Late afternoon on Saturday, June 7, 2014, a message resonated loudly at the Republican Party of Texas 2014 Convention, a message to all Texas elected officials and to the “Inside the Beltway” DC political elite: Place Americans first. Secure our borders. Uphold current U.S. laws.
Prologue to an Amnesty Nightmare: The 2012 Pro-amnesty plank, the “Texas Solution.”
In 2012, the powerful Texas construction industry and Republican Party influentials like Bob Perry Homes, Weekly Homes, political MD Steve Hotze and Texas GOP Vote founder Norm Adams crafted what was to become the "Texas Solution" a policy advocating for an illegal-alien legalization which would allow for an unfettered flood of temporary foreign workers into Texas. It was not marketed as a bid by employers to displace American workers with cheap foreign labor, but that’s what it was. Rather, it was sold under the “secure the border first” gambit, something we’ve heard since the last major amnesty in 1986.
The special interest power-brokers were successful in adding the Texas Solution to the Texas Republican platform in 2012 – a direct and indirect accomplishment made possible by millions of dollars in contributions from the pro-amnesty cartels like the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) and some wealthy members. (Two years ago, GHP joined Obama’s lawsuit against Arizona.)
Suspiciously similar to Obama’s public amnesty plan published in 2011, Obama’s “Immigration Blueprint,” the Texas Solution possessed all of the ingredients for an unfettered flow of illegal alien “workers” into Texas and America. But this year, grassroots activists like me geared up to strip the Texas Solution plank in the name of protecting American workers.
Thursday night, June 5th: Minority Report provides hope
The Platform Committee met to decide on the final planks of the Platform, which would serve as guidelines for the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) for the next two years. A critical moment arose when a Committeewoman introduced substitute immigration wording that would have replaced the committee’s reconfigured Texas Solution wording. But, the substitute failed on a tie vote. Swiftly, Committeeman “TJ” requested an infrequently-used parliamentary procedure, called a Minority Report. Accepted, he readily obtained the required 7 signatures and five additional signatures, including Committeeman “Mark,” who would later commit the unthinkable.
Friday, June 6th: The education of the Texas Delegate.
Daybreak came, and along with it, a renewed sense of determination among opponents who had learned once again from the previous evening that the pro-amnesty millionaire machine and Platform Committee Chair with ties to the Texas Solution proved to be a formidable opponent. Activists went to work immediately.
Throughout the day, thousands of flyers on border enforcement and “Texas Families First” were distributed as delegates streamed in. Elsewhere, Tea Parties from all around Texas hosted exhibit displays coached delegates on how to take a stand against the Texas Solution.
The well-funded Texas Solution group had an extravagant exhibit which took up a large footprint in the center of the exhibit hall where they were spinning a “New Immigration Platform Plank” for delegates. They had scrapped all references to the increasingly unpopular “Texas Solution” brand and re-packaged it as a seemingly kinder and gentler platform, even though it sold the same pro-amnesty bill of goods. And the Trojan horse was a ”provisional visa program” – all carefully woven with buzz words that appealed to conservatives, but are clearly unenforceable.
Saturday, June 7th: “The Fix” was in!
Unbeknownst to all but the elite establishment of the RPT the fix was in to defeat TJ’s Minority Report. Behind closed doors the platform chairman, committeeman “Mark,” and other Texas Solution proponents crafted a plan to quickly defeat the Minority Report upon introduction to the entire delegation on Saturday.
TJ, who drafted and filed the Minority Report, soon learned that committeeman “Mark” would introduce his version of the Minority Report to the floor, which contained the devastating worker Visa language of the “New Immigration Platform Plank.” The RPT leadership allowed the committee chair to co-opt the integrity of the process by performing political chicanery in the selection of this particular presenter. TJ took to the microphone to protest, but RPT Chairman Munisteri shut him down.
Selecting Mark, in lieu of TJ, with his report’s alternate plank, proved to be successful in stopping the gambit. The reaction from the floor was swift and decisive. Grassroots opponents vocally opposed the alternate report while the supporters of the original Texas Solution came to the microphone and successfully confused the issue. Delegates ended up defeating the Minority Report before lunch break.
Checkmate for Grassroots Texas?
A small group of Grassroots delegates caucused during lunch break to determine how to introduce their amendment, which would remove any references to the 2012 Texas Solution from the 2014 platform. But their effort was voted down when delegates returned to the floor. The Grassroots opposition went silent and the Texas Solution contingent celebrated once more.
Amazingly and unbeknownst to everyone with the exception of delegate “Peter”, RPT Chairman Munisteri introduced one more amendment to the heretofore unsinkable new version of the Texas Solution. This new amendment incorporated some conciliatory language followed by almost every essential provision of the original Minority Report!
The pro-amnesty barons reacted angrily and vociferously, but the Grassroots quickly displayed their handheld “YES” signs, signaled thumbs-up and sent group text messages telling other delegates this was a good amendment!
Almost an hour passed with numerous, impassioned statements from the floor of support -- one from a naturalized citizen, another from myself, the daughter of an immigrant -- and statements in opposition. With the “calling of the question” each senatorial district caucused its delegates to determine how each district would vote. The final roll call was 4,763 for Peter’s amendment and 3,735 against. We won and the well-financed pro-amnesty gang learned their reworded amnesty plan would not fool Texans.
From our travels across much of America on behalf of The Remembrance Project we have spoken to thousands of Americans who have told us, almost without exception, that America is looking toward Texas to lead the way in stopping illegal immigration into our country. We took a decisive step in that direction by throwing out the Texas Solution.
Our Grassroots victory will be seen in the future as being one of those water shed moments when the will of the people prevailed over yet another enemy within. This enemy being a well-financed and well-organized propaganda arm of those who would sacrifice America’s job opportunities and safety to line the pockets of unscrupulous employers that have come to depend upon illegal workers and guest workers.
Let it be known that on June 7, 2014, Texas has spoken and Texans are willing to lead the fight for our country, our families, our jobs, our safety, and our uniquely American culture! Every individual is needed in this battle. May God bless Texas and God bless America!
Maria Espinoza is a first generation American. Her father emigrated - the right way - from Mexico. She and her husband, Tim, co-founded The Remembrance Project in order to bring attention to the tragedies caused by lawlessness and an uncontrolled border. Their flagship project, the “Stolen Lives Quilt” memorializes those killed by illegal aliens - Americans who are permanently separated from their families through no fault of their own. The Remembrance Project has directors in 21 states and is growing. For those interested in furthering its work, visit www.TheRemembranceProject.org.
Updated: Wed, May 31st 2017 @ 3:15pm EDT