California Republicans face a tough platform fight over immigration policy at this weekend’s state GOP convention in Anaheim.
A spirited effort is under way to remove the hardline language of the current platform’s immigration plank, and replace it with much softer language that would represent a significant shift in the state GOP’s position.
Currently, the platform reads (in part):
We affirm our country’s absolute right to control its borders. We support legal immigration and the immigration laws which are already in place, and call on the government to enforce all laws on the issue. To take any other position would be a great unfairness to those who have complied with the legal system, and would expose California’s citizens to national security risks.
An excerpt from the proposed new language reads: “We believe that only after the border is secured and the legal immigration system modernized, can we as a nation address the complicated issue of what to do with the millions of otherwise law-abiding folks who are currently here illegally. Like all Americans, Republicans hold diverse views on this issue.”
The platform–the party’s foundational statement of principles and key policy positions–is reviewed and updated every four years. The review process began earlier this year, and will culminate with a full platform committee meeting on Saturday, and a vote on the final document on the convention floor on Sunday.
For decades, the party’s platform has been a very conservative document, across the board. The elected drafting committee has advanced a document for consideration by the platform committee Saturday that largely maintains the status quo–except on immigration.
Also headlining the a party confab will be former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who will speak Friday at lunch; Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, who will speak at lunch Saturday; and John Bolton, former Ambassador to the United Nations, who will headline Saturday night’s dinner banquet.
Originally, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had RSVP’d to speak at the Saturday dinner event, but a few days ago Walker’s campaign abruptly canceled his appearance.
Also taking place at the convention are some minor party office elections, various workshops and training events, and hospitality suites and parties for delegates and their guests to enjoy.
Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor of Breitbart California. A longtime participant, observer and chronicler of California politics, Jon is also the publisher at www.flashreport.org. His column appears weekly on this page. You can reach Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Disclaimer: Fleischman is an elected member of the California Republican Party’s Platform Committee.