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Texas Republicans’ immigration reform stance may alienate Hispanics voters

June 11th, 2010 . by TexasFred
Texas Republicans’ immigration reform stance may alienate Hispanics voters

AUSTIN – The Texas Republican Party, on the topic of immigration reform, already eschews any shade of gray in its red, white and blue platform: It begins: “No amnesty! No how. No way.”

But this week, conservative stalwarts, pushed by passage of Arizona’s tough new law and angered by Washington inertia, are meeting in Dallas to demand that Texas act on a topic that could help define the party for this election and potentially hobble it in future ones.

About 12,000 Republican delegates are coming to Dallas for the state GOP convention Friday and Saturday. And between the long hours of rallying, listening to state leaders and preparing for the November election, delegates will determine their policy goals and how to hold their elected officials accountable for accomplishing them.

And while there is much to unify the Republican Party – holding every statewide office and record-breaking turnout in the March primary – a long-term worry lingers for the GOP: that its strident language on immigration will alienate Hispanic voters, the fastest-growing part of the electorate.

Full Story Here:
Texas Republicans’ immigration reform stance may alienate Hispanics voters

Immigration reform is a dirty word here in Texas. In most circles, those words, immigration reform, almost immediately conjure up mental images that make Conservatives think amnesty.

What’s to reform? Enforcement, that’s the ticket. Maybe pass something even more stringent than we already have. Maybe something similar to Arizona immigration law SB1070.

Oh, but wait, Gov. Goodhair, uh, Rick Perry for you folks not from Texas, has already made this statement: Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement he released late Thursday that portions of Arizona’s tough immigration law concern him and that “it would not be the right direction for Texas.�? Perry against Arizona law for Texas

Gov. Goodhair doesn’t want to offend any potential Hispanic voters I think.

“Democrats fall on their knees every night and pray the Dallas convention brings these issues to the forefront,” said Jerry Polinard, a political science professor at the University of Texas-Pan American. “It’s a scenario that could have been written by Democratic strategists.”

Perhaps Polinard is correct. I do know this, the BIG TENT politics people in the GOP are willing to do, try and accept anything that will keep them in the mainstream. It sure makes it hard for a former Dixiecrat turned Reagan Conservative turned Conservative libertarian to support the GOP though.

Personally, I don’t care who gets alienated, the law is very clear regarding illegal immigrants and the definition of the word ILLEGAL is NOT open to interpretation. ILLEGAL, against the law. How can it be made any more simple?

In the last 15 years, Republicans have pushed two major immigration initiatives – a crackdown on services for illegal immigrants in California under Gov. Pete Wilson and an effort to offer them a path to citizenship during George W. Bush’s presidency. The anger surrounding those debates eroded GOP inroads among Hispanic voters, and many Republican strategists are concerned about new fallout from the Arizona law.

The Texas Republican delegates appear ready to stir the volatile brew.

If you want to see Texas Conservatives in open rebellion, try and push an amnesty policy off on us, hell hath NO fury. Trust me!

Delegates will debate whether to add a demand for an Arizona-type law, under which police could question the legal status of those stopped for other infractions. They will also push to rescind the Texas law that allows the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition. Others, though, will try to persuade the party to take a gentler stance.

“It will be one of the big topics,” said delegate Leo Berman, a House member from Tyler who said he will introduce Arizona-style legislation when the Legislature convenes in January.

The need is all the more pressing, he said, because Arizona, Minnesota and other states already “are passing good illegal alien bills. As a result, they’re migrating to Texas.”

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