Republican Convention 2008

GOP Platform: Immigration Hot and Cold

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The Republican Party platform (PDF) uses Latin to show the importance of English:

One sign of our unity is our English language. For newcomers, it has always been the fastest route to prosperity in America. English empowers. We support English as the official language in our nation, while welcoming the ethnic diversity in the United States and the territories, including language. Immigrants should be encouraged to learn English. English is the accepted language of business, commerce, and legal proceedings, and it is essential as a unifying cultural force. It is also important, as part of cultural integration, that our schools provide better education in U.S. history and civics for all children, thereby fostering a commitment to our national motto, E Pluribus Unum.

It's probably a sign that John McCain, as he likes to say, has "heard the American people on this issue" that immigration is grouped under the National Security rubric in the platform. The section is loaded with enforcement-only stuff, but not unduly so: no driver's licenses, no public benefits, punishment for sanctuary cities, harder penalties for people-smuggling, and "correcting court decisions that have made deportation so difficult." There's a paragraph on workplace enforcement that, as Mike Flynn noted, calls for reauthorization of E-Verify.

There's some sunnier stuff as well, on "embracing immigrant communities." And one sign that Republicans are mindful of the cockamamie legal immigration bureaucracy, or at least reading about it in reason: "It is a national disgrace that the first experience most new Americans have is with a dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy defined by delay and confusion; we will no longer tolerate those failures."

No luck, though, if your home country happens to be one where they execute people with unusual sexual alignments: "We oppose, however, the granting of refugee status on the basis of lifestyle or other non-political factors."