UNA NACION UNDER GOD – A DIALOGUE Austin, Texas Part II
by Sonja Harris on April 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM
Adryana Boyne moderator with SPEAKERS: David Zapata RPT Outreach Director, Rafael Cruz father of Sen. Ted Cruz, Brad Bailey Founder of the Texas Solution, Aaron Pena former Texas State Rep, Larry Gonzalez Texas State Rep D52, Manny Rosales former Deputy Coalitions Director of the RNC and Bob Price Communications Director US Border Watch at podium
This is Part II of Una Nacion Under God – A Dialogue which was held on April 6 at the State Capital in Austin, Texas. Voces Action, San Antonio Tea Party partnered with Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, and Conservatives in Action hosted the one day symposium. It seems to me that everyone should know what is happening in Texas concerning border security and immigration reform. But I am grossly mistaken. Many Texans are unaware of what is at stake if we continue to lose ground. We have an enormous job ahead of us, if we want to Keep Texas Red. The loss of the presidency sent shock waves to the Red States, and it was an awaking to the people of Texas.
It is estimated that Texas will be mostly Hispanic in 10 years with Hawaii and New Mexico already lacking a majority of Anglos. By the end of 2014, it is predicted that California will be predominately Hispanic. In San Antonio, Texas Hispanics already dominate as the majority. So what are we waiting for? We need to act now. Other states may or may not understand how important it is that we start now to cultivate a relationship with the American Hispanic, so Texas must lead the way. California I am afraid is already a Blue state with little or no chance of becoming Red. We cannot continue to ignore the reality of the changing demographics of our nation. The time for action is now, not after we become a Blue state.
TOO LATE, NATHAN, TOO LATE!
Again for the sake of brevity I have taken excerpts from the speeches presented by each speaker at the symposium. And again I want to stress that not one panelist wants OPEN BORDERS OR AMNESTY! This symposium was held so that an open dialogue with differing ideas could be voiced on pro immigration. We already hear loud and clear those screaming, Send them all back!” But that is not a solution. And so that we are straight on this issue, I AM NOT FOR AMNESTY OR OPEN BORDERS! Unfortunately there are many Republicans and conservatives that are having a difficult time digesting the difference between amnesty and a pathway to legalization.
I learned many things at this symposium, but the one issue that struck me was the question of illegals being criminals. Ivan Andarza, an immigration lawyer, told the audience during the Q&A time that, “technically if a person crosses one time with no criminal record that’s punishable up to 6 months in jail which is a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas.”
Larry Gonzalez: Maybe it’s not about pandering for votes but it sure is about chasing votes. Let me tell you why. Because we lost to a president I can’t believe we lost to. So the question is how did we lose to Barack Obama in 2012? Main answer, we did not have enough votes! How simple is that. How do we fix that? Go get more votes! I am chasing votes, absolutely I am. So why not start with the fastest growing population in the country, the fastest growing population in the state.
What are we going to do in Texas about this? We are going to talk about our core beliefs. Guess what our Hispanic community cares about, education and jobs. How easy is that? Just focus on those two things. You don’t have to pander to them….just do it and get it done. It is a natural bridge that is why they come here. They want a better life.
If you live in Nebraska and come to Texas, you get in-state tuition after a year. Would you rather have a PhD, a doctor or a lawyer or would you rather have them taking government subsidies? You want them to work. We are on board with the Dreamers but I am not on board on any kind of citizenship, I just can’t do it. I can’t do the amnesty. You want to work; I am going to put you to work. I am going to put you on the tax rolls. You are going to pay property taxes, sales taxes; you are a contributing part of this society. We will be better for it. Education and jobs is a natural bridge to that community.
David Zapata: Our job with the party is to encourage all our party activists to engage. Engage your community, be respectful. Every community cares about the same thing education, jobs, the economy, so they can provide for their families. Sometimes our Republican Party, we get so caught up with the attacks, defending the attacks of the other party that we forget that we have a good message. Strong values that resonate with every community. What we have to do as Hispanics is engage, identify the groups we need to engage with and communicate our message and brag about it. Be ready to talk about what your state leaders have done to keep our state prosperous. Again don’t get so caught up in defending, defending. Share the message of conservatism. Conservatism benefits everyone. As Republican activists, as leaders, as precinct chairs these are the conversations we should engage with others in our community. Do not be afraid of immigration conservations. Be ready to respectfully present your ideas, your message at the local level.
We are the party of the grassroots…engage your community in conservation. You are the leaders of your party and we need you to take the Republican message to everyone, to as many places as you can.
Bob Price: These loud right wing groups that are actually really small, but are very loud, say we can’t talk about immigration reform until we secure the border. We can’t do one without the other. Because if you secure the border, you are creating more lawlessness because you are creating a bigger market for the drug cartels to do human trafficking and human smuggling. You can’t reform immigration without securing the border because if you do that, there are still people who are not going to qualify and they will cross the border illegally. So you have to address both of these issues at the same time. There was some discussion about chasing votes because this is about chasing votes…it's not just about chasing the Hispanic vote. We have to win the battle of ideas.
Right now our policies don’t reflect the core of conservative values of the party. We are supposed to be the party about limited government, and yet we are spending more money on DHS than we are in the FBI and many other organizations. We are supposed to be about law and order yet our policies have created more lawlessness as we go along, human trafficking, and human smuggling. We don’t have a system in place to grant people the right to work legally, so when they are discovered, it forces them to go underground, more lawlessness. We are a party of family values yet we separate families.
Brad Bailey: I got involved. We got the Texas Immigration Solution and talked with so many people like Bob Price and so many leaders about this issue. I always believed this was a third rail political issue. It is hard for our elected officials to touch this issue.
And when we took the platform, we took all the, ‘ship them out now, illegals are our enemies’. We took it to the floor. The anti immigration groups fired up. They started passing out no amnesty stickers. They called us every name in the book. They attacked our platform five times at the state convention in front of 8,000 delegates. And five times over 2/3s of that convention, those 8,000 delegates took our solution over the rhetoric of old. We were supported at the state level. We can no longer let the anti immigration groups and the name calling divide our party.
Every single group I go to 95% are white, 95% are generally 65 years or older. We have to start talking and teaching about how to talk about this, how to be welcoming to our party, how to get new ideas. I hear Ted Cruz telling the story about his father; this story is the best we have out there. We need to stop complaining and talk about our principles. There are so many people coming after us, like Battleground Texas that is trying to divide us. Let’s be the party that Ronald Reagan talked about, the shinning city on the hill. Let’s talk about this issue but let’s solve the issue. Once we take this albatross of immigration from around our neck we can start connecting with education, on free market principles, on religious freedoms, on entrepreneurialism and not on things that are not working.
Manny Rosales, Ivan Andraza with State Rep Larry Gonzalez
Manny Rosales: We are at a crossroads. Where are we going to go as a party? Ronald Reagan liked to say there are ‘no permanent defeats because there are no permanent victories’.
SOCIAL ISSUES: 55% of Hispanics say that religion is important in their life.
What do we need to grow as a party? We don’t need the Republican Party the Republican Party needs us…the Latino vote. They need us, they just don’t know it.
1. The Republican Party is seen as mostly as old, rich, Anglo insider organization.
That perception is reality. We need more Hispanics in the war. It is a long term approach
The Republican National committee: It lies in the actual structure of the party itself. Every two years we start over again. There is no data base for the next election. It is long term to grow the base. Not short term. Be careful how we message ourselves. Romney: SELF DEPORTATION; ELECTRIFY THE BORDER; all came out in the primaries.
Brad Bailey and Aaron Pena
Aaron Pena: If we lose Texas, Republicans will never see the presidency for several lifetimes. Once you have Florida, California, New York, and Texas, Ohio, and Illinois, you have enough electoral votes to win the presidency. It is up to the people in this room to make a difference.
My district goes from the middle of the Rio Grand down to South Texas. I have lived there all my life and it is a Democrat stronghold and always has been. Battleground Texas is in Brownsville today. They feel that if they can hold on to that region of Texas their dream will come true in 10 – 15 years. Part of the understanding of this new dynamic Texas is conservative. I want to see and we all want to wish for, is that we understand the immigration issue. We must understand the drug violence, and the cartel violence that is occurring on the border. What is the border really like? There are dual realities on the border on the one hand it is true, if you look at the major states, the cities in this country, El Paso, McAllen, Brownsville…are some of the safest cities you can live in. But at the same time there is horrible violence that is occurring on some of the ranches. We built a fence around some of the urban regions and all it has done is channeled many people around the rural communities and so those rural communities are where some of the ranchers are at.
In the old days, I lived on the border; we would go across the border for a meal and a haircut. After 911 that is gone. The border is hardened. The cartels have moved in along the border. In 2004 the cartel traffic left Columbia and the Caribbean and moved to Mexico. So now it is on the border. I could always separate the immigrant from the cartels, there is a distinction but there is some melting of the two. The cartels control every inch of the border. In order to come across you have to literally go to the cartel members or the gangs that control the border. It isn’t just an economic thing; they (illegals) don’t want to carry drugs. Farmers and ranchers are dealing with coyotes. These carry machine guns and automatic weapons.
This is having a corrupting affect on our institutions and the moral fiber of our communities. We have a drug cartel law enforcement unit that is supposed to fight against the cartels. Five or six of them were indicted for helping the cartels. These are American law enforcement officers in my county that are assisting the cartels. Their job was to escort them through all the cities and on to San Antonio. That is an indictment of what is occurring, the corruption. Those are realities that are rarely talked about. Starr County has had five or six sheriffs indicted for assisting the cartels. We may occasionally hear about the Hartley’s, whose husband was killed while riding a jet ski. I will tell you that back home these things occur on a daily basis.
We have a great future in front of us. All we have to do is make the decision to change. Because I believe we can make the change. I believe we have a great future in front of us.
I urge you to read and share this article so that others may learn and know what we have to do to grow our party in Texas. Remember this is A Dialogue and discussion is fluid on what to do in immigration reform. Be a part of the solution, be a part of the future of Texas, KEEP TEXAS RED! Part III will follow.
PRAY, FIGHT, NEVER GIVE UP!
Quico Canseco, Rafael Cruz, Adryana and Dr. Daryl Boyne
SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS during Q&A time: Sitting Dr Daryl Boyne, Dr Alex Mendes, Dr Richard Land, Bob Price, Brad Bailey, Hon Dianne Costa, Aaron Pena, and Ivan Andraza Standing Manny Rosales, Rafael Cruz and David Zapata
List of U.S. communities with Hispanic majority populations in the 2010 census http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._communities_with_Hispanic_majo...
Dr Richard Land Council of Foreign Relations website
U.S. Immigration Policy
TEXAS AGRICULTURE COMMISSION
SAN ANTONIO TEA PARTY
CONSERVATIVES IN ACTION