Former State Rep. Sid Miller, candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, stopped by the GOP Impact booth at the 2014 GOP Convention.
He responded to questions relating to immigration and shared his vision for a plan that he would support, which includes securing the border and implementing a guest worker program. He also discussed the importance of reaching out to the Hispanic community and embracing them into the Republican Party.
“We need to embrace everyone. We need to be open and welcoming with wide, loving arms,” Sid Miller said. “So to do that, we have to appeal to the conservative side of everyone, especially Hispanics in particular. Most of them that I know are pro-life, very conservative, and share our same faith, family values, work ethic, and Texas heritage. So it shouldn’t be too hard. We have to be sensitive to their needs and the things that are important to them. We can do that, and there’s no reason that they shouldn’t be helping us build and expand our party.”
On immigration, Sid Miller explained, “First thing we need to do is seal the border, and we can do that, especially if we make a pathway up here, a guest worker program, that’s legal. Most people would rather come via a legal route than pay a coyote and risk their lives and have to carry a 50-pound bag of dope with them. So we can make that happen. When we do that, pressure on illegal immigration is greatly reduced, making it much easier to secure the border.”
Sid Miller then explained that once the guest worker is in place, “we do a withholding, and when the workers fulfill their obligation of a guest worker program, on their return home, they collect the balance of that.” He explained that this does several things. “It puts everything on top of the table. No more under the table. Employers will like it because they have a dependable workforce. The workers will pay into the system, they’ll pay taxes, they’ll pay social security, the whole deal, so that they’re not a burden on society. Everybody wins and will be competing on a level playing field.”
As the Republican nominee for Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller explained the positive impact a guest worker program would have on the Texas agriculture industry. “In agriculture, 70% of our workforce is migrant workers, some legal and some illegal. Every farmer, rancher, and dairyman that I know would rather have a legal workforce.” (Transcribed by Elissa Stautner)