Marshall, MN – Cafe Con Leche Republicans today praised the Republican Party of Texas for a major platform revision on immigration, from a harsh enforcement-only stance to a reform stance. The “Texas Solution” proposes a major overhaul of our nation’s legal immigration system to address major shortcomings in guest worker programs, while also providing for a sensible path to legality for millions of undocumented immigrants. The path to legalization is neither mass amnesty or mass deportation, and seeks to strike a balance between accountability and the needs of our economy. If President Obama and Congress could ‘get their act together’ as Texas Republicans were able to in revising the platform, then our broken immigration system could be fixed.
The “Texas Solution” also puts a different face on the Republican Party, which in recent years has been incorrectly perceived as anti-immigrant, sometimes even anti-Latino, when various polls have consistently shown a slight majority of Republicans favor immigration reform including a path to legalization. For example, a fairly comprehensive poll by PEW Research from May 2011 found that every Republican or Republican-leaning ideological grouping favored immigration reform except “staunch conservatives”, which was evenly split 49%/49%.
We recognize that the “Texas Solution” required compromise to ensure approval, and we are not in complete agreement with every section. In particular, we do not agree with the section on birthright citizenship:
Birthright Citizenship – We call on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States to clarify Section 1 of the 14th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States with no exceptions.
Changing the constitution cannot be done through “interpretation” when the 14th amendment is crystal clear, confirmed by over 100 years of court interpretations have confirmed the current interpretation. There has not been any misinterpretation of the 14th amendment, and in fact birthright citizenship was the ‘rule of law’ before our nation was even founded, except for children born of slaves who were not considered citizens under English common law and the infamous Dredd Scott Supreme Court decision.
No credible study shows that birthright citizenship is a major driver behind illegal immigration, and demographers who have interviewed thousands of unauthorized immigrants have consistently found that the desire to work or reunify with family are the key drivers of illegal immigration. Repealing birthright citizenship would have unintended consequences, such as creating multi-generation illegal immigration. Repealing birthright citizenship will also result in stateless individuals, since not all nations consider offspring of their citizens born abroad to be citizens. Potentially the U.S. could end up creating individuals who are nations of no nation, and then where would we deport them?
About Us – Cafe Con Leche Republicans is a national organization of Republicans who welcome “New Americans”, defined as immigrants and family of recent immigrants. Our mission is to make America and the GOP, more welcoming to “New Immigrants” through political activism, “in-reach” and education within the Republican Party, and lobbying government to adopt more immigrant friendly policies. We also seek to bring more conservative and moderate “New Americans” to the Republican Party. These efforts will strengthen the GOP, and lead more Republicans to embrace welcoming policies for immigrants and their families. We have chapters in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, and California. Our members and leadership are predominantly Hispanic, though we define ourselves by mission and guiding principles, not ethnicity, and we welcome all who share our goals. Our leadership is 100% Republican.