One of the fascinating things about Rick Perry is how little contact there is between perception and reality. The perception is that he’s a hardcore, Tea Party conservative; the reality is that he is a political shape shifter who rivals Mitt Romney, at one point or another taking a far more liberal position on lots of issues than those who make up his current political base understands. On immigration, for example, Perry publicly opposed Arizona’s famous SB 1070 law. He’s also criticized the E-Verify program and has been strongly opposed to the idea of walling off the Mexican border. The Tea Party folks tend to be strongly in favor of all of those things.
And here’s a fact that might shake up his base, if they actually paid attention to facts. A new study by the Center for Immigration Studies finds that more than 80% of the jobs created in Texas during Perry’s alleged “Texas miracle” went to immigrants: