Tea Party favorite and State Republican Rep Debbie Riddle has done it again. Last year she made headlines when she proclaimed her fears of Terror Babies from Outer Space. This year, she introduced House Bill 2012 which creates tough state punishments for those who "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" hire an unauthorized immigrant. Violators could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. But it is an exception included in the bill that is drawing attention. Those who hire unauthorized immigrants would be in violation of the law -- unless they are hiring a maid, a lawn caretaker or another houseworker.
In a interview with the Texas Tribune, Riddle's chief of staff, Jon English, explained that the exception was to avoid "stifling the economic engine" in Texas. The exception for domestic help has some opponents of stricter state enforcement curious if Riddle, who owns horse ranches, was making an exception for herself.
The exception makes this bill very obvious. Riddle is proposing this bill to placate her racist ANTI-Latino supporters. There is no intention of making changes in Texas.
Texas is a majority minority state. It would be impossible to implement an Arizona-esque bill in Texas. As many sheriffs indicate, the jails would be filled with workers vs felonious criminals with these Mass Deportation type laws.
What many Texans, including Republicans recognize is: Texas continues to be a thriving state. The unemployment rate is low, at 8.3 vs the national avg rate of 9.4. The deficit problems we have in our state are primarily due to the housing bubble burst and the crooks on Wall St. wreaking havoc with their deregulated, shady investment manuevering. Why wreck our economy with nativist "Mass Deportation" type bills?
All you have to do is look around. In my neighborhood, most of the residents are older and it is difficult for them to do manual labor for themselves. Lawncare workers are here every day, tending lawns. During Holiday seasons, workers are putting up lights before the season, taking them down afterwards. When we have hail storms, workers are fixing the roofs. Many people hire semi-weekly house cleaning services. Pool servicing is performed by workers.
The way this entire process works is that the homeowner hires a contractor. The contractor goes to day labor sites or has a pool of workers he knows and he picks them up to do the work. This entire scenario happens every day in neighborhoods in Texas and all across the country. Everyone knows it. That is why we have 12M workers here.
For those that are hiding their heads in a rabbit hole, you have to stop and think about this a moment. Our baby boomers are aging. They are my age or ten years older. We cannot do the manual labor we could do back in our twenties. A few months ago, a package was delivered to my house. I opened it. It was filled with adult diapers and toiletries. It was meant for our neighbors next door. They are two retired teachers. They hire workers to tend their lawn, fix their fences, fix their roof, housecleaning. They have their groceries and supplies delivered to their door. It is an effort for them to go to the store themselves.
My husband still does our yardwork. Yesterday, when he was working on our lawn, a worker came by and asked if he needed help. My husband thanked him, but said no. The worker was working on a neighbors lawn and just came by to see if he could pick up extra work.
The bill Riddle is proposing will do nothing. None of my neighbors will be jailed for hiring these workers. My neighbors need these workers. My neighbors live on their small pensions and want to remain independent. They cannot remain independent unless they have the ability to hire workers. This is occurring in neighborhood after neighborhood across our state and across the US. Riddle knows this. However she wants votes. Therefore Riddle submitted this useless Hate bill just to appease the Haters. Sad!