Some in GOP Seek New Immigration Tone

Daniel Gonzalez, Tucson Citizen, September 9, 2012

A growing number of influential Republicans in Arizona are speaking out in favor of an alternative approach to immigration—one that includes a guest-worker program and letting undocumented immigrants gain legal status.

Along with those elements, the approach calls for securing the border and remaining tough on immigration enforcement.

Among the notable Arizona Republicans calling for a shift are Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a supporter of Senate Bill 1070, the immigration-enforcement law, and Mesa businessman Bob Worsley, who defeated former state Senate President Russell Pearce in a Senate race in last month’s Republican primary.

Pearce, the main architect of Senate Bill 1070, was voted out of office in a recall election last year in which he was defeated by Jerry Lewis, a charter-school administrator from Mesa who also is a prominent voice in support of alternative approaches to illegal immigration.

The move to embrace what Republican supporters consider a more practical, market-driven approach contrasts starkly with enforcement-only laws such as SB 1070 that conservative Republicans in Arizona have pushed for years. {snip}


Conservatives still dominate the GOP-controlled state Legislature, and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer continues to be an ardent defender of SB 1070 and a fierce critic of illegal immigration.


Efforts to recast the GOP’s approach to illegal immigration in Arizona are motivated by many factors, including pressure from business groups and leaders who feel that enforcement-only laws have hurt the state’s reputation and the economy. Also, there is an attempt to win over politically important Latino voters turned off by the Republican Party’s harsh stance on illegal immigration.

At the center of the change is a four-point plan that supporters say starts with securing the border but also includes a guest-worker program to make it easier for foreign workers to enter the country legally to fill labor needs in the U.S.

Another part would revise the nation’s visa system, letting illegal immigrants already here gain lawful status so that they can work legally and pay taxes. The final point calls for using enforcement laws such as SB 1070 to identify and deport criminals rather than breaking up families.

“This is something I believe the Republican Party is ready to talk about in Arizona, and it was not going to happen with Russell Pearce in office,” said Worsley, who received 56 percent of the vote, compared with 44 percent for Pearce, in last month’s primary race and will face Democrat Greg Gadek in November.

“This is a significant shift away from what looks like a hard-hearted, harsh-enforcement police state versus being sensitive to a multicultural population that we have with some compassion and keeping families together,” Worsley said.


At public events and forums, Montgomery has been pushing for a broader approach that begins with achieving operational control of the border.

In an interview, Montgomery defined operational control of the border as what has happened in the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector. Although the sector once was one of the busiest on the U.S.-Mexican border, apprehensions have plummeted there and illegal immigrants and drug smugglers who do attempt to cross face a high likelihood of being caught, he said.

Once operational control has been achieved, Montgomery said, he would like to see a three-year moratorium on the prosecution of illegal immigrants and businesses that hire illegal workers.

During that time, illegal immigrants could register with the federal government to receive temporary-residency status. Anyone with a felony, or who committed one later, would be quickly deported. But those with clean records could eventually be allowed to apply for legal permanent residency.

Montgomery said no one, however, would be allowed to apply for citizenship unless they first returned to their home country and applied like anyone else.


The platform adopted by the Republican National Convention last month opposes “any form of amnesty” for illegal immigrants, which indicates the uphill battle Republicans like Montgomery will face in pushing for changes.


Matthew Benson, the governor’s spokesman, said Brewer believes the border must be secured before there can be any discussion of what to do about illegal immigrants already here.

“Priority Number 1 is you get your border secured, and then you can begin talking about the individuals who are already here, including the childhood arrivals,” Benson said.

Brewer, however, does support a guest-worker program.

She “believes that we need to have some way to bring in a source of labor for the industries that needed it in this country but to do it in a way that is well managed and supervised,” he said.


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  • Theborder was supposed to be “secured” 25 years ago because of the last amnesty.
    Securing the border is simply a condition that is tossed around when traitors
    are talking about another amnesty. Of course, the border is never secured and
    in 20 years, they will be demanding another amnesty!

  • SarahConnor

    Please notice that this a lib Tucson paper and note the last name of the author–Gonzalez! Believe me, this is just “wishful thinking” on the part of this author, nothing has changed in AZ. Pierce was tossed out of office due to some fraudulent funding not because of SB 1070.

  • IKantunderstand

    Ok, fellow Whites! Alternate plan! Let’s invade mexico. I mean, how hard could it be? Is there anybody left there? I’m sure the ones still there are the mostly White looking folks who have always pretty much  been in charge. OOh, ooh, oooh! Let’s invade mexico wearing beards, turbans, and hajibs.  PERFECTION!!!!!!

  • RisingReich

    Please understand that what we have here in the US is NOT Rs vs Ds nor is it Cons vs Libs.
    All we have here in the US is the Global Communists vs the Global Capitalists.

    Neither party actually cares about white middle America.  This is just another demonstration of that.

    Nothing will change until the emergence of a real Nationalist Party.  I myself believe it won’t happen until the R party is toast.  They are fast working on that.

    • what about A3p?

      • RisingReich

        Any party that’s pro-white Nationalist is fine by me. 
        All I’m saying right now is that the R party is preventing critical mass of a pro-white party.  I eagerly await the demise of the Rs.

        Although I can’t claim credit for calling them the Stupid Party, that’s exactly what the R’s are.  Really very stupid.  Instead of all this hand-wringing going on about how Whites are not going to be the majority soon (due to many factors they could work to change)they could toss the pro-immigration, kid gloves kumbaya we love everyone crap and appeal to the 65% whites left right now.

        Maybe most white people aren’t ready for this yet or are still ‘plugged in’ or ‘brainwashed’.

        Lots of people say they can’t wait ’till all this is over in November’ to which I respond “Are you kidding?  That’s just the beginning.”

        “May you live in interesting times.”

  • John McCain supports Amnesty of all illegal aliens including all those who are not here yet.  John McCain is working 24/7 to destroy the GOP.  He did not spend over 4 years as a POW in North Vietnam for nothing.  

  • Epiminondas

    I won’t be sorry to see the GOP go.  They’ve continued to damage the nation almost as much as the Democrats.  Hasta la vista, baby.

  • I disagree with much of the sentiment in this article. This newspaper is a noted liberal newspaper, its writer is a noted Alienist, and it is taking things out of context in a manner approaching flagrant opinion molding propaganda. Counter Attorney Montgomery’s comments speak nothing of supporting amnesty. Indeed, after speaking with him last week regarding his views on the matter, he supports a rigid enforcement of the border, massive prosecution of businesses who employ illegal aliens, and the return of illegals in the US to their home countries. Although he is not as strict as I would like, he certainly is not some kind of amnesty voice in the GOP has this article suggests.  Sadly, he has endorsed Alienist Jeff Flake. Montgomery actually apologized for that in a statement to local Republicans, stating he was mislead by Flake’s personal commitments. What is going on here, is the typical RICO shenannigans in AZ that has been responsible in other parts of the country for confusing, disorganizing, and misleading populist groundswell to the kleptocratic elite finishing their take-over of our country’s institutions. Arizona still needs lots of help, especially on the grass roots level as the elite of the state have gone on a massive offensive to smother news, take-over radio and t.v. outlets, outspend grass roots conservative patriots, remove talk radio personalities from the air-waves, and conduct COINTELPRO style operations against numerous organizations even elected officials like Pierce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. 

  • Defiant White

    Time to establish a new border.  This time with mines, barbed wire, heavily armed patrols and a big sign over the entrance that says:  WHITES ONLY.

  • It always invariably comes down to votes and the cheap labor lobby.

    • Defiant White

      Not so much different from corrupt New York politicos standing on the docks and welcoming irish with a bowl of warm soup and a voting ballot. 

      It goes back to somethng John Adams said . . . and I paraphrase . . . “this system will only work for a moral people.”

      No republic or democracy can defend itself from immoral politicians.  So either we figure out a way to select ONLY moral people to lead us or we change the system.

  • I agree with the guest worker program. American workers are not going to pick fruit and vegetables. Many of the workers want to work temporarily in the US and then return home to Mexico when the picking season is over.

    • NM156

      Guest workers drop anchor babies. We have millions of anchor babies here now, who are busy not picking green peppers, but busy making ever more welfare-dependent high school drop outs, gangbangers, and unwed mothers. A 50 cent green pepper’s true cost must be $15. All these farmers and growers screaming about lack of labor are liars and manipulators. They expand their operations using cheap and easy illegal labor and claim that demand for their produce cannot be met.

  • JohnEngelman

    Employers benefit from cheap labor. The Republican Party benefits employers. Keep that in mind and you will never be surprised by what the GOP does. 

  • Well, not surprsie I used to live in Orange County Ca were the Republican Party has betrayed the average citizens for years. Arizona just wants to be another Texas. Texas inspite of whites thate are politcally right is going to be New Mexico in 10 years.

  • Personality I give up. Republicans lost California because as I mention Orange County and San Diego were flooded with illegal immigrants and the white conservatives moved out. Arizona and Texas here we come for the new guest workers. Outside of Ag I don’t see a reason for guest worker programs in most places.