It’s going to be a tough year for competitors vying for the Sipping the Most Haterade Award, in terms of anti-immigrant legislation. Florida and Georgia look like they may outpace Arizona, but really, folks, everything is bigger in Texas…
Sorry, typo. I meant this:
She’s a horse breeder from the Houston suburbs, and she wears ugly Christmas sweaters. I know, she already annoys you, doesn’t she? Well, she’s also Taking Back America alongside other Texas legislators (Berman, Solomons, Flynn, etc.) by proposing a slew of anti-people-of-color and anti-immigrant bills. Get ready, here we go… a roundup of some of the most superfun pre-filed bills for the 102nd Texas state house. Look up the bills and read the text for yourself by searching here.
Arizona comes to Texas
HB 17 (Riddle) – The bill is in two parts: First, it makes undocumented immigration an act of criminal trespassing, instead of an administrative offense. Then, it directs law enforcement to “arrest, without a warrant, a person who the officer has probable cause to believe” is an “illegal alien.”
This is the SB1070 copycat. Apparently, living and working in a country without the proper documentation should be considered a criminal act, tantamount to (according to my Wikipedia search) petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, simple assault, disorderly conduct, trespass, vandalism, drug possession, and reckless driving, (depending on jurisdiction). Le sigh.
The following two bills are similar, and try to circumvent the problems that SB1070 faced in court:
HB 183 (Solomons) Would direct law enforcement in Texas to verify the “immigration status” on anyone arrested. This is slightly different- it means that once somebody is detained for a different offense, they can then be questioned as to their immigration status.
HB 296 (Berman) During any detention or arrest made by a peace officer or law enforcement agency, the officer would be able to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person detained or arrested. However, the investigation of a person’s immigration status may not serve as grounds for the detention or arrest.
“They will ask everybody the same question about their immigration status,” says Berman. Right.
Voter ID, AKA, why do we even have the Civil Rights Act?
HB 16 (Riddle) – Would require voters to present photo identification or two forms of non-photo identification before they are allowed to cast a ballot. Also known as the Voter ID bill.
Awesome. What if I don’t have a driver’s license, because I can’t afford a car anyways? What if I don’t have a passport, because I have no intention of leaving the great state of Texas? What if your paranoia is not my problem?
Expect this to get a lot of action. It came close in the last legislature, and it should have an even better shot this time around. However, a bill that takes us back to a pre-civil rights era, in which people had to prove citizenship, prove literacy, and prove “good moral standing” (once upon a time, not too long ago, a white person had to vouch for the character of an African-American who wanted to vote) in order to vote is going to upset a lot of people.
P.S. I have yet to meet an undocumented immigrant who has tried to vote. And I know a lot.
HB 22 (Riddle) – Requires public schools to determine the citizenship and immigration status of each student when that child enrolls in the school. Require Texas public schools to compile information on students including “citizenship or immigration status,” and provide data to the state on the number of students who are “citizens,” “immigrants” or “enrolled in bilingual education.”
“The taxpayers are the ones who are paying the tab for these children to be educated. By law, if the children are here, then they must be educated. I’m not disputing that, but I do think it’s grossly unfair to ask taxpayers to pay for something they didn’t know they were paying for,” says Riddle, “If you’re going to ask taxpayers to pick up the tab, they at least deserve to know what they are paying for.”
I believe it was evil Dolores Umbridge who spearheaded the Muggle-Born Registration Commission… Purebloods have nothing to worry about. Oh, Debbie. Debbie. Marvolo. Riddle.
This is heinous. And the rest of the state thinks so too. The Houston Chronicle has wasted no time in condemning HB 22.
I have an idea. We can make immigrant students wear something, so that way we can tell who’s who. I think they did something like this in Germany. In the 1930s.
HB 38 (Berman) – A constitutional amendment to establish English as the official language of Texas and require that official acts of government be performed in English.
Because right now, everything is being spoken in Texan, and it’s really hard for the rest of the country to understand us. We get it. We’ll try to change, y’all.
HB 81 (Flynn) – Prohibits state agencies from using any public money to print non-English documents or signs.
a) Pressing “1” for English is getting really, really hard lately.
b) Or, it’s discrimination, and personally, what pops into my mind is that passing this bill is just plain mean to all the Mexican, Filipino, and Korean grannies who waited 800 billion years for their immigration applications to process, and now they’re 70 years old and it’s a little late to start learning English, and now it’s going to be just plain difficult to go to the DMV, register to vote, help their grandkids navigate the public school system, or do anything normal.
c) Also, this:
Courtesy of xkcd.
HB 177 (Jackson) – Drivers License – Requires proof of citizenship in order to get any occupational license, driver’s license, or official Texas ID.
It still boggles my mind that people are this impractical. All this means is that there are a whole lot of unlicensed drivers on the road, and everything that it entails. Great idea.
Watch for ICE, y’all.
Fun with E-Verify (The farm lobby is going to love this! LOVE IT!)
HB 178 (Jackson) “Relating to requiring governmental entities to participate in the federal electronic verification of work authorization program or E-verify”
HB 197 (Solomons) – Requires proof of citizenship to work in Texas and makes it a Class A misdemeanor (criminal offense, like one year in jail and/or $4000 fine) to hire undocumented immigrants.
That’s a little steep, bro.
HB 202 (Solomons) “Relating to requiring state contractors to participate in the federal electronic verification of work authorization program, or E-verify.”
E-Verify will ensure that only people with the proper documentation can be employed in the United States.* That way, we can make absolutely sure undocumented immigrants stop taking people’s jobs: check out all those unemployed Americans lining up to mow lawns, wash dishes, clean houses, and become farmworkers…
Georgia’s farm lobbies have already responded strongly to similar proposed legislation in their own state. “Many farmers are heavily dependent on immigrant labor to harvest crops by hand, particularly vegetables and peaches that are easily bruised and damaged by machines.” See the full story here…Gotta protect those delicious Georgia peaches!
In Which They Attempt to Circumvent the 14th Amendment
HB 292 (Berman) Seeks to deny birth certificates to children born of undocumented parents. “We want to be sued in federal court so the attorney general can take it to the Supreme Court, and a judge can read the amendment and realize the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to foreigners,” says Berman.
HB 293 (Berman) Relating to the eligibility of an individual born in this state whose parents are illegal aliens to receive state benefits.
I look forward to that Supreme Court case, twat.
Why is this Socialist Fascist Kenyan man our President?
HB 295 (Berman) Would require the Texas secretary of state to “not certify the name of a candidate for president or vice-president unless the candidate has presented the candidate’s original birth certificate indicating that the person is a natural-born United States citizen.”
Why are we still talking about this?
100 Dollars is a Lot of Money to Send to your family in Guadalajara, Mister.
HB 303 (Berman) Would “charge a fee on a money transmission that originates in this state and is transmitted to a destination in Mexico or in Central or South America for a personal, family, or household purpose.” The folks at Burnt Orange Report said it best: So Berman wants to charge a fee on undocumented immigrants sending money back home to family south of the Rio Grande, but doesn’t seem to want to charge a fee on corporations sending money south of the Rio Grande for business?
The House is where most of the action is, and a lot of these bills have companions proposed in the Senate. You can track these bills by going to Texas Legislature Online and receive updates.
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And as always, send me your thoughts, jokes, quotes, and anecdotes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
- Texas Moves to Adopt Arizona-Style Immigration Laws (immigration.change.org)
- Texas Legislature expected to pass immigration crackdown (chron.com)
- NYT: States face political battle on illegal immigration (msnbc.msn.com)
- Mysa.com: Immigration, voter ID bills filed (mysanantonio.com)
- New Congress frosty towards immigrants (salon.com)