Newspaper clipping headlined "Texas Governor Breaks Ranks on Reagan Immigration Policy," August 30, 1981
Clippings (information artifacts)
Balz, Daniel J.
Emigration and immigration
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
Washington Post (Washington, D.C.)
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
PR Press Office | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Ronald ReaganRepublican Party of TexasImmigration
Clements Texas Papers
Al• • strulay. trtwirqic, 19111 TIIE WASHINGTON POST -.T6-ias Go ventor Breaks Ranks • !, Reagan hnmigration Policy California Gov. Edmund G. (Jer- ry) Brown Jr., proccupied with his attempt to eradicate the Mediterra- nean fruit fly, has said little about the new plan. But press secretary Can Beauchamp said, "He doesn't like it because he thinks it won't work and it will take jobs away from Californians." Jim West, press secretary to Ar- izona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, said Bab- bit "has real problems" with parts of the Reagan plan, including the guest worker proposal, which would pro- vide temporary visas for 50,000 im- migrants. Babbitt fears this would recreate the unpopular bracer() pro- gram of the 1940s and 1950s that brought in migrant workers. Babbitt also has problems with Reagan's proposals to levy fines against employers who hire undoc- umented workers. Babbitt believes that would turn employers into an arm of law enforcement, which he opposes, West said. New Mexico Gov. Bruce King has said little about the program since it was released, but has asked a state commission to study it in advance of a meeting between the 10 U.S. and Mexican governors who share the nearly 2,000-mile border where ille- gal immigrants cross. Clements' defection is by far the most serious for Reagan politically because he is the only Republican on the border and because of his help in carrying Texas last November. The blunt-talking governor has visited Mexico nine times since his election in 1978 and considers U.S.- Mexican relations and immigration policy as areas of personal expertise. "He'd been the one who had helped give the issue visibility," said an aide. "He'd worked with Reagan on it, the staffs had worked on it, and he just didn't think the program reflected his ideas. He wanted to send a message that people up in Washington shouldn't take him for granted." Clements "felt [the plan] needed to be changed and believed the best way to effect that change was to go public," said Jon Ford, the govern- or's press secretary. "He'd given them the benefit of his views in pri- vate and it hadn't gotten across." Clements called the guest worker proposal, which would begin with By Dan Balz Washington Post Staff Writer AUSTIN, Tex., Aug. ..f) — • President Reagan's new immigration poll( y has created the first open split between the president and his Re- • publican ally in Texas, Gov. Bill Clements, and has failed to win no- table support from the governors of the three other states that border Mexico. • - :;• In a move that has shocked the administration, Clements ha.shly attacked the immigration plan he- tore a Hispanic audience earlier this innnth. Attorney General William Fiench Smith and his staff have been trying since then to bring Clements back into the fold before congresAonal hearings on the new proposals begin. "His views On this are very impor- , taut to us and Very valuable," said Assoeiate Attorney General Rudolph .Guil'ani. "We thought we under- stood 11:s views and that they had been factored into the final decisions the C"ab.net made. "Obk husly that didn't all work • out mid we believe we've got to work with the governor and his taff to try to collo up with ,fomethin,; he finds sensible and satisfactory and he can • support." Clements, who considers himself a leader on immigration policy and had (I,..cussed the issue with Reagan during the campaign last year, be- lieved his views would be reflected in the 11CW policy. When they were not, he went before the American GI Forum annual convention and said, - "I must oppose [the plan] if it is not modifit d substantially during the Legislative process." He called for changes in the 1"guest worker" program, in the pro- cedure that would lead to citizen- :ship for many undocumented work- rs in the fines assessed to em- ployer who hire these workers. Davicl D. Hiller, a special assistant to the attorney general, said he be- lieved the administration's di [Ter- • ences ,Aith Clements are not as great ; as they appeared from Clements' speech, and indicated no substantial : modifications of the Reagan plan : were being considerd to accommo- date the Texas governor. * Other border governors --- all Democrats — have been less outspo- ken than Clements, but have hardly .fallen into line behind the Regan plan, which was released July 31. 50,000 persons, "unrealistic and . . . doomed to failure because it failed to deal with the other 99 per- cent of the 3 to 6 million [undocu- mented] workers in this country." He also attacked the administra- tion's proposed amnesty plan as in- adequate and too slow, and said the. proposed penalties against employ- ers who hire undocumented workers "are totally out of line." "Under the Justice Departrment's proposal, obviously there will still be hundreds of thousands of illegal Mexican aliens living underground in our society," Clements said. "The illegal sub-class would continue to exist, and this is wrong. "Further, their employers would be designated as law-breakers. My proposal would require all employers of illegal aliens to pay a relocation fee to return the workers to their home." Ford said he did not know wheth- er Clements had talked personally with Reagan about immigration pol- icy since Reagan was inaugurated, but said the governor had spoken with Attorney General Smith. Clements also phoned Smith a day or so before his speech earlier this month to indicate his disagree- ment, but Justice Department offi- cials still said they were surprised by the harshness of the criticism. Hiller said that while there were differences between Reagan's and Clements' proposals, "There is a good deal more common ground than has been reported in news ac- counts and I think we both recognize that . . . . There have been consul- tations, both between the governor and the attorney general, and be- tween their staffs. I'm confident there is enough similarity in our ap- proaches that we would hope the governor would support us." The new immigration policy is likely to be a central topic of discus- sion when the four U.S. and six Mexican border governors meet for the second time this fall in El Paso, Tex. It was at their meeting in June 1980 that Clements advanced his own proposal, omw that met with only lukewarm support. Congressional hearings are expect- ed to begin sometime in September. Special correspondent Katharine Macdonald contributed to this re- port. _41••••••••••••40