Despite his well-earned reputation for catering to the far right, Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement in April criticizing Arizona’s draconian new immigration law, saying that “it would not be the right direction for Texas.” But at the Texas Republican state convention yesterday, right-wing activists bucked “Perry by pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration similar to Arizona’s new law“:
The immigration proposal, a hard-line approach that Perry has said isn’t right for Texas, was one of several initiatives debated as delegates wrapped up the two-day convention. The Republican Party platform is a blueprint of the policies that GOP activists want elected officials to pursue.
Delegates voted to include a plank advocating for a state law that would bar illegal immigrants from “intentionally or knowingly” living in Texas. Similar to Arizona’s strict law that has sparked nationwide debate, the proposal would require local police to verify U.S. residency when making arrests.
Perry has said the Arizona law, if adopted in Texas, would unduly burden police.
The convention also saw delegates “ditch their firebrand leader, conservative activist Cathie Adams, in favor of Houston businessman Steve Munisteri.” Adams had recently “angered some GOP activists by declining to release financial information about the party.” Munisteri, who said he “shared many of Adams’ socially conservative views,” “focused his campaign on the party’s $500,000 debt” and said that “Republicans should be in better financial shape since they control both houses of the Legislature and all statewide offices.” Ironically, though the delegates pushed for an Arizona-style law, Munisteri “pledged to reach out to independents, disenchanted Republicans and minority groups, especially the burgeoning Hispanic community, to strengthen the party.”