POLITICS

Nevada GOP Immigration Principles Call For Pathway To Citizenship

Jan 31, 2013 | Updated Jan 31, 2013

The Nevada GOP announced its support on Thursday of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, invoking the Civil War to say the Republican Party would be going against its values to oppose immigration reform.

"We support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that would require registering with the government; and, include the ability to communicate in English, performing military or other community service, and proof of financial responsibility as required by the USCIS," the party's statement of principles strategy reads. "One hundred and fifty years ago, our country fought a bloody Civil War. That war affirmed we have only one class of citizens -- American."

The Nevada GOP's executive board voted on the language on Wednesday evening, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Seven members of the board voted in favor of the principles, one voted against, and two abstained, the Review-Journal reported.

Congress is embroiled in a debate over whether comprehensive immigration reform should include provisions that allow citizenship for some of the estimated 11 million people living in the United States without authorization. Many Republicans say it would amount to amnesty, some even arguing it would hurt the party by leading to additional Latino voters who would vote for Democrats.

Others have voiced support for a pathway, albeit an arduous one, and admitted it could be beneficial politically as the GOP struggles to win over Latino voters who by and large support reform. Latinos make up 27 percent of the population in Nevada, a fact the state Republican party alluded to in its principles.

"The GOP has increasingly found itself in positions that do not meet the demographic realities of the State’s electorate," they wrote. "These positions also conflict with our party’s historic commitment to civil rights. To that end, Republicans must become more inclusive, reflecting our desire to secure a better life for all Americans, and equally important, for our children."

The full immigration statement:

3. Pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

The GOP has increasingly found itself in positions that do not meet the demographic realities of the State’s electorate. These positions also conflict with our party’s historic commitment to civil rights. To that end, Republicans must become more inclusive, reflecting our desire to secure a better life for all Americans, and equally important, for our children.

The United States should secure its borders, enforce the laws that exist, and recognize the many groups that have worked hard to support their families and build a community. These groups include Hispanics and other immigrant minorities, young and old, black and white. We support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that would require registering with the government; and, include the ability to communicate in English, performing military or other community service, and proof of financial responsibility as required by the USCIS. One hundred and fifty years ago, our country fought a bloody Civil War. That war affirmed we have only one class of citizens -- American.

In sum, we should ask ourselves, "What makes Republicans different from Democrats?" As Nevadans, our answer must be a belief in private enterprise and individual initiative, not government subsidies and intrusive regulations; the knowledge that smaller government and local control not constant interference from Washington is the foundation of our republic; and a responsible budget that leaves future generations to create the society they desire.

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