Immigration law hysteria hits the Chron
The adjectives used by critics to describe Arizona's immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, have ranged from draconian to inhumane to authoritarian. It would authorize state and local police to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally unless those under suspicion can prove otherwise — whether or not they have committed any other offense.There seems to be a lack of understanding of the law and the facts. The reasonable suspicion arises after some other lawful contact with the police such as a traffic stop or an arrest for some other offense. If reasonable suspicion is found then the police are to contact ICE and check the immigration status of the person. Oh, the horrors.
But it has already brought the long-running debate over federal immigration reform off the back burner and back into the national spotlight.
In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has been uncharacteristically silent on the issue, perhaps because controversy could invigorate Hispanic support in November for his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White. Other Republican lawmakers, however, including Tomball state Rep. Debbie Riddle, are vowing to introduce an Arizona-style measure in next year's legislative session.
Estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants currently in Houston range into the hundreds of thousands. They have become an integral part of our economy, and their children, many of them U.S. citizens born here, attend public schools.
It's not difficult to imagine the impact in Houston should an Arizona-style bill pass the Texas Legislature.
Speaking of asking for someones papers, does the Chron require ID before someone is allowed access to its building? Can anyone just walk in off the street and get access to their new room?
The Editorial also gets it wrong on Gov. Perry who yesterday said that the Arizona law was not right for Texas. I think this was in yesterday's paper, and today's, which raises the question of whether the editorial board of the Chron is reading its own product.