The Texas Association of Business has frequently been a force for bad in this state, but they're on the right side here by joining with various Hispanic organizations to oppose anti-immigration bills in the Lege.
"The Texas Legislature should take no action with regard to immigration unless and until the U.S. Congress passes a law for comprehensive immigration reform," said TAB President Bill Hammond. "The federal government is perfectly capable of inflicting pain and suffering on business. We don't believe the Texas Legislature needs to be piling on."
The groups are opposing a series of bills that Republican legislators have filed in the Texas House that would impose fees on money sent to Mexico, deny in-state college tuition to undocumented children and deny birthright citizenship to children born in Texas to illegal immigrants.
"Texas should not pass blatantly unconstitutional legislation that will only push immigrants farther into the shadows," said Luis Figueroa of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, said he had filed House Bill 351 to impose sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants. He said his bill was "in response" to bills that targeted sanctions on immigrants.
"As a symbol of our solidarity and cooperation, I'm withdrawing HB 351 from further consideration in thanks to the business community who is bringing their power, their might and their heft to making sure the immigration debate is fought on the floor in Washington, not in Austin," Anchia said.
The question I have, though, is how far does their opposition go? If Berman and others like him persist in their xenophobic ways, will TAB take concrete action against them? Will they withhold donations, endorse an opponent, or give (legal) money to an opponent (for administrative overhead purposes only, of course)? Or are they all talk and no action? Tune in after the session and find out, I suppose. Stace has more.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 17, 2007 to National news