GOP convention to mull immigration resolution
By Deborah Bulkeley
Published: Friday, May 2, 2008 12:16 a.m. MDT
Resolutions dealing with illegal immigration, energy independence and transparency in education will be on the table at the upcoming Salt Lake County GOP Convention.
Alex Segura, a member of the Utah Minuteman Project, submitted the resolution calling on Republican delegates to oppose “illegal immigration and all forms of amnesty, or legal status for illegal immigrants.” The resolution also calls for secure borders, an affirmation of the United States as a “Christian nation,” support of traditional marriage, and preventing fraud in voting and obtaining public benefits.
The other resolutions are presented by delegate Cherilyn Bacon Eager. One calls on the state Legislature to investigate the state's curriculum, and calls for better transparency to allow parents to choose teachers who “share their values” and provide “opt-in policies for all education curricula.” Eager's other resolution says global warming is not a man-made crisis and calls for ending support for “liberal environmental agenda and policies,” and for more domestic oil production.
Any delegate can submit a resolution to be considered by the convention, said James Evans, chairman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party.
“We have a diversity of opinions, everybody has the right to push for what they believe is the direction of the party,” Evans said. “They only become Republican resolutions if they get passed by the convention.”
This isn't the first time Republicans in Utah have considered adding an immigration platform. Last year, a Utah County GOP delegate unsuccessfully presented a resolution that equated illegal immigration to “Satan's plan.” In 2006, there was an unsuccessful effort to amend the state GOP platform to include a provision against amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
Segura's resolution acknowledges that such resolutions often face an uphill battle. He points out they're often placed at the end of a lengthy agenda, which can make it difficult to find a quorum to consider them.
Evans said the resolutions for now are set to be considered before county delegate reports, but if delegates choose, the agenda can be amended to move items up or down.
But, he also sees some optimism in SB81, a comprehensive illegal immigration bill which passed and is set to take effect in July 2009.
“I think with the proposed implementation of SB81, it is going to move more in this direction,” Segura said. “It seems the attitude has changed within the party.”
The resolution overall, Segura says, reflects a shifting toward a “constitutional attitude” among Republicans. For example, he says the wording of the “Christian nation” line reflects “the country has historically been a Christian nation, yet we as a party want to affirm we recognize freedom of religion outside of Christianity.”
The Salt Lake County Republican Convention is Saturday at the South Towne Expo Center.