Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – “There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own. But there is also a broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who called the policy move ‘welcomed news’ for undocumented children and teenagers in legal limbo.
But let me also explain why it is important for Republicans in Texas to take the reins of the “Immigration Issue” and not let disgruntled bloggers, columnists and outsiders ruin what Republicans in Texas have been working for in the last two years.
Let’s start by saying that Dream Act is, whether democrat or Republican, good public policy for the United States. And if according to the PEW, 91% of Latinos support the legislation, even Republican Hispanic should see the new Napolitano’s Memo, or the de facto Dream Act, as good news for young Latinos who for years have campaign for it, even if it is ”political.”
For one thing, many of those who have been labeling Obama’s plan as “amnesty” are the same ones that last week called the Texas Solution “amnesty.”
Those who called the new memo “amnesty” are the same ones who accused President Bush of working for “amnesty” in 2006-07. These are the same ones that assailed Gov. Perry for supposedly creating “magnets” for “illegals” when he supported the Texas Dream Act, which passed by 97% of the Texas Legislature and was signed by Perry. Essentially, these are the same critics that each time Republicans have tried to offer a solution for immigration, these blogger/columnists accused Republican officials of offering or secretly working for “amnesty”—whatever that means.
But they never talk about problems that the state of Texas faces without immigrant workers?
As part of States rights, Texas has worked to manage its own affairs by attempting to overhaul issues related to immigration. However, the state Legislature and Republicans in the state, and now the Party Platform, have been repeatedly targeted by the Heritage Foundation, National Review, and from outside interests, when Texas refuses to act in the same fashion as Arizona or Alabama.
The main reason that these interest groups and writers chastise Texas and its legislature on immigration is simply because they do not care about the economic future of Texas, or the Future of the Republican Party in Texas with Latinos. So they rally against Republicans when Texas wants draft and pass sound immigration policies that can lead to competitive state in near future.
Consequently, it is imperative that Republicans in the state do not allow the newly created Republican Texas Solution to be thrown off and let those special interest groups taint with “amnesty” labels something that is pragmatic.
Gov. Perry has publicly defended the “Texas DREAM Act” at a GOP presidential debate, where he famously said, “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is spearheading the proposal by agriculture commissioners from 15 southern states that asks for more legal workers and a path to “conditional status” for illegal immigrants.
Texas Land Commissions Jerry Patterson also worked tirelessly with Latinos Republican organizations to draft the Texas Solution for a guest-worker bill. Therefore, Texas can lead Republicans nationwide on this issue if Republicans in the state do not allow some anti-immigrant group to sabotage their hard work to bring a reasonable immigration solution to the table. But we also have to recognized that there groups that have made millions on opposing what Texas supports.
For example, those working against the Dream Act in the Heritage and National Review (NR)—just to mention few– are the same one that for years has attacked any Republican attempt to overhaul immigration in Texas. For instance, the National Review is calling the new dream act Memo by Obama Illegal Amnesty. But the NR also called the Republican Texas Dream Act that “in-state-tuition in Texas is like handing out amnesties, you inevitably create more incentives for illegal entry”; or they too called it Texas’s mini-amnesty.
How about the when Gingrich proposed a solution for those who have roots—20 years– and family in the US. Again, Gingrich was accused by all writers at the NR of promoting “amnesty”. Or, how about when Bush wanted to pass his immigration bill, Bush was also harassed by those in the NR. Essentially, the NR has an agenda: let’s not offers solutions and let’s just call everything “amnesty.” The Heritage Foundation does the same, which is why Kris Koback has become a household name for both publications.
I can name more organizations but by now we all know who they are. The point is that nothing will ever be good enough for them, so they make it a point to harass Republicans who want to support any sound solutions important for the Texas.
More importantly, it is clear that Heritage and NR have one thing in common: attack and oppose Texas Republicans on immigration solutions to immigration, and never deal with the reasons why Texas acts alone to fix immigration. But the fact is Texas needs young workers, high-skilled workers, and agricultural workers. The “Anglo” population of the states is aging quietly and the only this that will help this is replenish it by educating the young Hispanic and accelerating the integrating of Mexican/Latino immigration already residing in the state. But the NR of the Heritage never talk about this.
According to attorney Art Martinez, and those who successfully managed to pass the Texas Solution, was that it was a plan designed to provide Texas with the necessary foreign workers, especially those already that have roots in the state. So, for a week, we have been praising the Texas Solution, which also was attacked as “amnesty.” Additionally, Texas Attorney General Abbot has defended the Top Ten Percent Plan because the policy needs to be left intact and further increased to woo Latinos into higher education institutions.
The Republican Legislature in Texas is aware of the disparities, which is why Republican politicians have promoted this policy since George W. Bush was Governor, and when Perry took over as Governor.
If we consider that there is a disparity in the education of Latinos and the large aging population of “Anglos” in Texas, then UT needs to make more room for young Latinos and to turn them into high-income tax payers to subsidize services for aging “Anglos.” Republican legislators are correctly enacting laws to entice Latinos into higher learning institutions so as to keep the future of the state economically strong by investing in future generations, as was the case with Top 10% Plan and in-state tuition for undocumented students.
But the Heritage or the NR and the likes have never written about this. Economically speaking, these types of policies like the “Top Ten Plan” are not policies born out the need for diversity but out of necessity; hence, the State and Republican legislators enacted laws that are intended to do secure the future of Texas.
Moreover, those writers at the National Review and The Heritage want to attack Texas Republicans for proposing sound immigration policies, but those same writers do not care that we are running out of workers to pay into Social Security and Medicare. They additionally don’t care about the Republican Party of Texas.
Do they really care that the democrats are the beneficiaries of anti-immigration literature promoted by both the Heritage and National Review.
The answer is no. They don’t care about the Texas economy, they don’t care about the fact that Texas is not getting enough workers to pay for services provided to aging “Anglos,” and they don’t care if we have enough Mexicans laborers to harvest Texas farms, and they don’t care that the Republican Party in few years may lose it majority if the majority Latinos turn democrat because the tone on immigration.
Therefore, Texas Republicans should not be intimated by those signaling the old “amnesty” tune. Texas Republicans needs to solidify its leadership on immigration and follow through with the Texas Solution that will give Texas the necessary low-skilled workers.
Texas also needs a highly educated population hat can only come from the Latino community since they soon will be the majority in the state. Those writers at the National Review and the Heritage Foundation were never happy Bush, Perry, and Gingrich on immigration, it is as though they are betting on the failure of Texas since Texas has and will depend on immigrant workers for a longtime to keep the state competitive.
So let’s make certain that Republicans push for The Texas Solution, and that Mr. Patterson and land Commissioner Todd Staples, in concert with Gov. Perry and the Texas Republican Legislature, do not to give in to pressure from outside interests, and that they continue taking the Leadership on immigration.
The Dream Act’s new memo is a pragmatic policy, and so is the Texas Solution. Lets not allow Immigration to be a diversion from building a real future for Texas competiveness.
Alex Gonzalez is Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote.