The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that several delegates have complained that the provision amounts to “amnesty” and doesn’t send the message that “illegal immigration is illegal and shouldn’t be tolerated.”
While Texas Republicans have pledged to focus on outreach to immigrant communities, their gubernatorial nominee, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has pushed anti-immigrant policies and once described South Texas as a “Third World country.”
The GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Dan Patrick, has railed against the “illegal invasion,” linking undocumented immigrants to rape, murder and terrorism. He also accused immigrants of “bringing Third World diseases with them.”
“They threaten your family. They threaten your life. They threaten your business. They threaten our state,” he said.
One prominent Latino Republican activist blasted Patrick and dubbed him “the Pete Wilson of Texas,” adding: “I don't know of one Hispanic Republican who isn’t appalled by Dan Patrick.”
Among those advocating for the return to more hardline language is the Texas Eagle Forum, the group led by former state GOP chairwoman Cathie Adams. Its proposed resolution on “amnesty” explicitly opposes reform efforts:
WHEREAS, The United States takes in more legal immigrants than any nation in the world;
WHEREAS, according to recent estimates, 11-20 million people are in the U.S. illegally; and WHEREAS, illegal employment and illegal immigration have a negative effect on American workers actively seeking jobs, and taxpayers who are saddled with paying illegals’ healthcare, education and welfare benefits;
WHEREAS, President Obama and many Congressional leaders are calling for amnesty for the 11-20 million illegal immigrants, thereby negating millions of immigrants who have been patiently waiting to be admitted legally to the United States.
THEREFORE BE IT IS RESOLVED that we reject any and all calls for blanket or incremental amnesty and encourage the enforcement of existing state and federal laws regarding border security, national security, immigration and employment.
Adams is especially worried that immigration reform will bring about the End Times: