KUT News: For Texas GOP, A New Position On Immigration Reform

On June 9, 2012 Morgan Smith and Julian Aguilar (Texas Tribune) wrote:

Late Friday night, Texas Republicans approved an unprecedented change to their official party platform: a call for a national guest-worker program.

The more moderate language is a welcoming gesture to Hispanics who have avoided the GOP because of what they view as its hardline position on immigration issues.

“It takes away a tool that Democrats have used for years to drive a wedge between conservative Hispanics and Republicans,” said TexasGOPvote.com’s Bob Price, who is also a delegate at the Republican Party’s state convention.The platform, which is not binding, is more of a political statement than a rulebook and often ends up advertising the state party’s most radical views. That means the new philosophy won’t necessarily translate to new policy — in fact, a state guest worker bill carried by two Republican legislators failed to pass last session. But it does reflect a concrete effort to reach out to Hispanic voters, which may come at the expense of irking the party’s conservative activists. It passed the floor of the convention after many delegates resisted what they called a watering down of conservative principles.

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