Texas GOP Lt. Gov. Candidates Debate Immigration: Can We Get Any More Extreme?

Jan 28, 2014
9:35 AM

This happened last night via Dallas public television station KERA: a 60-minute debate between four Texas lieutenant governor candidates vying for the state’s Republican nomination. The participants were incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Houston Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.


The candidates covered many topics and you can watch the entire debate here, but we pulled out the immigration section because, quite frankly, it pretty much exemplifies why is all wrong with Texas’s Republican Party.

Where to begin?

How about Patrick’s assertions that if you are undocumented you are a “hardened criminal” and he has the data to prove it? His claims were pretty much slammed in this piece. We also think Patrick never got this memo:

From Anecdotes to Evidence: Setting the Record Straight on Immigrants and Crime

No wonder San Antonio mayor Julian Castro Twitter challenged Patrick to a debate.

Is that not enough for you? How about Dewhurst’s claims that he can “shut down the border” right now because it is such a lawless region? Guess Dewhurst doesn’t read Fox News or even local reports being generated by people who actually live on the border (source, ValleyChamber):

TX-MX Border Report

And how would Dewhurst deal with this statement if he succeeded in shutting down the border: “The State of Texas has a 1,254-mile long border with Mexico. Texas’ multiple border crossings makes it the largest port-of-entry for goods traveling from Mexico into the United States as well as goods heading south from the U.S. into Mexican markets.”

Staples and Patterson come across as a bit more moderate, but it is still extreme moderate thinking. Separate the criminals from the wait staff? Add a few “illegals” in the convo, the words “amnesty” and “invasion,” too, and what have you got? A Texas GOP that is in full denial mode.

And you wonder why the brand is failing.