Texas GOP Sends Clear Message on Illegal Immigration

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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After days of debate on immigration, the Texas Republicans rejected inserting a guest worker or provisional visa program into the party’s 2014 official platform. The controversial 2012 “Texas Solution”, which called for a national guestworker program, is history.

The roll-call vote produced a decisive victory for those concerned about the American worker and the rule of law. The return to a stance more aligned with the 2010 platform than with the 2012 platform is not surprising, as much controversy surrounded the process and final vote for the adoption of the “Texas Solution.” Manipulation of the rules included not checking delegate credentials, no instructions on who could vote, and the chairman calling for a second voice vote following a voice vote rejecting the “Texas Solution”.

A Democratic Party spokesperson was, of course, one of the first to criticize the new language, writing, “compassionate conservatism and the pragmatic Republican Party are no more.” But compassionate conservatism is alive and well in Texas where Republicans seem to feel it is possible to treat individuals fairly and charitably while still expecting laws to be respected. The connection between handing out green cards and citizenship and compassion are puzzling. But, advocacy groups have to sell this connection in order to pass legalization.

Republicans have apparently learned a lesson from the deal made in passing the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which was a balance between amnesty and border control coupled with worksite enforcement. Amnesty took place, but enforcement did not, which is why we presently have over 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. So it is not surprising Americans, and apparently Republicans in Texas, insist on enforcement prior to any amnesty or path to amnesty.

Texans recognize that promising legalization and providing benefits lures foreigners over the border at a high fiscal and labor cost to Americans, especially poor Americans. Moreover, they recognize the hazards, including death and rape, and hardships suffered by many, including an increasingly large number of unaccompanied minors who make the dangerous and illegal journey to the United States while leaving family behind. On a bigger picture, Texans recognize that luring individuals to illegally enter the country has helped drug cartels build a billion dollar transport industry, which makes our country increasingly unsafe.

The party’s new platform also calls for ending in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, prohibiting “sanctuary cities”, penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and securing the border. The new plank allows for a visa classification system for “for non-specialty industries which have demonstrated actual and persistent labor shortages”, but only after the borders are “verifiably secure” and E-verify is “fully enforced”.

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