CLEVELAND—The Republican Party Platform approved by the Platform Committee this week in Cleveland adopted Donald Trump’s call for a security wall on America’s southern border as part of the solution to the nation’s broken immigration system, as well as safeguarding national security.
Republican Party staffers prepare a first draft of the platform for delegates to use as a starting point for debate, a draft based on the previous convention’s platform (in this case, the 2012 platform), updated to account for current issues. These staffers had already included language in the first draft calling for “construction of a physical barrier” on what it called “our vulnerable borders.”
But some delegates noted that a “physical barrier” could mean all manner of things, from a chain-link fence, to a series three-foot high concrete blocks like Americans typically see on construction sites or around sensitive government buildings. The delegates decided to remove all ambiguity, replacing it with Donald Trump’s words, calling for the construction of a “wall.”
The platform specifies that the security wall should secure “the entirety of the Southern Border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—a prominent constitutional lawyer and former law professor whom some conservatives in Cleveland this week hope to see considered for U.S. attorney general in a Trump administration—introduced the amendment to explicitly call for an actual wall.
Kobach was one of the elected officials who endorsed Trump early in the primary process, in large part due to Trump’s strong stand on securing the border. “For me, the most important issue in the Republican presidential contest is immigration and its effect on our national security,” Kobach said on February 29, when he announced his endorsement.
“On that issue Mr. Trump stands head and shoulders above the other candidates.”
“Our porous borders constitute a huge national security threat,” Kobach’s statement continued, “and our refugee system has been abused by terrorists in the past and is likely to be abused by ISIS terrorists today.”
America’s immigration crisis is also an economic issue, Kobach noted, as “too many Americans are out of work because of illegal immigration.”
This border wall amendment was one of many that Kobach successfully added to the draft platform this week, working with other conservative leaders among the delegates.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart News today, Kobach explained, “The border wall needs to be a real wall, not a fake ‘wall’ consisting of sensors in the ground.” The time for action has come, he added, because, “The American people have been wanting this for years. If Mr. Trump is elected, it will finally happen.”
The platform will be formally adopted in its final form by the Platform Committee on Monday, and then presented to the full Republican National Convention and the GOP’s presidential nominee.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.