Texas GOP Immigration Platform - Pandering or Progress
The Republican Party of Texas made, what many are calling, an historic step forward in the debate to solve our nation's broken immigration system last Friday night when it adopted "The Texas Solution" as a new plank in the state party's platform. However, the lengthy floor fight was not the end of the debate. It is, rather, a new beginning where we have proven that reasonable people can come together, with differing opinions, and come together with a solution to move forward. The question is being raised by some - Is this progress, or is it pandering?
The Dallas Morning News, in an editorial yesterday, said Democrats are already claiming the new plank is "nothing more than shameless pandering by a party desperate to address its credibility issue with Hispanics." I can certainly see why they might draw that conclusion. After all, the Democrats sustain their very livelihood by shamelessly pandering to minorities. However, their conclusion is wrong.
Democrats, and more specifically President Obama, have made a lot of promises to Hispanics in regards to immigration reform. But what they have delivered is nothing. Not even a real attempt at delivering anything. So much so that prominent Democrats are expressing frustration with the White House.
In 2010, delegate David Carter (left) and businessman Norman Adams (right) were on opposite sides of the immigration policy debate. Through talking and true listening, they came together on "The Texas Solution". Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson also delivered a powerful message to the delegation.
What they have done, however, is conduct open warfare against Hispanics by deporting more Hispanics, including many US citizens, than any other administration. They have even gone so far as to attack the US Citizenship of elderly Hispanics, according to an article by TexasGOPVote blogger and Latinos Ready to Vote founder, Linda Vega.
Delegate Nelson Spear speaks to the delegation in support of "The Texas Solution".
Texas Republicans have not been pandering with words to Hispanic voters in Texas. They have, rather, been demonstrating through bold action, a set of principles aimed at bringing an end to the decades old debate over illegal immigration and our broken immigration policy. During the last legislative session, HCR88 was proffered by members of the House's Republican Hispanic Conference. HCR 88 provided a solution based process for establishing conservative and economic principles that should be applied to develop both border security and immigration reform.
Von Ormy Mayor, Art Martinez de Vara discusses "The Texas Solution" during Platform Committee hearings.
When members of the Texas platform committee gathered last week, not many believed we could accomplish what we did. But, it became apparent that people are no longer satisfied with angry rhetoric that leaves the status quo in place and offers no solution. Four long days of intense but thoughtful discussion led to a new path for a solution.
Delegate Brad Bailey debates in favor of "The Texas Solution" on the convention floor calling for delegates to listen to facts and not fiction.
On Friday night, LATE Friday night, the discussion was brought to the entire delegation of the Republican Party of Texas. Yes, there was strong debate. Yes, there was opposition. But clearly and overwhelmingly, the delegates of the convention voted loudly to approve the new plank on immigration. Their mandate can now let legislators at the state and federal level know they have our support and approval to move forward with finding a real solution.
Secure the border, develop a new immigration policy that meets the economic and security needs of our nation, provide a guest worker program that serves our agricultural and business needs and deal humanely with the people who have come to our nation to work and who have not committed any other crimes.
The "Texas Solution" is not perfect. Nor is it even a detailed document of what needs to be done. By design, it is a statement of conservative principles that call for a solution that honors the rule of law and meets the economic needs of our businesses and citizens. It is a good program.
Just a few of the people who put in so much hard work to bring "The Texas Solution" to adoption by the convention. (L to R) Anthony Vargas, Norman Adams, Brad Bailey, Art Martinez de Vara, Artemio Muniz and James Barnes.
To our members of Congress and the Texas Legislature - You have a lot of work to do. We stand beside you and support you. Now, get to work!