TEXAS SOLUTION knocked down by TEA PARTY RADICALS
by Sonja Harris on June 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM
Truthfully this was the most chaotic and contumacious convention in respect to the platform I can remember. A ‘mob’ mentality rushed through the audience as we were voting on the Amendment to replace the Immigration Plank. Hysteria and confusion do not partner well when making a sound decision.
Party Chairman Steve Munisteri cautioned the Delegates to make it quick and not to linger so that we would not lose our quorum otherwise we would NOT have a Party Platform. Chair Munisteri explained in detail the coming Amendment vote and there was still confusion after the vote so he called for a Roll Call vote which took even longer to conduct. Contrary to what you might hear, it was the radical Tea Party groups which led to the ‘mob’ mentality during the voting process. Their fear of having The Texas Solution in the Platform led to their frenzy.
It is a shame that certain Tea Party groups are gloating about their WIN. They admit to the confusion on the floor and the rush to judgment. What is even worse is these very same people who claim to be Christian acted absolutely nothing like Christians. These groups continue to name call those who wanted a Solution to our Immigration problem.
The following two articles confirm that what I witnessed was right on:
As the gathering in Fort Worth entered it's final, frantic hour Saturday, the most conservative wing of the party dismantled language in the 2012 state party platform known as the "Texas Solution." It had sanctioned a guest worker program for people in the U.S. illegally, bolstering a workforce for the state's booming economy while providing an olive branch of sorts to Hispanics who tend to support Democrats.
Opponents, however, branded the endorsement amnesty for lawbreakers and removed it in a roll-call vote involving thousands of delegates, many of whom struggled to understand what they were voting on. The move defied business-minded conservatives, who had spent hours trying to hammer out a compromise that would have allowed the Texas Solution to survive in modified form.
FORT WORTH — Tea party activists seized control of the Texas Republican Convention on Saturday, winning a harder line on immigration in the official party platform and lifting firebrand U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to an easy victory in a 2016 presidential straw poll. Following hours of often contentious debate and an especially raucous vote, the roughly 7,000 delegates torpedoed platform language approved at their convention just two years ago endorsing a guest-worker program for people in the country illegally.
The so-called "Texas Solution" was meant to satisfy the needs of a booming Texas economy and was supposed to act as a model for comprehensive, federal immigration reform. It was also seen as a boon to the state's fast-growing Hispanic population — though opponents called it amnesty for law-breakers.
We are all Patriots and as Delegates are entitled to our opinion, but after this convention, I am not so sure that some of our Republican Tea Party groups haven’t crossed the line. The ‘mob’ mentality behavior was a tragic occurrence at the Republican Party Convention. Imagine a ‘flash mob’ voted to eliminate the Texas Solution. Scary that any ‘mob’ mentality would take over our Republican convention, but it did. These comments are taken straight from Facebook. They were not interested in finding a solution; they just wanted to KILL the TEXAS SOLUTION!
Every Delegate should have known what was at stake, marijuana, same sex marriage and the immigration plank called The Texas Solution. If you did not know, you were not prepared to attend the convention. Texas County Chairs, Texas Federation of Republican Women club presidents should have advised the delegates and alternates what was at stake. If your county chair and club president counseled you, then you were fortunate. The county chairs needed only to explain the issues and the TFRW club presidents should have taken leadership and explained the TFRW stance. Past president of TFRW Carolyn Hodges sent out letters to Delegates asking them to vote FOR the Texas Solution.
A flyer was passed to the Delegates asking for support of the Immigration Plank and commended the committee’s hard work and immense effort.
I consulted with Mark Ramsey author of Amendment 56 in order to get the information correct. The Amendment 56 which was authored and read by Ramsey from the podium was offered as a compromise to fix the Platform Committee Report language on immigration. (Minority Report #2 below.)
Amendment to the Provisional Visa Program plank
“Provisional Visa Program – In order to deal with the current undocumented population, only after the borders are secured and verified by the States, we urge Congress to enact establish a new provisional visa with a term of five (5) years that does not provide amnesty, does not cause mass deportation, and does not provide a pathway to citizenship but does not preclude existing pathways.” (The remaining bullet points remain the same.)
This amendment passed overwhelmingly by the delegates. So now the Delegates had basically two to choose from, the Immigration Plank in the Permanent Platform Report AS just AMENDED by the delegates (Ramsey amendment 56) and the Minority Report #2 which was un-amended at this point.
When the Minority Report #2 came for the vote, it was voted down leaving the Immigration Plank in the Platform.
THIS IS THE AMENDMENT THAT WAS VOTED IN by the Delegates. This Amendment was orally read to the Delegates and presented to them on the monitor. The OFFICIAL PLATFORM HAS NOT COME OUT so these are unofficial documents.
Amendment to Preliminary 2014 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas
Submitted by Peter Batura, SD 17
In addition, with 92 million Americans not working, the labor force at 36-year low and a lethargic economy, the United States of America can ill-afford a guest worker program designed to depress wages.
The following outlines specific actions needed to address these critical issues:
Secure the borders through
Increasing in the number of border security officers
Increasing joint operations and training with local law enforcement, DPS and the Texas State Guard
Contiguous physical barrier coupled with electronic, infrared and visual monitoring
Ending In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants
Enhancing state smuggling laws
Prohibiting sanctuary cities
Prohibiting the knowing employment of illegal immigrants
Providing civil liability protections for landowners against illegal immigrants
Protecting the ability of law enforcement officers to inquire of the status of someone in custody
Modernizing Current Immigration Laws to address the following:
Any form of Amnesty should not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally
We support replacement of the current employment visa system with an efficient cost effective system
We support ending country of origin quotas
We support ending the annual green card lottery
Once the borders are verifiably secure, and E-Verify system use is fully enforced, creation of a visa classification for non-specialty industries which have demonstrated actual and persistent labor shortages.
This is the Immigration Plank from the Platform Report that was VOTED OUT.
Secure Our Borders First -
- We demand the federal government immediately secure the borders and bring safety and security for all Americans.
- We demand Congress develop and fund a National Border Security Plan based upon the recommendations of lawmakers in Texas and other border states.
- Because the federal government has failed to act, we call on the Texas legislature to develop and fund a border and port of entry security plan utilizing state and local law enforcement.
Oppose Amnesty – We oppose any form of amnesty to include any granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally.
Oppose Mass Deportation – We oppose any form of mass deportation
Modernize the Immigration Laws -
- We support the improvement of our 1936 Social Security card to use contemporary anti-counterfeit technology.
- We support replacement of the current employment visa system with an efficient, cost effective system that responds to actual and persistent labor shortages.
- We support the reallocation of immigration slots balanced to meet labor shortages and family re-unification.
- We support ending country of origin quotas.
- We support ending the annual green card lottery.
Provisional Visa Program – In order to deal with the current undocumented population, we urge Congress to enact a provisional visa program that does not provide amnesty, does not cause mass deportation and does not provide a pathway to citizenship but does not preclude existing pathways.
- An eligibility criterion should consider criminal history, completion of penalties and fines for immigration violations and payment of current and back taxes.
- Participants must be responsible for their own and families private health insurance.
- Participants must waive any and all rights to apply for financial assistance from public entitlement programs.
- Participants must show a proficiency in the English Language.
- We urge Congress and the state legislature to strengthen enforcement and penalties on employers that do not comply with labor and employment laws to ensure an equitable labor market. There will be no penalties to those employers that comply with effective employment verification systems.
Delegates waited in line to present their Amendments ranging from homosexuality, marijuana, marijuana study, immigration, Texas Solution and net neutrality to mention just a few.
The grassroots, the voice of reason, made a valiant effort to keep The Texas Solution plank in the platform. The immigration plank was voted out and replaced with the Amendment by Peter Batura with a Roll Call vote of 4,765 FOR and 3,731 AGAINST for a total vote count of 8,496. The difference was 1,034 votes. The plank is NOT law. Our platform is a guide for Texas Republicans to move our state forward and to keep our state conservative.
I spoke to Dr. Steve Hotze a strong Texas Solution supporter after the convention and he told me that he would have, “preferred the original language in the Platform.” I also spoke to a member of the Platform Committee, Troy Swift, and he replied that he was "angry at first, but after thinking about it, I am OK with it." He thought the plank was “still strong”.
What are the differences? The biggest difference is how poorly written it is. We certainly moved backwards instead of forward. It has left a wide open space for interpretation on the guest worker program when the borders are ‘verifiably secure’. Really, what were the Delegates thinking when they voted for this?
The Amendment is not as strong on border security as the original one in the Platform even though the Amendment calls for a ‘physical barrier’. There is a natural ‘barrier’ in place already and the ‘fence’ has to be authorized by the Federal Government. The Amendment does not address: The criminal history, payment of current or back taxes, and it does not waive rights to apply for financial assistance from public entitlement programs.
Did we take a few steps back? Anyway we know Julie White McCarty from NE Tarrant County Tea Party celebrated at Joe T Garcia's. Let’s give McCarty a pat on the back for eating Mexican food!
It will take a few more days for people to digest all that happened as we move forward to beat the Democrats.
UPDATE: TEMPORARY PLATFORM COMMITTEE REPORT