Monday, June 27, 2011

Sanctuary Cities Bill is DOA

Well imagine that. The Republicans get a super-majority in the Texas State House and nearly that in the State Senate, and they still can’t pass a so-called “Sanctuary Cities Bill.” This is a bill that would require city police to inquire on a detainee’s immigration status. Cities that have a Sanctuary City policy would be financially penalized.

Democrats won’t vote for it, and now as it turns out Republicans won’t either, but I suspect that their respective motives are wildly different.

First, it probably didn’t help for Governor Perry to appear at the NALEO conference in San Antonio (NALEO stands for National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) cracking lame jokes and reminding Hispanics – a growing demographic in Texas – why they should never, ever vote for a Republican. Republican lawmakers got clued in to the fact that getting this bill passed would not endear them to the Hispanic community.

But another big reason they are simply walking away from this bill has little to do with politics, and more to do with economics, and this story coming out of Georgia last week served to underline how dependent we are on immigrant labor.

“But when Georgia House Bill 87, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, goes into effect Friday, farmers might be hard-pressed to find workers.‘What we began hearing in mid- to late May was many of our migrant workers, they were not coming to Georgia,’ said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Grower's Association. ‘Farmers are short on harvest labor 30 to 50 percent. You don't have a whole lot of window — that crop has to come out or it'll spoil.’”
It has become completely obvious to me that the status quo, which is what business lobbyists seem to be pushing for, is just as wrong as a ban on “Sanctuary Cities.”

Republicans look back fondly on the Reagan presidency wishing for something like it to return them to power some day. They conveniently forget that it was Ronald Reagan who signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which among other things, granted amnesty to illegal immigrants who entered the US before January 1, 1982 and continually lived here since.

That’s right. Hispanics have Republicans to thank for granting them legal residency, something that would be toxic for them today. Maybe it’s time for Democrats to do them the same favor.

1 comment:

Southern Rancher said...

Maybe the Republicans can learn how to pick fruits and veggies while they are bending over to kiss their donor's butts. Talk about multi-tasking.