A Republican National Committee member has gathered enough signatures to engineer a party vote next week on a resolution that calls for tougher immigration and border enforcement and opposes a guest-worker plan in what could be a head-to-head showdown on President Bush’s signature immigration proposal.
“It’s pretty clear where the American public is on this issue—they want the border fixed. They want the government to do something about employers who hire illegal workers. I believe that’s essentially where the Republican Party is,” said Randy Pullen, the national committeeman from Arizona who is sponsoring the resolution.
The RNC is holding its winter meeting next Thursday and Friday in the District.
Mr. Pullen’s resolution calls for enforcing immigration laws and for withholding federal funds from states or localities that don’t report illegal aliens to federal authorities. The resolution also reads, in part, “Any guest worker plan that allows illegal aliens to remain and work in our country will only result in more illegal immigration and increased crime in our country.”
Bill Crocker, the committeeman from Texas, has introduced a competing resolution that endorses a “functional guest worker program, which includes a reliable means of verifying the identity of each guest worker to his or her employer and provides no preference for those persons presently in the United States illegally.”
The White House referred specific questions to the RNC, but spokeswoman Erin Healy said the president is committed to a guest-worker program.
“The president has been very clear that he wants to see real and comprehensive immigration reform that includes border security, interior enforcement and a guest-worker program,” she said.