Amid the chaos of Hurricane Gustav and the feeding frenzy over Gov. Palin, Republicans passed their party platform yesterday. I blogged last week about some of the face-saving maneuvers the GOP was taking in platform negotiations and the unsuccessful effort by a few staunch enforcement Republicans to include language expressly opposing the open-borders euphemism, “comprehensive immigration reform.” Stephen Spruiell reports on the deal-making that led to the final results and notes that on immigration, there is “a significant shift from the 2004 platform, which brushed aside conservative concerns about immigration and called for the creation of temporary worker program and a path to citizenship.”
That’s good news. Now, whether the man at the top of the GOP ticket will stay in line with the party is another matter. Juan Hernandez is still a part of his team, but there have been some assurances that Gov. Palin is on the right side of the issue. Ultimately, it will be up to grass-roots conservatives to hold all of these R’s accountable. Palin is a plus, but we haven’t forgotten McShamnesty. I’m excerpting and reprinting the relevant part of the GOP platform section on immigration here. Make sure it doesn’t remain just a bunch of words on a page:
Immigration, National Security, and the Rule of Law
(View entire platform here)
Immigration policy is a national security issue, for which we have one test: Does it serve the national interest? By that standard, Republicans know America can have a strong immigration system without sacrificing the rule of law.
Enforcing the Rule of Law at the Border and Throughout the Nation
Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people. We simply must be able to rack who is entering and leaving our country.
Our determination to uphold the rule of law begins with more effective enforcement, giving our agents the tools and resources they need to protect our sovereignty, completing the border fence quickly and securing the borders, and employing complementary strategies to secure our ports of entry.
Experience shows that enforcement of existing laws is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration.
Our commitment to the rule of law means smarter enforcement at the workplace, against illegal
workers and lawbreaking employers alike, along with those who practice identity theft and traffic in
fraudulent documents. As long as jobs are available in the United States, economic incentives to enter illegally will persist. But we must empower employers so they can know withire are permitted to work. That means that the E-Verify system—which is an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees—must be reauthorized. A phased-in requirement that employers use the E-Verify system must be enacted.
The rule of law means guaranteeing to law enforcement the tools and coordination to deport criminal aliens without delay — and correcting court decisions that have made deportation so difficult. It
means enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas, rather than letting millions flout the generosity that gave them temporary entry. It means imposing maximum penalties on those
who smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S., both for their lawbreaking and for their cruel exploitation. It means requiring cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement and real consequences, including the denial of federal funds, for self-described sanctuary cities, which stand in open defiance of the federal and state statutes that expressly prohibit such sanctuary policies, and which endanger the lives of U.S. citizens. It does not mean driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, nor does it mean that illegal aliens should receive social security benefits, or other public benefits, except as provided by federal law.
We oppose amnesty. The rule of law suffers if government policies encourage or reward illegal activity. The American people’s rejection of en masse legalizations is especially appropriate given the federal government’s past failures to enforce the law.