Texas Governor Employs Arizona Style Anti Immigrant Stance
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 28, 2011 – One of the safest large cities in the United States may go under the spotlight as the governor of a budget-stricken state goes on the offensive against illegal immigration.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry stated in early January that he believes immigration enforcement is a duty of both state officials and federal authority, mirroring Arizona’s controversial stance on the issue.Meanwhile, the city of El Paso, Tex. – which sits right on the Texas border with Mexico – ranks as the safest large city in the United States due to the mutual trust between the law enforcement community there and the largely Mexican immigrant community.
That trust, however, may soon be diminished, as Perry has asked the state’s Republican-led state legislature to enact a law similar to Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, requiring police and sheriffs to ask the immigration status of the people they encounter while at work.
“Isn’t it ironic that in the face of a $25 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Perry insists that a crackdown on illegal immigration is an emergency item for the state to consider?” asked Dallas immigration attorney Stewart Rabinowitz of the firm Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz. “The immigration issue appears to be a convenient diversion. Requiring state and local immigration-related action will cost state and local resources, and actually lessen public safety.”
State Republicans plan to bring approximately 40 bills targeting illegal immigration to the floor of Texas legislature this session. One would require local law enforcement to ask those pulled over at a traffic stop if they are in the country illegally if they are not carrying identification. Another requires schools to identify children who are illegal immigrants.
Sheriff Richard Wiles of El Paso County has stated that he believes the laws would do more harm than good. He said that it should not be the job of local police to do a federal duty, and many officers are ill prepared to handle the judgment calls that they may be required to make.
“What is the incentive to report crimes or even to testify for persons illegally in the U.S. if the result of police contact is removal from the U.S.? Law enforcement in many cities, including El Paso, have worked hard to develop a trusted and close relationship, which state imposed immigration status checks will undermine,” Rabinowitz said.
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580
Dallas, Texas 75254
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