The Lege and immigration

Don’t say you weren’t warned about this.

Conservative Texas legislators made it clear Monday that they’ll again push for strict state laws to crack down on illegal immigration when lawmakers convene in January.

A chief area they’re likely to concentrate on is encouraging local police departments to work with U.S. officials to enforce federal immigration laws, which the House State Affairs Committee is studying.

Texas lawmakers last year provided about $110 million in border security money for state and local law enforcement but did not – despite some initial proposals – require local officials to enforce immigration laws.

Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, told the committee that he wants to see legislative proposals in 2009 requiring voters to show photo identification to prove their citizenship, penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants, and paying for local law enforcement to train officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

As Vince notes, many similar bills were filed during the 80th Lege, but fortunately a lot of them got derailed before they made it to the floor. The best way to make sure that happens again is to make sure that jokers like Leo Berman aren’t chairing the committees that consider such bills, and the best way to make sure that happens is to elect a Democratic majority to the House. It’s pretty simple, actually. South Texas Chisme and Dos Centavos have more.

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