Friday, January 7, 2011

Texas Determined Not To Become Arizona

The Texas Association of Business, the American Civil Liberties Union, a West Texas border sheriff, several Democrat lawmakers, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Texas Catholic Conference are forming an group to make sure that Texas doesn't become the next state to fall to xenophobic, irrational immigration laws. Surely the triumph of cooperation between such diverse groups, who often conflict in interest, is a testament to our ability as people to come together!

Their most notorious nemesis is Representative Leo Berman (R-TX). He's already filed several Arizona-style immigration bills.

"When are elected officials going to take responsibility for supporting their constituents instead of illegal aliens coming in from other countries?" he has said.

But this simply isn't the case. The law has effects that reach far beyond this idea of "punishing law-breaking illegal immigrants." It harms U.S. citizens as well. Since Arizona passed its law, the state's economy has stood at standstill, and Hispanics, who make up 30% of the state's population, live in a culture of fear. The state usually draws in substantial revenue from its meeting and convention industry. Nationwide boycotts of the state have led to mass withdrawals of planned events and cancellation of future bookings.

"We know that from the Arizona example, it will be bad for Texas, bad for employers, bad for employees,” says Bill Hammond, of the Texas Association of Business. “The convention business in Arizona, the pipeline has dried up, investment has been decreased.” They also says the legislation would distract local law enforcement, and the funding is not there to fix the problem. The Texas Association of Business normally aligns themselves with Republicans, but are coming out strongly against this type of legislation. They understand the impact it could make on the #1 economy in the country.

Representative Debbie Riddle (R-TX), however, doesn't. "I just don't understand what all the brouhaha is about," she said in an interview. "I'm doing what I think my constituents and the vast majority of the people of Texas are wanting. They are wanting their border secure."

According to the US census, 36.9% of Texans were Hispanic in 2009. Combine that with aggregate group mentioned before, and I'd throw that "vast majority" out the window.

A few more quick facts from the census:

2.3 million: The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 43.6 percent from 2002.

$345.2 billion: Receipts generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 55.5 percent from 2002.

20.7%: The percentage of businesses in Texas in 2007 that was Hispanic-owned.

30%: Percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses in the construction and the other services sectors; 50.7 percent of the receipts of these businesses were concentrated in wholesale trade, construction and retail trade.

One last little anecdote before signing off: Texas' motto is "friendship."
Buenas noches!

1 comment:

  1. I like this Berman guy. Question..."how do you quantify fear?"

    You can, on the other hand, quantify the harmful effects on the economy, healthcare and education by the lax policing of immigration by our Federal Government.

    States like Arizona are just doing what the Feds are afraid to. Most of the country agrees.