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Latino Group: Perry Must Drop Out Of Presidential Race

Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Photo courtesy State of Texas.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

An endorsement by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an immigration hawk, prompted the call for Perry to leave the GOP field.

Many conservative Hispanics are all for securing the border.

But some, like the Minnesota-based Café Con Leche Republicans, say a xenophobic and influential minority has convinced GOP presidential candidates to ditch the party’s immigrant-friendly roots.

Café Con Leche formed about two months ago, splintering from the larger, Arizona-based Somos Republicans organization.

They point to Texas Gov. Rick Perry as the latest example. Perry was endorsed by Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff known nationally for his hawkish stance on immigration policy.

Tony Hernández, in charge of the Café Con Leche chapter in Phoenix, was impressed with Perry at first. Then things changed.

“I personally thought he was a fine candidate in the way he was dealing with immigration in Texas before,” Hernández said. “But now that he has been changing his tune to try to appease the anti-immigrant small minority fringe, how can anyone support him?”

Hernández is the son of Mexican immigrants who gained legal status through the amnesty program brought by former President Ronald Reagan in 1986. He’s hoping current GOP presidential candidates, who are evoking Reagan's values, will embrace and not demonize immigrants.

The Perry campaign did not return messages left seeking comment on the group’s call for him to drop out.