Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


After Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, much of the political talk around here has been focusing on whether a similar bill would pass in Texas. Two state Reps in my state - Leo Berman and Debbie Riddle - plan to introduce such a bill in the next legislative session, which begins in January, 2011. Both Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst have publicly stated they don't believe a law like that would be right for Texas.


It soon became my view that we Texans who support Arizona should NOT bow to this soft intimidation; if public approval for a Texas SB 1070 reaches 80% and a bill makes it to Perry's desk, it's my belief that he would sign it after Dewhurst bowed to the same level of public outrage by introducing it in the state Senate. All these words from Perry and Dewhurst do is provide air cover for the Texas legislature; it is air cover I have chosen to ignore.

On May 4th, I began the arduous process of calling every single one of the state Reps here in Texas and asked them how they would vote if Berman/Riddle were introduced. Most Chiefs of Staff would not answer for their boss but many of those who did gave predictably political answers. I can at least respect Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) for being forthright enough to come out against any such bill. I may disagree with him but I at least know where he stands. The same can't be said for my own state Representative, Diana Maldonado (D-Georgetown) of District 52.

Attached is a letter I received from her after twice attempting to get an answer from her office on the matter of immigration. I've underlined the parts of the letter that caused me to either shake my head or just plain scoff. First, note how she hides behind Rick Perry's comments on the E-Verify system. Then she used that oh, so famous code word Democrats love to use for Amnesty - "comprehensive".

My personal favorite is this line....
I also think that we must continue to do a thorough job of enforcing the current laws pertaining to illegal immigration.
Continue? Think about this. In order for us to continue to thoroughly enforce the law, we must already be doing it. Rep. Maldonado is operating on an extremely flawed premise. To prove my point, check out this video of Rick Perry at a Midland County Republican Women's Luncheon on November 12th, 2009. Pay attention when he talks about the Feds bringing illegal aliens from Nogales, AZ to Presidio county, Texas.

Fortunately, Maldonado's opponent - Larry Gonzalez - in November appears to be tough on immigration enforcement based on what is posted on his website:
Immigration and Border Security

Terror, and those who sow the seeds of terror, exists in every part of our world today, extending across many ethnic groups, posing a constant threat against our country – threats which use our Southern border as a corridor into our lives. Larry knows our border patrol agents, sheriff’s deputies, and local law enforcement officers have their hands full. He also knows our state and local leaders are left to deal with the costs – both fiscal costs and costs to our personal safety and well being.

Larry believes it’s time we secure our borders and give law enforcement the authority to do their job and allow them to enforce our laws, helping to stop transnational gangs from spreading their violence. It’s also important we protect our system of legal immigration – America is a nation of immigrants, but it’s also a nation built on the rule of law, and we must stand up and defend that principle.
Also encouraging is the fact that Democrat Maldonado only won her seat in 2008 by a paltry 851 votes according to the Austin American Statesman:
Maldonado's narrow victory in 2008 — by 851 votes — has given the GOP hope that it can take back the district. Republican Mike Krusee held the seat for 16 years before Maldonado was elected. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Gonzalez has become the Republican candidate since that article and we will be working to get him on both my show and the Lynn Woolley show to discuss the immigration issue. Rep. Maldonado will be welcome as well but based on the letter I received from her office, I'm not counting on it.

Visit Larry Gonzalez website.


Dinah said...

is this the same criminal attorney that is on this website?

James said...

Rep. Maldonado specifically said that she wanted to enforce the current laws on the books regarding immigration. Those laws prohibit illegal immigration. If current longstanding law prohibits illegal immigration and employment of undocumented workers yet it continues, then a new law like Arizona's would not be enforced either. This is especially true because 1) it has some very serious racial profiling concerns that would likely be held unconstitutional and 2) local law enforcement simply does not have the capacity to deal with this issue.

Texas is a state, in spite of the inclinations of some to make it an independent country. Our state cannot be in the business of national security. This is a task specifically delegated to the federal government. The good news is that recently, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham have come together to pass comprehensive immigration reform. I'm not sure why “comprehensive” is a bad word. It needs to be comprehensive and all-encompassing. Moreover, it needs to be done by the federal government.

Larry Gonzales' campaign rhetoric on immigration acknowledges that "our sheriff’s deputies and local law enforcement officers have their hands full. He also knows our state and local leaders are left to deal with the costs – both fiscal costs and costs to our personal safety and well being." This means that our state does not have the resources to deal with this issue. Moreover, the only way that local law enforcement could add this to its list of duties would be to vastly increase the size of the police force which could only be funded by increasing taxes. No one wants that. (Those who demand that our local law enforcement handle immigration issues must first show how they would fund this endeavor or how it would not extend law enforcement beyond its capacity, thus putting our local communities at risk of domestic crimes.) Lastly, even if a law similar to Arizona’s were funded and implemented, it would all be in vain because a court would inevitably strike down the law on Due Process and Equal Protection grounds.

For Mr. Gonzales to say that local law enforcement has its hands full then follow with the need to give law enforcement the authority to enforce our laws is not consistent. Moreover, note that in Mr. Gonzales' second paragraph he omitted the word "local" from law enforcement. Regardless, it is Mr. Gonzales' who danced around this issue. Rep. Maldonado did not. In fact, Rep. Maldonado specifically told you that she does not support or encourage illegal immigration. What she told you was that the key to solving immigration is through actual enforcement of current laws and thoughtful reform regarding employment policies.

Rhetoric suggesting that the passage of laws that are impossible to enforce and reprehensible to fundamental constitutional rights are nothing more than that -- rhetoric. Rep. Maldonado gave you a thoughtful answer. Mr. Gonzales gave you hollow campaign rhetoric.

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