Texas Federation of Republican Women Lead Boldly with Call for Immigration Reform and Guest Worker Program
Last week, the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) took another bold step showing that the Texas Republicans want to lead the way on reasonable and sensible immigration reform laws. The time has come for our nation to address this problem and to do so in a way that respects the rule of law and addresses immigration as a means of economic growth and prosperity for our state and nation. The resolution, overwhelmingly passed by the members of the TFRW board, calls for implementation of a guest worker program similar in nature to "The Texas Solution" platform of the Republican Party of Texas.
"Our goal was to arrive at a reasonable statement, one that actually had the opportunity to be implemented; one that would look at a complete solution for the entire issue. We wanted a policy statement that would encourage good legislation and serve as a deterrent for poor piecemeal legislation,” said TFRW President Carolyn Hodges of Houston.
The resolution calls for securing the borders of the United States, establishing a legally legislated guest worker program and for establishing specific criteria under which young people brought to the U.S. illegally can earn a pathway to legal residency and eventual citizenship.
The statement quickly drew praise from Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and many members of the Texas Legislature. "I am grateful to the TFRW and its leadership for taking a strong stand in favor of immigration reform," said Commissioner Patterson. "Their statement is a strong call to action to our federal lawmakers, and I could not be more pleased at the way in which President Carolyn Hodges and this organization have stepped up to help lead on the issue." State Representative Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock) called the resolution, "Monumentally important!" on his Facebook page.
For over a decade we have been unable to move the ball forward on finding a meaningful and sensible solution to our immigration problem. The result has been a virtual amnesty leaving millions of undocumented people in this country with no means of determining their identity and intent.
A comment made on Facebook by John Paul Garcia said, "Reduced barriers to entry and clear path to gainful employment will reduce crime. Ignorance, crime, and poverty always feed each other. The immigrant is usually first to get blamed."
I spoke with TFRW Secretary, Jan Ott about the resolution. She told me, "TFRW made it a priority early in 2012 to begin working on an Immigration reform policy statement. For nearly a year our TFRW committee met to study the issues and look for workable solutions for the United States immigration policy. There has been no legislation for almost 30 years regarding immigration reform and it is important for our security as well as economic and humanitarian reasons that we pass legislation that is workable and addresses all of these issues. The committee went through a thoughtful and thorough process to develop the TFRW policy statement that is being widely supported by not only our 10,000 member organization but also by elected officials across the state."
Congratulations to the women of the TFRW. Their bold statement will provide the necessary political support for our Texas legislators and Members of Congress to allow them to step up to the proper role of Texans - Leadership!
TEXT OF TFRW RESOLUTION
Texas Federation of Republican Women
Whereas, The Texas Federation of Republican Women appointed a committee to study the issue of immigration, legal and illegal, in the United States and it met this obligation by hearing from and evaluating the positions of experts, recent immigrants, business and land owners, advocates, adversaries and law enforcement;
Whereas, Within the United States there currently reside between nine (9) and fifty (50) million undocumented residents from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and nationalities;
Whereas, Our current immigration policies rely on an antiquated system of geographic quotas and that the federal government has failed to modernize the system with available technology and entrance rubrics that reflect current social, educational and economic requirements and that such an outdated system serves to encourage illegal immigration;
Whereas, The economic, civil and criminal unrest in other countries has had a significant impact on illegal immigration at our borders and the federal government has refused to commit the resources necessary to adequately secure our physical borders;
Whereas, The federal government’s failure to properly secure our borders has led to the unconscionable treatment and death of people entering the United States illegally and the loss of life, liberty and property of American citizens to foreign criminal enterprise;
Whereas, Millions of children brought to this country illegally and who know no country other than America as their home will become adults in this country and, as such, it is in the best interest of these young people and our Nation that they become self-supporting, tax-paying, productive members of our society rather than to allow them to be another disenfranchised generation living in the shadows;
Whereas, We acknowledge the changing demographics of the United States as clearly illustrated by the increased voting strength of minorities and recently naturalized citizens, and the significant role immigrants have played in the history of our country; and
Whereas, The federal government has an urgent obligation to address the issue of immigration in this country; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Texas Federation of Republican Women strongly urges the federal government to expedite the resources necessary to finally secure United States borders;
Resolved, The Texas Federation of Republican Women calls on the federal government to immediately pass legislation and appropriate funds necessary to reform the current immigration system using state-of-the-art technology and create a guest worker program that documents guest workers and their families and requires them to pass health and criminal background checks, to be self-supporting, including the purchase of health and other required insurance, to pay taxes and to demonstrate a working knowledge of English in a reasonable amount of time in order to obtain permanent legal resident status; and
Resolved, The Texas Federation of Republican Women urges the federal government to expeditiously establish criteria for young people in this country illegally through no fault of their own to earn legal resident status or citizenship when they demonstrate English fluency and knowledge of American civics, comply with all health requirements, have no criminal record, graduate from an accredited high school, and pursue a college degree, trade certification or enter into military service.
Adopted by the Texas Federation of Republican Women, this, the 17th day of January, 2013.
Signed by Carolyn Hodges, President, Texas Federation of Republican Women