The flag “Don’t Tread on Me,” with the snake coiled and ready to strike, came to life and struck the Hispanic Republican movement in Texas. Tea Party and Libertarian factions of the “Republican” Party, coordinated a successful campaign to reverse course on the historic 2012 immigration plank in the Republican Party Platform.
Today, Texas Republicans amended the immigration plank, striking many key components including the demand to create a modernized social security card to prevent fraud, and eliminating any possibility for a currently illegal resident to gain any legal status.
In short, no solution for the millions of undocumented living among us. Instead, the far right would prefer to “enforce our laws,” which simply means, deportation.
The Platform committee, members from across the state, elected by Senate Caucus and charged with the development of a final Platform, worked for an entire week, debating some nights past midnight. They created a workable plan for solving our immigration problems, but their recommendation was only temporary, as it had to survive several amendments and minority reports.
Confusion was rampant, and countless times, delegates rose to ask questions about what they were voting for. Debate would begin, then a point of order would follow. Several people rose to speak on this toxic issue, but it seemed clear the Tea Party had a tactic to use their own Hispanics to drive the nail in the coffin. They spoke of how their parents waited, and came legally, which drew cheers and applause. They were women, who also evoked emotion with a story of an illegal immigrant who ran over and drug a US Citizen. Fear drove their campaign.
Today, we Hispanic activists…the ones on the front lines, trying to be the face of the Party and recruit Conservative Hispanics, were effectively told, “Thanks…but no thanks!” We already draw criticism from our own families and friends. We are called “sell-outs” and “Coconuts” because of our affiliation with the Republican Party. We fade the heat, and we hoped our Party would stand with us, but it didn’t.
We keep talking about future demographics of Texas, and the Hispanic majority. We say, “We need to do more to attract Conservative Hispanics…the ones with family values and Christian faith.” But what do we do? We alienate them by sending the signal Republicans want to deport your illegal family members and friends. How’s that for family values?
The opposition reminded me of the Muslim Extremists who will lie without remorse if it means advancing their cause. Friends told me of emails they received with fear-based rhetoric, including lies about the content of the platform. Other Hispanic Activists were threatened with violence and verbally assaulted, reminiscent of the threats made to Blacks who were not wanted in White cities after dark.
Am I mad? You bet I am.
I know some of you will say I’m just a one-issue guy, but I’m not. This one issue though, carries a lot of weight. Don’t worry though. They can’t run me off.