Texas Lawmakers Take Some of the Focus Off Immigration Policies

By February 15, 2013Immigration Policy

Texas lawmakers, preparing for the 2013 session, have been oddly silent on the topic of undocumented immigrants. Compare this to 2010, when Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, parked herself on the Capitol steps, so eager was she to be the first person to propose lack of legal identification as a state crime for immigrants.

While many politicians made it their priority to push for stricter immigration laws prior to the 2012 Presidential election this last November, the end of 2012 was mostly silent. Perhaps it is because the focus was overwhelmingly on passing the Texas state budget, but Gov. Rick Perry’s “emergency” ban on sanctuary cities simply withered on the vine during a recent late-night committee hearing.

Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, has stated that he is attempting to introduce a dialog about immigration in Texas by supporting a bill which would repeal in-state college tuition to undocumented students, and would require schools and hospitals to note the immigration status of individuals receiving their services. Larson has stated that he would like a reckoning of how much support is given by local service providers to undocumented immigrants. He even asked then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón for compensation for the state of Texas for the money the state had spent on services for Mexican immigrants who were in the state illegally. Calderón did not respond. Larson, says the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and San Antonio Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, is advocating for extreme policies when it comes to immigration.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, is proposing a law which would prevent day labors centers from receiving funds from local government agencies. But as noted by Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Texas Republican Party, illegal immigration is currently at a low and immigration reform has subsequently moved to the back burner. Topics such as guest-worker programs, “sanctuary cities,” and other hot-button topics simply have given way to more pressing issued, such as the federal budget crisis and state budget concerns.

The assumption after the 2012 Presidential election is that the harsh anti-immigration stance held by Republicans helped alienate voters and propel Obama to a second term, and may well adversely affect the current Republican majority in Texas.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.