Republicans ratified a Party platform this week that reversed the pro-amnesty plank President Bush laid out in the 2004 platform. The platform states that the GOP opposes amnesty, supports border security, and calls for "smarter" interior enforcement against illegal workers and lawbreaking employers alike.

The platform says "smarter" enforcement necessitates the use of E-Verify:

(W)e must empower employers so they can know with confidence that those they hire 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.

Moreover, the platform calls for denial of federal funds to sanctuary cities and denial of Social Security and other public benefits, including driver’s licenses, to illegal aliens except where required under federal law.

Unfortuately, the Party also included language calling for more permanent foreign high-tech workers under the H-1B program. This abused program has displaced domestic high-tech workers and driven down their wages. As such, this part of the Party's plank would hurt, not help, struggling American workers (click here to see current unemployment statistics.)A platform represents a Party's stances on a range of policy issues, and is normally written to satisfy its base. The Wall Street Journal reports Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the chairman of the platform drafting committee, as saying the Party had opted for a "smaller, more principled, more forward-looking" platform this year that didn't emphasize its nominee before Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was chosen as its flag bearer. The platform runs counter to the “comprehensive immigration reform” bill pushed by Sen. McCain last year, although the candidate now says he wants to pursue border security first before legalizing the 10-20 million illegal aliens in this country. Some delegates tried to offer platform language that opposed "amnesty or any kind of comprehensive immigration reform." This amendment was rejected when some members argued it was a slap at Sen. McCain. In the end, Sen. McCain did not initiate a fight over any platform positions that ran contrary to his own beliefs. The platform marks a dramatic shift from the 2004 platform on immigration. That platform called for amnesty and pushed brining in even more foreign workers under a "temporary" guest-worker program.


Updated: Fri, Sep 5th 2008 @ 11:40am EDT