GOP Lt. Governor Candidates Desperate To Seem “Tough” On Immigration; Go After Julian Castro

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In a desperate attempt to try to appeal to Tea Party voters, GOP Lt. Gov. candidates have gone all out this week trying to out “tough” one another in opposing immigration.

First, in their debate earlier this week, all four candidates avoided providing real long-term solutions to fixing our immigration system, seemingly unable to think of a future past their own elections. Instead, the candidates happily swung at the issue trying to garner anti-immigrant points from Tea Party voters.

While all four candidates seem to agree on guest workers programs — just as long as they're jobs “that citizens and legal residents have shown they do not want to fill” — they each relied on typical Republican anti-immigrant punchlines to summarize their views on such complicated matters:

“Stop the invasion,” said Sen. Dan Patrick.

“Without path to citizenship,” said Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

“Well, building on what Jerry said and what I think the four of us are saying,” said Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

“Do I get to have a chance?” said Commissioner Todd Staples.

But seeing as all Republican candidates are just as equally anti-immigrant, how exactly do you out perform your fellow GOP primary opponents in opposing immigration? You challenge Mayor Julian Castro to an immigration debate.

Read more on Patrick, Castro and their immigration debate, as well as more on the Republican candidates' anti-immigrant views below the jump.Repeatedly using the word “invasion,” as if compare undocumented residents to pests, is not the only anti-immigrant rhetoric Sen. Dan Patrick has been spewing lately. Just last night, Patrick confirmed a debate on immigration reform with Mayor Julian Castro on twitter, dubbing Castro as the “immigration invasion mayor.” Not certain whether in reference to Castro's support for immigration reform or possibly his family background.

After the Lt. Gov. debate last Monday, Castro congratulated Patrick for being “the most anti-immigrant Republican running for state office.”

Below are Patrick's Lt. Gov. policy views as taken directly from his website:

As Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Will Work To:

– Increase the number of border security officers by increasing joint operations and training with local law enforcement, DPS, and the state guard;

– End in-state tuition for illegal immigrants;

– Enhance state smuggling laws;

– Prohibit sanctuary cities;

– Prohibit the knowing employment of illegal immigrants;

– Provide civil liability protections to landowners against illegal immigrants;

– Protect the ability of law enforcement officers to inquire the status of someone in custody.

Patterson, Dewhurst, and Staples are not far behind Patrick's anti-immigrant views. Staples shares very similar policy positions to Patrick, but has included his own 6-point plan to “secure” the border without “amnesty,” essentially summarizing all the GOP candidates' anti-immigrant policy views.

Last week, we discussed Patterson's hypocritical and out-of-touch Tejano voters campaign trying to recruit the support of Hispanic voters, yet in turn oppose virtually all major issues important to Hispanics.

But without a doubt, the most uncomfortable candidate to watch this race has been current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Dewhurst, who is facing his toughest re-election yet, appears to contradict his past policy positions with every opportunity he gets.

Last year, during his U.S. Senate race against Ted Cruz, Dewhurst withdrew a video from his site stating his support for guest worker programs after tension built around the issue by Cruz's campaign. Dewhurst then went on to say in a debate: “I don't support a guest worker program, never have, until and unless” security is prioritized along the Mexican border.

Now, Dewhurst is again claiming he supports these very same programs (which he previously already did, but then he didn't).

Below is the Texas Democratic Party's press release calling out the Republican candidates on their anti-immigrant views:

For Immediate Release

January 27, 2014

Contact: Emmanuel Garcia, 956-459-8498,

Facing the Facts: Republican Lt. Governor Candidates on Immigration

Austin, TX — The four Lt. Governor candidates all supported a guest worker program on immigration reform, but there is much more to the story.

“Tonight the four Republican candidates running for Lieutenant Governor demonstrated an unwillingness to offer any bipartisan solutions to fix our broken immigration system,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “The only thing offered was rhetoric that leaves our friends, neighbors and businesses without an answer. Texans deserve leaders that offer hope and opportunity to a generation of aspiring citizens.”

“It seems the Republican rebranding effort is in shambles. These extremist candidates for Lt. Governor showed us that compassionate conservatism is dead,” said Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia. “Extremist ideology is simply standing in the way of common sense. Even Rick Perry must be mumbling 'you don't have a heart' when he heard his Republican colleagues on stage tonight.”  

“Stop the invasion,” said Sen. Dan Patrick.

“Without path to citizenship,” said Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

“Well, building on what Jerry said and what I think the four of us are saying,” said Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

“Do I get to have a chance?” said Commissioner Todd Staples.

The Republican so-called “Texas Solution” can be found on page 21 of the 2012 Republican Party of Texas' Platform.



About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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