Andrew Garber, Seattle Times, May 28, 2006
In an unexpected move, the state Republican Party on Saturday adopted a platform that states children of illegal immigrants should not be allowed to become United States citizens.
The platform, at least with respect to the children of illegal immigrants, goes further than measures currently under consideration in the Congress. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizes citizenship for all persons born in the United States.
The state party struck a more strident tone on the issue than President Bush’s approach.
But state Republican Party Chairwoman Diane Tebelius said she believes the party’s position reflects how Washington voters feel.
“I think voters realize immigration is a problem and are trying to grapple with solutions to the illegal-immigration problem,” she said. “This is what our platform says, and we’ll see what happens in Congress.”
Delegates arguing in favor of the move complained about the cost to hospitals where illegal immigrants have their children. “Once they have babies, they can get on welfare and all sorts of stuff,” said one delegate supporting the proposal.
Also, the delegates Saturday approved a position that calls for millions of workers here illegally to leave the United States in order to apply for a guest-worker program.
“If someone breaks into your home, they’re not a guest,” said the delegate who sponsored the amendment. “If they break into your country, they’re not a guest.”