For years, the state of Texas has been rather lax about illegal immigration. Sure, it`s a problem all over, but in Texas nothing much is done about it. At least in California there`s been much more organized citizen activism to fight it, but there hasn`t been too much of that in Texas.
Why? One theory is that Texans just like cheap labor. Another is that, since land is less expensive in Texas, it`s easier to simply move out of areas being taken over by illegals. But that can`t last forever.
The situation may be about to change, though, with the new legislature. According to the article Many Texas Lawmakers: `Illegals Unwelcome`
[Greg Groogan, MyFox Texas, January 14th, 2011]:
For those who lack legal permission to be in this country, a good many Texas lawmakers are poised to post what amounts to an "unwelcome" sign throughout the Lone Star state. High on Governor Rick Perry`s agenda: Eliminating the immigration equivalent of "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell" practiced by local cops in what he calls "sanctuary cities."
Now, Rick Perry has been untrustworthy in the past, so he needs to be watched. Still, if he`s serious, Texans should hold his feet to the fire.
In both the state House and Senate, bills filed by Houston Republicans would make living in Texas without documentation a violation of state law, not just federal, giving local police and deputies the authority to take folks into custody who can`t prove legal residency. "If they determine that the individual is not here legally than they could arrest them [sic] for criminal trespass of an illegal alien," says State Representative Debbie Riddle, a Tomball Republican who drafted the bill.
Of course there is opposition.
Houston Democratic State Senator Mario Gallegos claims many of the proposed measures mirror what`s been passed in Arizona. "The Congress is in charge of immigration reform, not this legislature,â€? Gallegos said. â€?It`s the most hate mongering, racial profiling bill I`ve ever seen." "That`s nonsense. They know better," Riddle said in response.
Go for it Debbie!
Riddle contends sizable Republican majorities on both sides of the capitol rotunda are highly likely to agree with her. That`s why she`s also pushing a bill requiring voters to provide photo identification: a measure critics believe will suppress Hispanic turnout. Advocates counter that the only votes deterred will be those that shouldn`t be cast.
Good point. Who should be worried about tighter voter ID? Obviously, those who plan to vote illegally or utilize their votes for political power.
"Our ballot box is how we maintain our freedom, our liberty and if someone votes fraudulently than they have stolen the vote of someone who voted legally. We can`t let that happen," said Riddle.
Last month Governor Perry predicted a voter id bill will pass so quickly â€?it will make your head spin."
Let`s hope Perry is serious about this. I don`t doubt that Debbie Riddle is.
They ought to pass these measures as soon as possible.