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Texas Rep to Introduce Arizona-Style Immigration Legislation

Much has already been written about the controversial Arizona immigration law (PDF) that was signed by Governor Jan Brewer last Friday. The WSJ Law Blog reports this morning that constitutional challenges are already being prepared.

Now, word that a Texas lawmaker is planning to push a similar bill in that state's next legislative session. As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball, Tex., introduced such a bill (PDF) during the last session, but it stalled in committee. She's not giving up, though.

'The first priority for any elected official is to make sure that the safety and security of Texans is well-established,' said Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball. 'If our federal government did their job, then Arizona wouldn't have to take this action, and neither would Texas.'

Riddle claims her bill is different from the Arizona law, in that it requires confirmation of illegal status with federal authorities prior to arrest and explicitly requires "reasonable suspicion" of such status before an officer could even inquire.

Some believe that such a law couldn't possibly fly in Texas:

Jim Harrington, of the Texas Civil Rights Project, predicted 'zero' chance of a similar effort here, saying Texas has 'a different relationship with the Hispanic community.'

Such a push 'would cause an enormous political transformation of the state a lot quicker than it's happening at this point,' Harrington said. 'It would galvanize the Hispanic community astronomically.'

I'll simply say that, based on the photo above, it sure looks like Rep. Riddle is gearing up for a fight.

Posted by Eric Lipman on April 28, 2010 at 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)


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