House Committee today votes out comprehensive anti-immigration measure; Rep. Alonzo says it sends «wrong message»

AUSTIN, TX – Earlier today the House State Affairs Committee voted out a comprehensive anti-immigration measure that would, among other things, force the abolishment of sanctuary cities, ask agencies to collect and report information on services provided based on citizenship, permit local law enforcement officials to verify citizenship status for certain purposes, and establish English as the official language of Texas. And as quickly as the vote was taken, Texas State Representative Roberto R. Alonzo wasted no time in expressing his dissatisfaction at the vote, taken primarily along partisan lines.

«The vote on HB 12 today shows clearly the Arizona-style tactics some of our lawmakers are promising to use to turn Texas into another Arizona. Not only is the measure outright Draconian, ridiculous and outrageous, it simply sends the wrong message to all Texans specifically and Americans and businesses at large from all corners of the country that we are a very insensitive state to live in, raise and educate our children and grandchildren , and do business in,» said Rep. Alonzo.
«I am not surprised once again that some of my colleagues continue to stoop this low and take aim at immigration reform issues that I firmly believe can be better addressed if left at the hands of our federal government to take care of and pursue through more effective comprehensive immigration reforms. Reforms at the federal level would apply equitably and fairly to all states across the nation, rather than take a state-by-state piecemeal approach that does nothing but create more problems and divisiveness, not only in Texas, but across the country. We cannot, and should not insist that our local, city, county, or even state officials and law enforcement agencies simply become immigration officials and enforce federal laws that we have no business enforcing or even have the knowledge or expertise to address. Can you imagine each of the 50 states having their own set of ‘mini-version style’ immigration laws? It would create nothing but chaos, problems, and more financial strain on our states,» continued Rep. Alonzo.
«Immigration reform is such a complex, complicated, and time-consuming process that even our federal government alone cannot adequately address and has been tackling for decades. For state lawmakers to ask our local city, county, and state law enforcement agencies to become federal immigration officials overnight and ask them to enforce federal law, is not only unfair, but also very costly and more difficult than we think. Many local law enforcement agencies are already short-staffed, low in adequate financial resources and human manpower, and simply cut too thinly to effectively do their primary jobs, which is to provide safer neighborhoods and patrol our communities. Most importantly, at a time when we are faced with the budget crisis that we are currently in, I do not understand why lawmakers cannot get their priorities straight and deal with the important issues at hand rather than meddling with federal issues we have no businesses getting involved with at all, » concluded Rep. Alonzo.