Bloomberg: Texas GOP Shift May Show Way Out of Immigration Stalement

Reported June 28, 2012:

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson rose nervously to urge Republicans at the state party’s convention to support a national guest-worker program for millions of undocumented residents.

Two years earlier, the party that dominates the second-most populous state had called for a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

“‘Well, here’s the end of a political career,’” Patterson said, recalling his thought as he looked over the June 8 gathering in the Fort Worth Convention Center. Instead, the delegates passed the platform with the guest-worker plan.

In Texas, the state with the second-largest illegal- immigrant population, Republicans have softened their stance toward them. The vote reflected a more pragmatic view of years past, such as when Governor Rick Perry signed a first-in-the- nation 2001 law that gave undocumented residents in-state tuition rates at public colleges. It preceded a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that voided most of an Arizona law cracking down on people in the country illegally.

“I’m no bleeding heart; I oppose birthright citizenship,” said Patterson, 65, whose elected office controls state lands and mineral rights. “But we need the labor.”

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USA Today: Immigration issues touch many denominations

Bob Smietana writes:

NASHVILLE – The Bible tells its readers to obey the law, but it also tells them to welcome strangers and foreigners.

That has left some Christians divided over the issue of immigration reform.

Members of Clergy for Tolerance, based here, say new immigration laws have to mix justice with compassion.

But supporters of measures such as Alabama’s say the Bible teaches that the government’s job is to enforce the law, and those who break it should be punished. The American Center for Law and Justice, a Christian legal group, filed a brief in federal court supporting the Alabama law.

That measure, which the Obama administration is challenging, prohibits undocumented immigrants from entering into “business transactions” with the state, requires police to check immigration status during traffic stops and makes it a crime for U.S. citizens to knowingly assist undocumented immigrants. Read more …