The Texas Tribune is reporting today that chief financiers of Texas GOP political hopes, Norman Adams and Steve Hotze, have sent a letter asking members of the Texas House to vote no on HB9. This is a substantial blow to the pushers of this bill who are on their second attempt to pass what Rick Perry considers “emergency legislation.”
In the letter Adams and Hotze recognize the bill’s aim as well as the anti-Latin@ message it sends to an important constituency going into the 2012 election.
“However as a practical matter, we all know that it will be Hispanics, including Hispanic American Citizens, that will be asked to prove their immigration status as opposed to white or black persons.”
If conservatives such as Adams and Hotze can acknowledge the real potential for state sanctioned discrimination in SB9 & HB9, then maybe Republicans in the Texas Lege will find themselves reaching the same conclusion. Demographics alone should give conservatives pause when (and if) they cast their vote for HB9.
“The media headlines will read “Texas follows Arizona!” How ironic it is that Texas Republicans would vote for a bill that will make it more difficult to recruit Hispanics to their party! “
We’ll have to wait and see what Republicans will be able to do in the waning hours of the first special session of the 82nd Texas Legislature. They may be signing their own pink slip.
Read the full article from the Texas Tribune below.
GOP Boosters Urge a “No” Vote on Sanctuary Cities
by Julian Aguilar
Two Republican boosters have circulated a memo urging business owners to call or email lawmakers on the powerful House Committee on State Affairs to encourage them to vote against the “sanctuary cities” bills pending before the committee.
Norman Adams, the co-founder of Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy and a member of Texas GOP Vote, a conservative website, and Dr. Steve Hotze, the chairman of Conservative Republicans of Texas, are urging a “no” vote on HB9 and SB9, which they say “can only serve political purposes.”
Hotze alone contributed at least $60,000 personally and at least $640,000 through his political action committee to Republican House and Senate candidates in the last election cycle.
The committee was originally scheduled to take up the measures today but postponed the meeting until Monday. If the bills are voted out it could be a race against time for their final passage before the special session ends on Wednesday.
The measures, however, may be given new life if lawmakers’ attempts to add them to a must-pass budget bill are seccessful. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, told hundreds of Latino elected officials today that she was told Republicans were trying to adopt an “outside the bounds” resolution that would attach the “sanctuary cities” measure to SB1, a budget bill that has been negotiated since the beginning of the special session.
The full text of the letter is below:
The State Affairs Committee has rescheduled its Friday morning meeting to Monday morning. After talking to most of the Republican committee members, it seems to me the sole purpose of this bill is political. I believe most of the Republicans on the committee feel they have to enact something, but they don’t want to do any real harm.
The current version of HB 9 is better than SB 9 in that it only deals with the one single issue; a strong penalty against any governmental entity that restricts the authority of their employees to make inquiries regarding an individual’s immigration status. It now includes a non-discriminatory provision, which is broad enough that in theory it would not be randomly applied solely because a person is Hispanic. However as a practical matter, we all know that it will be Hispanics, including Hispanic American Citizens, that will be asked to prove their immigration status as opposed to white or black persons.
The bill itself can only serve political purposes, allowing Republicans to claim that they have done something and giving Governor Perry a “perceived” victory. But it’s essentially unenforceable. It has been sold as having something to do with helping law enforcement detain criminal aliens or terrorists, which is factually incorrect.
Any law enforcement agent can make an inquiry based on probable cause to determine whether or not someone is committing a crime or is engaged in terrorist activities. This bill allows a law enforcement officer to make inquiries solely for immigration purposes.
Consider this. If an officer determines he has reason to believe that someone is out of status, a difficult legal determination since this is a federal offense and in many cases it is not even a criminal offense, the officer has no authority to arrest that individual and can only report them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If the individual is going to be arrested, this entire law is irrelevant because we already use 287G and Secure Communities. So what this means is, we will have officers making inquiries of those individuals they cannot otherwise arrest, and then advising ICE and detaining such individuals until ICE picks them up.
As a practical matter, ICE does not have the resources. ICE, in fact, has their own enforcement priority which is to focus their limited resources on the detention and arrest of criminal aliens, suspected terrorists and individuals with outstanding deportation orders. Therefore, it is unlikely that ICE would even allow one of its agents to respond to a call simply to determine if someone is out of status. Even if they were to do so, in the interim that police officer would be out of commission and there would be a serious issue as to whether or not the officer had made a false arrest by holding someone that is not subject to any criminal charge. Just imagine the number of lawsuits!
The Governor’s political advisers evidently believe this bill will help his image nationally. The fact is, passage of this bill will convince more Hispanic voters that Republicans really do want to deport their mothers! What a terrible message for Texas!
The media headlines will read “Texas follows Arizona!” How ironic it is that Texas Republicans would vote for a bill that will make it more difficult to recruit Hispanics to their party!
Republican members of this legislature have rightfully refused to even consider scores of bills based on the fact that they would generate unfunded mandates.
No one denies this bill will increase the number of citizen children whose parents are deported. This bill will increase the cost of housing nonviolent inmates. This bill will increase the cost of officer training. This bill will increase required officer manpower.
So what will you do? Will you vote for a bill that creates unfunded mandates because of political pressure? Or will you do what is best for Texas and vote NO? Even if you think the majority of your constituents favor this bill, you should make your decision based on facts and reality. That is why you were elected. Otherwise, we could simply do a poll on every issue. You could be at home running your business and enjoying your family. Most of your constituents have not studied the issues, or heard the testimony!
Please allow me to close with one point we have learned so well over the four years of the immigration debate. Illegal immigration is an emotionally charged debate. However one thing is clear, on this issue, the haters are the minority. They are not the voting majority!
It is our prayer you will vote NO.
God bless you for listening, and may God continue to bless Texas!
Norman E. Adams, Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy
Steven Hotze, MD, Conservative Republicans of Texas
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://trib.it/l2B4CF.
Hotze: “There may be nativistic and prejudicial thinking on the immigration issue by many Caucasians.”
I also found this letter posted on TexasGOPVote.com where Steve Hotze emphatically says anti-Latin@ agendas can sink the Republican party. How he says it is a different matter.
Greetings! I am taking my stand with Norman Adams. He appears to be the lone voice of reason and common sense on the immigration issue.
I personally like the Hispanic people and their commitment to family and the work ethic. They are also a Christian based culture. I don’t blame them for having made it to America by hook or crook. My great great grandfather pealed potatoes on a boat from Germany to get to America and the WASPs did not like him or the other immigrants that came with him. They also did not like the Irish or the Italians.
We had better embrace the Hispanics because they are going to be the dominant culture in Texas in no short order. I hope that Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida is our Republican VP in 2012.
Conservative Republicans of Texas helped elect 7 Hispanic Republicans to the Texas House. There were 2 Republican Hispanics elected to Congress from Texas. Why should we let the democrats steal them from our party?
It seems to me that there may be nativistic and prejudicial thinking on the immigration issue by many Caucasians.
The argument is that millions of Hispanics broke the law to get here. Which one of you would not have done the same thing had you been in their shoes? I like people who take risks to help their families and are willing to work to better their families’ lives. We have a whole lot of American born citizens who I would gladly trade in exchange for hard working Hispanics.
The majority of the Hispanic culture in America is Christian, pro-family, pro-life and pro-free enterprise. Sounds like they would make great Republicans to me. Let’s go recruit them!
Gentlemen, it seems that the real problem we face is the Muslim immigration invasion of America. The Hispanics are our natural allies against the Democrats and Muslims.
With much appreciation, I remain, as always,
Steven Hotze, M.D.