Proposed Immigration Bill Has An Exception
POSTED: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 4:53pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 3, 2011 - 10:40am
Out of all the immigration bills filed in the state. The bill proposed by State Representative Debbie Riddle has a twist. House bill 1202 would punish those who hire illegal immigrants with jail time and fines. But those who hire illegal immigrants to do housework or lawn services will NOT be punished.
State Representative Aaron Pena says with out the exception, many people in the lower and upper valley will suffer.
He says, "If the idea is to make felons out of texas who hire somebody to take care of their yard, you are basically putting a large part of the population in prison or making them a felon."
He adds, "Our prisons are full of people and we certainly want them to be full of people who are dangerous... murderers, rapists. not with people who hire yard workers. We don't want to make them felons, that's not good policy."
Even though most local organizations oppose several immigration bills, some view this one as a small step forward.
Martha Sanchez is the Coordinator for LUPE, a local union that fights for immigration rights.
She says, "hopefully this is a positive sign that they are listening to us. that they are trying to negotiate something with these bills so they won't be as harsh. But it needs a lot more expansion on who can be excused from this law. The construction business benefits a lot from undocumented workers and many people will be affected, especially here in this area."