatt.

Many members said they were especially excited to hear from Romney[…]

Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, spent about 20 minutes covering topics from education to foreign policy. But the economy was his main topic.

He blasted the president over his job creation record, on the heels of figures that show no net job creation in last two months.

I’m going to be presenting a detailed plan about how to get America back to work and how to grow our economy. It’s going to be bold; it’s not just going to be a little stimulus,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “It’s a complete restructuring. It will be sweeping and specific.”

Romney echoes Rubio in speech to GOP National Hispanic Assembly in Florida

Romney’s remarks were strikingly similar to the message of Rubio, whom Romney has said is on his shortlist for vice president should he win the nomination. Rubio often uses his background as a child of immigrants to discuss American exceptionalism, opportunity and freedom.

Romney’s speech mostly focused on a broad message of the “common ground” found by a “nation of immigrants” and hit on the Tea Party themes of cutting government spending and respecting the 10th Amendment, which protects the right of states.
“As a nation of immigrants, we’ve found common ground not in our heritage but in our hearts,” Romney said. “When generations looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time, or a piece of sandy beach that was freedom, or stepped off a plane traveling from tyranny to hope … they knew without a doubt … that they were coming to a place where anything was possible — that in America, their children, and their grandchildren, would have a better life. That confidence in a better tomorrow defines us as Americans.”
Romney also praised Rubio in the speech when discussing legal immigration. “I am a great proponent of legal immigration. Many of you are living proof of the unique strength of America that is constantly renewed by new Americans. The promise of America has brought some of the world’s best and brightest to our shores,” said Romney. “It brought to America the parents of Marco Rubio, who is one of America’s great leaders today.”
While he did not make it a focus of the speech, Romney also discussed illegal immigration, a sensitive issue in front of a Hispanic Republican audience. He called for a high-tech fence along the border with Mexico, an improved employment verification system for businesses and penalties for violations, and touted a veto from when he was governor of a bill that would have provided in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants.

Romney is the only top-tier presidential candidate to address the group.

(emphasis added)

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and former FL Governor Jeb Bush were also slated to speak.

Romney, in Tampa, blasts president over jobs:

Behind the scenes…

UPDATE: Another video…

Romney, in Tampa, blasts president over jobs:

A delegate at the convention believes Romney could be the one to get America back on track. “I think it’s the first time we have a major political figure coming over and address us directly. We feel honored; we feel emboldened by his presence.”

The full transcript of Romney’s speech may be found here and here.

► Jayde Wyatt