Updated 06/11/2012 06:55 PM
Hispanic leaders react to Texas GOP immigration platform
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A majority of Texas conservatives have spoken.
The new platform for the Texas Republican Party includes a guest worker program and again, calls for eliminating birthright citizenship to people born in America to parents who are non-citizens.
The platform reads:
"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."
The party’s platform on immigration, approved at the convention over the weekend, outlines a guest worker program that would be paid for through fees and fines.
"I think that Hispanic organizations will now listen to Republicans in Texas when we tell them why they should vote Republican," Republican House District 15 Delegate Norman Adams said.
Esther Reyes with the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition says while the platform shows some progress within the party, the stance on birthright citizenship carried over from its 2010 platform, is excessive.
“It’s only right and it’s only fair that, if we are using them for their labor, that they not only have temporary protection when they’re here working,” she said. “Knowing that they’re not going to be deported, or that they’re going to be able to come home to their children, but also that they can have a future here in this country,” she said.
Andy Martinez, who heads the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, sees it slightly differently.
“I think that a guest worker program would certainly go a long way in providing --because a lot of the folks that come here don’t want to necessarily become citizens,” Martinez said. "They want to come here and earn some money so they can take care of their families.”
Both the chamber and the coalition are non-partisan.
“We don’t believe that any particular party is going to bring the change that we need in this country,” Reyes said.
The party platforms can influence policy, but on their own, are simply agreed-upon views of various issues within the parties.
Click the links to read the Republican and Democrat party platforms.