Grassroots conservatives, as opposed to posers who put self-interest ahead of the country’s best interests, bested those who wanted to change the party’s immigration platform at the 2010 Texas Republican state convention in Dallas.
The chamber of commerce types, who too often seem politically conservative only when it’s convenient, waged an organized effort to change the party platform and make it softer on illegal immigration.
But conservatives on the platform committee and the majority of the 8,000 delegates beat back the effort. The Dallas Morning News reported, “Illegal immigration was the most pressing issue to delegates.”
Latino activists, supported and abetted by the business class, pushed pro-amnesty platform language. They would have stripped the clear rejection of amnesty already in the party platform that reads: “We oppose illegal immigration, amnesty in any form, or legal status for illegal immigrants.”
The wishy-washy substitute language reflected the word games played for several years now in the wider immigration debate. Amnesty advocates have denied that the policies they support amount to amnesty, as commonly understood.
The substitute language that the Texas GOP rejected said: “We have never supported and oppose a policy of mass deportation. We support a realistic solution which secures our borders, and humanely resolves the legal status of illegal immigrants. We further recognize that many illegal immigrants were brought to this country as minors.”
The cutesy word games included setting up a straw man, “mass deportation.” Few people on any side of the immigration debate have called for huge round-ups. But people like Dianne Costa of the Latino National Republican Coalition asserted, falsely, that “this policy [absent the amnesty-friendly rewrite] is mass deportation.”
Words such as “realistic” and “humanely” attempt to claim the high moral ground for the legalization side. By inference, those who favor an enforcement-minded middle ground supposedly lack a moral basis for their position. And how heartless can we be not to make an exception for illegals “brought” here “as minors?” This amounts to a cheap play on emotions.
In fact, the most widely favored approach, known as attrition through enforcement, represents the most morally defensible, practical and effective solution to illegal immigration.
Systematic enforcement of immigration laws—including against unscrupulous employers as well as both routine and gang-related immigration offenders, at the border, in the interior, by state and local as well as federal police, by screening out illegal foreign workers at the workplace and denying illegals taxpayer-funded benefits—drives attrition within the illegal population. This solution decreases the inflow, increases the outflow (including by self-deportation) and over time reduces the illegal population—at a reasonable pace and largely on illegal aliens’ own dime.
Attrition through enforcement is exactly what Texas Republicans overwhelmingly advocated in their new platform. The party called for making it a state law that local police officers check the immigration status of criminal suspects. The GOP also favors making it a state crime for an illegal alien to be in Texas “intentionally or knowingly.” These positions effectively model the recent Arizona law.
Some of the advocates for a pro-amnesty plank made things ugly. They employed Saul Alinsky-type “hate-mongering” tactics before the convention began. Their whisper campaign spread disinformation about leading grassroots groups and leaders who oppose amnesty and mass immigration.
This involved lies, half-truths and innuendo other opponents have spread. They aren’t worth repeating because they are false. The targets only advocate on the immigration issue.
But some interesting facts came out and didn’t exactly endear the rumormongers to fair-minded Texas delegates.
Where do the attackers get their fodder? Leftist bankroller George Soros has funded the open-borders Campaign for a United America and other groups specifically to wage a propaganda campaign against its opposition, according to Open Society foundation reports and IRS forms.
That and other far-left sources such as the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center are the sources of the disinformation. The SPLC has a Soros Justice Fellow position.
An organization with a lot of overlap with the group, Texas GOP Vote, calls itself Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy. It played a big role in the platform-rewrite effort and opposition hatemongering.
TSIP’s positions on immigration reflect the pro-legalization, soft enforcement, liberalization of cheap foreign labor stances of others such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and multinationals that view our borders as merely a commercial hindrance. Those corporate interests work closely with open-borders groups from La Raza and MALDEF to the SEIU and the AFL-CIO.
The fact came out during the platform fight that Norman Adams, co-founder of TSIP and a Houston insurance agent, contributed $2,100 to liberal Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in 2007. He reportedly was one spreading rumors against the opposition.
The outcome of the Texas GOP platform fight over the immigration plank shows where much of the electorate stands. Despite the below-the-belt tactics of the open-borders side, amnesty remains anathema. Nationally, Republican Party leaders might want to pay attention to this strong conviction on immigration issues.