Greg Abbott At Odds With GOP Lt. Gov. Hopefuls Over In-State Tuition For Undocumented Students

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Greg Abbott is afraid of alienating Hispanic voters, while Lt. Gov. hopefuls fear angering the Tea Party.

Attorney General Greb Abbott is finding himself at odds with Republicans running for Lieutenant Governor over repealing the Texas DREAM Act.

Republicans running for lt. gov. are all opposed to the Texas DREAM Act and wish to repeal the law.

Abbott, perhaps wanting to avoid angering Hispanics, had been repeatedly dodging questions over the matter time and again, until his campaign finally spoke on the issue. Sort of.

In a written statement on Thursday, Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch said Abbott believes the law needs reform.

“Greg Abbott believes that the objective of the program is noble,” Hirsch said. “But, he believes the law as structured is flawed and it must be reformed.”

All four Republican Lt. Gov. hopefuls are taking much more extreme stances. Sen. Dan Patrick spotlighted immigration over a 30-second TV ad falsely claiming he's the only GOP candidate for Lt. Gov. who's running “to oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.”

Read more on what challenges the Texas DREAM Act may face in the 2015 Legislative Session below the jump.Abbott's spokesman kept mum on Abbott's position, saying: “The campaign will unveil specific policy initiatives in the coming weeks and months.”

While Abbott hesitates to state his support for repealing the law, Lt. Gov. hopefuls wish to use it to flaunt their conservative credentials at the Tea Party.

All four candidates have conformed they want to repeal the policy. The DREAM Act offers in-state tuition at Texas universities to undocumented students. They must first meet certain criteria, including a Texas high-school degree or its equivalent.

In an interview, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said that “we'll see a strong push” in the 2015 legislative session to eradicate the DREAM Act.

“I expect to see more conservatives elected to the Texas Senate and that will help us in this endeavor,” Dewhurst said.

Sen. Dan Patrick made the issue a highlight of his campaign by falsely claiming to be the only candidate to oppose the law.

The attack set off strong retaliations by the other candidates.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Dewhurst called Patrick out on this lie.

Things got heated up when all four lieutenant governor candidates debated the issue at the Texas Municipal League conference last Friday:

All four disregarded any anti-Latino motives, or that the Republican Party had a messaging problem with Latinos.

The entire debate — and all the problems between Republicans and Latinos — can be perfectly summarized by moderator Evan Smith's comment on past remarks made by a Hispanic commentator, stating: It's like the Republican Party tells us (Latinos) that we're ugly all year long, but then asks us out to prom.

Nailed it.


About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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