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Guest-workers, Citizenship Path Not Amnesty in GOP Platform


Beginning Monday, with President Bush’s Monday-night speech proposed immigration reforms in the nation’s capitol have pushed the Republican Party to the brink. Sitting in the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Republican Party on Wednesday, I couldn’t help but ask where all the venom over the issue was when the GOP endorsed a guest-worker program as part of its platform in 2004.

Republican memories seem anything but elephant-like. Just two years ago, the Party adopted a platform which endorsed, “reforming the immigration system to ensure that it is legal, safe, orderly and humane.” The GOP officially stood behind, “a new temporary worker program that applies when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs,” and a pathway to citizenship for these workers that, by allowing equal footing with immigrants who are not here yet, is even more liberal than that proposed in the U.S. Senate.

What’s more, the 2004 GOP Platform came out against an amnesty program, “because it would have the effect of encouraging illegal immigration and would give an unfair advantage to those who have broken our laws.”

So the official position of the Republican Party is that neither a guest-worker program or a pathway to citizenship are considered “amnesty”—because how could you be for something before you are against it? Only Democrats do that!

Well, maybe. Unfortunately for Republicans in the U.S. House, the conservative blogosphere and talk radio hosts, 2004 was also the year the GOP also came out against tolerating dissension. The Platform committee rejected a proposal for a “Party Unity Plank” by the Republican Youth Majority, Log Cabin and Republicans For Choice which, had it been approved, would have said, “We recognize and respect that Republicans of good faith may not agree with all the planks in the party’s platform… The Republican Party welcomes all people on all sides of these complex issues and encourages their active participation as we work together on those issues upon which we agree.”

So for everyone who’s calling President Bush, Senator John McCain and others working to pass Immigration Reform “un-Republican” or worse yet, “un-American”, you’d better think again or perhaps speak again. The Republican Party – officially – does not welcome you!

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 8:48 AM | Permalink

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