Like he did in the recent Lieutenant Gubernatorial debate against Democratic candidate Leticia Van de Putte, Republican Dan Patrick has decided to double down on anti-immigrant rhetoric during this year’s election cycle. A new ad by Patrick correctly says that Senator Van de Putte “wrote the LAW giving in-state tuition to”… well you heard what they said, but Texas Leftist happens to know that PEOPLE are not illegal, even if their actions sometimes are. The point here? In order for that in-state tuition provision to become law, it had to be signed by a Republican Governor because that’s who was in office when the law was passed. As it turns out, Governor Rick Perry not only signed the law, which has gone on to help thousands of individuals obtain their education, but he supports that law to this day.
As a result, Dan Patrick is so far to the Right, he is now running against Rick Perry. And you can be sure that Patrick is also running far to the Right of what most Texas voters believe as well. Here’s more on the Republicans he’s left behind from the National Journal…
While Republican Govs. George W. Bush and Rick Perry prioritized Hispanic outreach and consistently rejected polarizing immigration policies, Patrick—and like-minded new state GOP leaders like Sen. Ted Cruz—are steering Texas Republicans sharply rightward on these issues. Patrick ousted incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a GOP primary this year, mostly behind promises to toughen enforcement at the Mexican border and to repeal the policy of providing in-state public college tuition to young people brought to the U.S. illegally—a plan that the outgoing Gov. Perry signed and still defends.
Texas Republicans today strike very different notes. Patrick, a state senator and talk-radio host, is the most inflammatory. He has described illegal immigration as an “invasion” and warned that undocumented immigrants “are bringing Third World diseases with them.”
A procession of prominent Texas Republican Hispanics like state Rep. Jason Villalba has publicly condemned Patrick’s approach. Likewise, Bush’s nephew, Jeb’s son George P. Bush, who is the Republican nominee for land commissioner in Texas, has joined Perry in saying he still supports in-state tuition for undocumented students. Greg Abbott, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee, is spending heavily to court Hispanics and has also kept his distance from Patrick’s most volatile rhetoric.
Greg Abbott may sound more sympathetic than the Lt. Gov. candidate, but you can be sure that he wouldn’t hesitate to sign some of these same vile ideas into law. Both candidates at the top of the Texas Republican ticket are proving this year that any common sense once held by their party is diminishing quickly.
In a way, voters should be thankful that Patrick has revealed his true viewpoint, as it gives everyone a clear choice for the Lieutenant Governor’s race. The Republican… excuse me… TEApublican candidate is so far away from his party that he couldn’t care less how many real Texas families would be hurt by his racist, anti-immigrant policies. With Van de Putte as Lieutenant Governor, Texans know that a repeal of in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants isn’t even a remote possibility.
But this year’s election is about more than just Dan Patrick. A vote for Leticia Van de Putte also presents a unique opportunity to reject the large-scale cowardice that pervades the Democratic Party on immigration issues. We’ve seen it with President Obama’s litany of failed promises to end deportations, and we’ve definitely seen it through Wendy Davis’ misguided attempts to seek a middle ground on border security issues. A Van de Putte win sends a clear signal to Washington and Austin that communities at the center of the immigration fight DO vote, will continue to vote, demand common-sense solutions and refuse to be ignored anymore.
There’s no way to properly convey the anger and hurt that affected families have to endure because of the nation’s immigration politics. But in this year’s election, let’s hope those same citizens don’t pass up the chance to have one of their strongest advocates yet enter the national conversation.
Leticia said it best in her recent ad… “porque nuestra comunidad nunca se rinde!”
If you liked this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation.