FORT WORTH, Texas–The Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Convention closed this weekend with many scratching their heads about exactly what passed regarding the immigration plank of the party’s 2014 Platform. One thing is clear: the term “Texas Solution” has been removed from the platform.
After four long days of hearings by the Temporary Platform Subcommittee on Immigration, the Temporary Platform Committee and the Permanent Platform Committee followed by four hours of floor debate on amendments and minority reports, a three-page amendment was offered and eventually passed. The amendment substituted new language and replaced the plank that had been adopted by the Platform Committee and then modified by the delegates.
The amendment was read to the delegates one time by the secretary. There were no printed copies available for delegates to read other than what was read verbally and displayed briefly on the screen. After a series of parliamentary maneuvers, the vote was called and members were advised that this amendment would throw out the previous work of the committee and delegates. The floor vote was too close to call from either a voice or standing vote so RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri called for a roll call vote of the individual Senate District caucuses. This process allows for the caucuses to vote by their authorized voting strength rather than by the number of delegates present at the time. After another thirty minute delay, the amendment passed and debate on any further amendments was cut off.
JoAnn Fleming from the Tyler, Texas area was one of the few to actually be able to read a copy of the amended plank. “What it did,” Fleming began, “was take the good introductory language from the proposed platform about America being exceptional and people wanting to come. And then, it got into stressing how much we need to secure the border first.”
“It had some important language included about the rule of law,” Fleming continued. “It also removed an opportunity for legal status such as work visas and guest worker programs as being a step toward legalization”
Von Ormy, Texas (Near San Antonio) Mayor Art Martinez de Vara served as chairman of the platform subcommittee. Breitbart Texas asked him for his reaction to the approved immigration plank. “I think the tone of the convention shows the party is evenly split,” Martinez de Vara said. “This is a huge difference from four years ago when it was the ‘close the borders and deport everybody party’. So I think the party’s grown tremendously.”
As to the content of the new immigration plank, Martinez de Vara said, “We passed it and now we have to go read it to see what it says.”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.