Although the state is known for its support of Republican candidates, Democrats on Saturday elected their first Hispanic chairman, while Republicans voted to take a softer approach to illegal immigration. As the state faces continued Hispanic growth, delegates voted Gilberto Hinojosa, as the state’s next party chairman. Hinojosa will follow outgoing chairman Boyd Richie. Richie announced in April of 2011 that he would not seek another term.
After a passionate speech by Hinojosa, the delegates selected the former Brownsville school trustee, state district judge, justice on the state’s 13th Court of Appeals and Cameron County Judge. In Hinojosa speech, the Texas Tribune stated, “Yo no quiero que me den nada, nada más pónganme en donde hay.” In addition to this Spanish statement asking for equal opportunities, Hinojosa also criticized Republicans critiques of Democrats as being, ‘Un-American.’
He stated, “This is a war, folks. This is a war that the Republicans have waged on our families in Texas and all across America. We are a compassionate people. We don’t believe in pulling up the ladder after we reach the top…That is what America is all about. That is what our Democratic Party is all about. Those are our values and, damn it, don’t question my patriotism.”
On the other side, Republicans elected to take a softer approach to the polarizing debate of illegal immigration according to the Star-Telegram. In the new party platform, a temporary worker program will be offered as well as new ways to secure the U.S. border. Many of the provisions in the previous platform on this topic were also eliminated in the current platform.
Although this decision is an attempt to encourage conservative Hispanics to consider the GOP, many opponents believe it could create problems for the border state in the future. Katrina Pierson, a member of the Dallas Tea Party, states, “The way we are going about it, being a border state and taking a weaker approach, it is disappointing. The platform we had in 2010 would have been strong enough to prevent amnesty.”