The recent proposed legislation in Texas, though mild by the standards of Arizona and other states, was a step in the right direction. SB 9 would have just allowed (not required) Texas law enforcement officers to investigate the legal status of those stopped or detained for other reasons. (It would also have eliminated grants for cities that actually forbid cooperation with the immigration authorities.)
The measure passed the Texas Senate, and the pundits expected it to pass the House easily and be signed into law by Governor (and possible presidential candidate) Rick Perry. After all, the Republicans controlled the Texas House and even had a super majority.
But the measure was scuttled. In fact, the House didn't even vote on it. Now, the Texas Legislature has adjourned, and isn't in session again until 2013. It's a scandalous success for what William L. Houston calls “The Slave Power”—-rich tycoons who want their cheap illegal labor. The two chief villains in Texas: Bob Perry of homebuilder Perry Homes and Charles Butt of grocery chain H-E-B.
(See my Does SB 9 Mean Texans Are Finally Fighting Back? and More on the SB 9 Vote in the Texas Senate and Patrick Cleburne's Texan Plutocrats Nullify State Election, Protect Sanctuary Cities: Where Was Governor Perry?).
Of course, there was plenty of gloating over the sabotage of SB 9. For example, the Rio Grande Guardian (“The Internet Newspaper of South Texas”) ran a piece, Hispanic lawmakers rejoice at demise of sanctuary cities legislation [bySteve Taylor, June 29th, 2011]. And why not? The failure of even this mild legislation means it's business as usual, importing more Hispanic Democratic voters and inciting them to anti-Anglo hatred:
“'The sanctuary cities bill was a flagrant discriminatory attack on anybody of Latino descent and our community knew it,' [State Rep. Armando 'Mando' Martinez, D-Weslaco Martinez] said. 'Whoever looks like us… we were going to be questioned by the police. Somebody who is blonde with blue eyes would not have been questioned.Hold it right there! Isn't that just what activist Rebecca Forest, co-founder and past president of the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas, got in such trouble for saying?
“'The death of the sanctuary cities bill was a big victory for us.'
“…State Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, said early in the session that the sanctuary cities legislation was the one bill his community was really focused on. Alonzo praised Univision and Telemundo, and the Spanish language media for keeping their focus on the bill all session….
“State Rep. Sergio Muñoz, D-Mission, said the defeat of the sanctuary cities bill was a 'great victory' for Hispanics.”
On June 11th, Forest told a group in front of the Texas Capitol that,
“If you really want to know why in Texas we don't get immigration legislation passed, it's because we have 37—36—Hispanic legislators in the Texas Legislature. All of the states that have passed legislation have a handful. And I mean literally, some of them have no Hispanic legislators, maybe 3 or 5. So that's part of our problem and we need to change those numbers. We need to do something about that.”This comment was of course blasted by Hispanic agitators and by cowardly Texas RINOS. But was she right?
Well, the Texas PolitiFact.com website, (run by the Austin American-Statesman)which analyzes the truth (or lack thereof) of Texas political statements, did a rigorous analysis of Forest's comment.
PolitiFacts said: “We wondered if indeed states with laws targeting illegal immigration have few Hispanic legislators.”PolitiFact explained its methodology:
“To check Forest's claim, we looked for states that have lately passed immigration enforcement measures and determined how many Latino legislators serve in the states. As Forest said, the Texas House and Senate include 37 Hispanic members, comprising 20 percent of the state's 181 legislators…”PolitiFact strove to look at comparable legislation:
“Since Forest was currying support for legislation requiring law officers to check the immigration status of every arrested person, we narrowed our national look to states that approved proposals permitting or directing law officers to check the legal status of residents.”PolitiFact's conclusion:
“And how many Hispanic members serve in the legislatures of the states whose laws we sketched out above? As of this year…. the respective counts are: Utah, five of 104 legislators (nearly 5 percent); Arizona, 13 of 90 (14 percent); Georgia, 2 of 236 (1 percent); Tennessee, 1 of 132 (1 percent); and South Carolina, 0 of 170.”
“Five percent or less of the legislators in four of five states that recently directed law officers to check immigration status are Latino Americans; in the fifth state, none is. We rate Forest's statement True.”(Note that the website also had the courtesy to consult with Rebecca Forest and also see what she'd said in another interview.)
“Forest… said in a June 17 interview with KRLD-AM's Scott Braddock that she strayed from her notes at the rally and had solely intended to single out Hispanic legislators who are liberal Democrats—traditional opponents of legislation like the sanctuary-city proposal that did not pass into law.In contrast to the hysterical, one-sided treatment meted out by the Main Stream Media, PolitiFact stands out. You can see the article here: Rebecca Forest Says Few Latino Legislators Served in States that Passed Immigration Enforcement Measures, [by W. Gardner Selby, June 11, 2011].
” 'I wish I would have said that,' she said.
“Braddock posted the interview online with a statement he said he fielded from Forest. The statement says she'd previously endorsed a Latino Republican, state Rep. Larry Gonzales of Round Rock. 'There are many things I should have said differently that day but I've always hated it when politicians in particular) try to cover their tails when they mess up by saying 'I misspoke' though obviously — I did,' the statement says.”)
There are two morals in the SB 9 scandal:
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.