ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — California Republicans gathered in Anaheim this weekend for their semi-annual convention.
The hot topics included same-sex marriage, abortion and, of course, immigration.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reports the California GOP broke ranks with the national party over immigration — citing rhetoric about undocumented immigrants that they say is making it harder for them to win elections statewide.
The rhetoric includes presidential front-runner Donald Trump suggesting the way to solve the immigration “crisis” is to build a wall and start deporting all 11 million people believed to be here without authorization.
At their convention in Anaheim, there was a definite distancing themselves from such tough talk.
The California platform includes language that says Republicans hold a diverse view on the subject of immigration.
They still oppose amnesty — something Ronald Reagan granted.
But gone is the statement that allowing illegal immigrants to remain in California “undermines respect for the law.”
Fajardo spoke to the president of the organization Grow Elect — they work to recruit and elect Latinos for the GOP and hopes the softening of the anti-immigrant rhetoric will soften. The GOP has not won a statewide race in California in years.
“There’s a saying in business, ‘You grow or you die,'” said Ruven Barrales of Grow Elect, “the same applies in politics. The republican party needs to grow in California. And the way to grow in California is to include Latinos into our coalition.”
State leaders point to what happened to Carly Fiorina in 2010 when she ran to replace Barbara Boxer in the senate. Fiorina lost her bid by double digits partly due to a weak showing among Latinos.
Nationally, there have been calls to soften the Republican position on illegal immigration. But the party’s base has remained vehemently opposed.
The candidates — like Trump — who have taken strong anti-immigration stances in the GOP are leading in that party’s polls.