Texas GOP backs a hard line against illegal immigration

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from Dallas Morning News,

State GOP delegates struck a sweeping and passionate stance against illegal immigration in a platform adopted Saturday that calls for no amnesty, a verified secured border and penalties for employers who knowingly hire immigrants in the country illegally.

In hours-long debate, hardliner delegates won the day, making it clear they are frustrated and want to send a clear message to discourage anyone who enters the nation illegally.

“Just as we should not negotiate with terrorists … we should not negotiate or accommodate people who are not respecting our laws,” said Ivette Lozano, a delegate from Dallas.

The platform calls for securing the border, using fencing, electronics and Texas law enforcement.

It returned language that had been stripped out two years ago that calls for ending in-state college tuition for the children of those in the country illegally. It also would prohibit cities from having rules that could prevent police from questioning the citizenship status of those they encounter.

It also calls for penalties against businesses that knowingly hire immigrants in the country illegally.

“The federal government is not going to do this for us,” delegate Terry Holgren said in support of the tougher stance. “We need to stop illegal immigration that puts our people at risk and puts our welfare system [in danger of] going broke,” Holgren said.

Democrats blasted their Republican rivals for passing a platform that “continues to be against voter rights, Texas women and Texas Latinos.”

“The platform debate has proved once again that compassionate conservatism and the pragmatic Republican Party are no more. The process has been more about masking bigotry than eliminating it,” said Democratic Party spokesman Emmanuel Garcia.

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