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Texas Republican Party Toughens Stance on Illegal Immigration

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TWC News: Texas Republican Party Toughens Stance on Illegal Immigration
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The final day of the 2014 Republican State Convention in Fort Worth was a day full of debate and some disappointment as the contentious issue of illegal immigration came to a close.

A majority of Republican delegates pushing for a harder line stance on immigration had this message to get across Saturday: "Obey the law."

After hours of back and forth debate, which led to an unusual roll call vote on the floor, the Texas Republican Party passed a non-binding platform reversing its stance on a temporary worker program.

Supporters of that program say taking out that language is unfortunate for the party.

"Now that will absolutely convince our Hispanic voters that we're the party that wants to deport their mothers and their grandmothers, and we are not that party," Norman Adams with Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy said.

Just two years ago, delegates endorsed a plan to make it easier for people in the U.S. illegally to get good-paying jobs. Supporters argued it would meet the needs of Texas' growing economy and Hispanic population.

"When you see language that makes business owners, many of whom are very, very conservative, out to be, you know, just worried about cheap labor, that's wrong," Brad Bailey with Texas Immigration Solution said.

Earlier in the day, delegates debated whether or not to include language endorsing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Those against medical marijuana eventually won out, and language to study the use of it was also nixed.

After about five hours of debate, the convention came to an end. That upset some gay Republican groups who never got a chance to be heard over language added to the platform that endorses so-called reparative therapy.

"Why the Republicans would put this in their party platform, I don't know," Rudy Oeftering, the Metroplex Republicans vice president, said. "We need to grow the party, not put things in the platform that repel the voters."

Before the convention came to a close, the results of a presidential straw poll were announced. Sen. Ted Cruz won overwhelmingly with 43 percent of the vote. Gov. Rick Perry came in fourth.

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