Texas Legislature Shines Brightly with Resolution on Border Security and Immigration Reform
It is not often that one gets to witness history in the making, but that may be exactly what happened last night as I watched Texas State Representative John Garza (R-San Antonio) introduce a resolution for the Texas Legislature calling on the United States Federal Government to do its job in securing the borders of the United States and to bring meaningful reform to our broken immigration system. The resolution, HCR 88, was presented to the State Affairs Committee. It calls on the federal government to address this not only as a criminal issue but as an economic one as well.
In laying out the resolution, Rep. Garza said, "The border security issue is of the highest importance." Additionally, he said, "The proliferation of immigration related legislation in the Texas Legislature and across the country is the direct result of the Federal Government's unwillingness to address the immigration crisis. Such issues before the Texas Legislature include human trafficking, added strain on the Health Care and Educational systems, employment verification, election integrity and border security."
"The power to regulate immigration is without question an exclusive federal power. Due to the federal government's failure to provide an effective system of immigration, immigration enforcement and border security, state legislatures are left to deal with the ill effects," Garza continued.
Several members of the Texas business community testified in support of the resolution citing the need for an improved immigration system that would enable Texas businesses to effectively hire immigrant workers legally for jobs they cannot otherwise get filled.
I spoke to the committee about the chaos along our southern border that has been created by federal negligence on the issue of Border Security. We continue to encourage lawlessness along the border with inconsistent enforcement of border security laws. This chaos has produced a "war zone" that stretches across the Texas/Mexico border making Mexican border town more dangerous than Baghdad.
Only one gentleman spoke against the resolution. However, upon questioning from the committee, he couldn't really seem to find what it was in the resolution he was opposed to.
Representative Charlie Green (R-River Oaks) said, "I want to thank you for bringing the best piece of legislation I've seen come through this committee this session" That sentiment seemed to be echoed by most of the committee members present.
While introducing the resolution, Garza explained, "One of the present flaws in our Federal and State approaches to immigration is that they view illegal immigration as solely a criminal law issue, ignoring its economic causes." Garza continued, "As a South Texas Representative, I understand that illegal immigration is predominantly an economic issue. Economic migrants are pushed from their country of origin for economic reasons and drawn into the United States by economic opportunity. A new system of immigration should address the role US employers play in drawing immigrants into the country and the reality that certain sectors of the American economy rely on migrant workers for its labor force."
He said and economic solution to immigration reform would, "establish a guest worker system which would protect first American workers from competition, but also allow non-citizen economic migrants to come out of the shadows, pay taxes and freely return to their country of origin. Those with criminal intent hide among the economic migrants often exploiting them. Addressing the issue of economic migrants will free up law enforcement resources to concentrate on criminals and border security." Garza said it would also, "help employers by providing and open and legitimate labor force, keep labor regulated and VISA holders in certain sectors of the economy and would ensure that guest workers pay taxes, come out of shadows, be allowed free travel." He said this type solution would also slow down chain migration.
On "Sanctuary Cities", Garza said, "Cities which adopt policies against enforcement of immigration laws also contribute to the problem by providing sanctuary for illegal immigrants, employers who hire illegal workers and those who exploit immigrants."
The resolution, authored by State Reps. Garza, Pena, Torres, Margo and Aliseda and co-authored by Reps. Rodney Anderson, Landtroop and Legler, shows great leadership in addressing the real cause of our border security and immigration problem - The Federal Government. Rep. Garza and the Republican Hispanic Conference (approximately 30 members of the Texas Legislature) are clearly looking for real solutions and no seeking Band-Aids for the gaping wound that is our broken immigration and border security system.