On the eve of the Republican national convention–scheduled for next week in Tampa–a committee has approved a tough position on immigration in a nearly unanimous vote. The architect of the platform is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is also responsible for some of the country’s most controversial state immigration laws, including Arizona’s SB 1070.
The platform stance supports completion of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and backs E-Verify, a program in which employers check a person’s eligibility to work in the U.S. through a computer database that includes Social Security and immigration records. In addition to improving security, the stance also seeks to limit policies and programs that would help undocumented immigrants, such as in-state tuition for college-age immigrants.
According to Politico, these measures were included in the 2008 Republican platform but has been dropped from the draft this year. “We recognize that if you really want to create a job tomorrow, you can remove an illegal alien today,” Kobach said to more than 100 representatives to the committee. “That is the way to open up jobs very quickly for U.S. citizen workers and lawfully admitted alien workers.”
This new platform seems at odds with the Romney campaign’s set target of 38 percent of Latino votes nationally. At the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials earlier this year, Romney said that as president he would provide undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors the chance to stay in the country permanently if they serve in the U.S. military.