ACLU of Texas Reacts to House Passage of Carrollton Rep's Sanctuary Cities Legislation

Categories: Politics
burtsolomons.jpg
State Rep. Burt Solomons
As the Texas Tribune notes today, in the wee small hours of the morning, the state House passed Carrollton state Rep. Burt Solomons's HB 12, the so-called "sanctuary cities" legislation deemed an emergency item by Gov. Rick Perry. As the Trib's Julian Aguilar sums it up, those who are for the bill -- which would allow law enforcement officers to ask those arrested and detained if they're here legally -- insist it's "a necessary tool to free up law enforcement to better identify those in the country illegally, including criminal." Meanwhile, those against it "fear it will lead to racial profiling and harassment of legal residents and citizens."

Well, this just landed in the Unfair Park in-box: reaction from ACLU Of Texas's Executive Director Terri Burke and Legal Director Lisa Graybill, who insist this is just taking Texas down the path blazed by Arizona, which, as Aguilar notes, "faced widespread condemnation after it enacted SB 1070 [and] has since been sued by the U.S. Department of Justice and has lost millions in tourism and convention-related revenue." Jump for the outrage.

Update at 3:04 p.m.: This just in from Rick Perry, who says, "I applaud members of the House for passing legislation that will ban sanctuary cities in Texas and commend Rep. Burt Solomons' leadership on this issue, which will strengthen the discretion our law enforcement officers need to effectively protect Texans."
Executive Director Terri Burke said, "State leadership said we wouldn't go the way of Arizona SB 1070 on this issue but this definitely takes Texas in that direction. This copycat version of Arizona's infamous law will have severe economic consequences in Texas just as in Arizona and will subject Texas residents to a whole rash of civil liberties violations."

Legal Director Lisa Graybill said, "The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government exclusive authority to enforce immigration law, with limited exceptions." said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas. "States exceed their authority when trying to take this law into their own hands, and risk creating a patchwork system of different immigration laws which vary from state to state. This is as impractical and unworkable as it is unconstitutional."

The Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas has adopted a policy on immigration and civil rights affirming "the right of all persons to equal treatment and due process under the law."
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Tom
Tom

 If the ACLU cared about civil rights they would get rid of the law preventing sale of liquor on Sunday. Clearly a religious law left over from "day of rest" beliefs. Texas congress keeps trying to pass laws removing this christian belief but no word from the ACLU.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

Yep, clearly having law enforcement ask a question of people in the process of being questioned already by law enforcement will cause economic disaster, racist activity, and harassment. Because that one question is obviously a traumatic and horrible thing. Asshats.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Deporting the illegal immigrants in the US (and Texas specifically) would have a devastating effect on the local economy. You can debate whether the eventual result would be a net benefit to society based on things like whether people just prefer getting rid of them. But there really isn't any sound argument to counter the fact that they comprise a meaningful portion of the demand side of the economy and there would be significant near-term to medium-term pain inflected on the economy.

Jblanken11
Jblanken11

The ACLU has a long history of litigating for anything that goes against the grain of traditional American values . That being said this law might be a case of enforcing the oath that elected public officials take to uphold the laws of whatever entity they are a part of and little else. "Sanctuary" cities simply facilitate illegality for the financial gain of political contributors in those cities all under the guise and verbiage of " civil rights" advocacy. Instead of these self-righteous invocations of MLK perhaps the illegals among us would benefit most from a concerted effort to pressure the federal government to take care of its house and stop passing the buck down to a bunch of no win stopgap solutions locally.

Lee
Lee

Was your first sentenced intended to be ironic or just funny? The ACLU has done more to protect basic American values than any other organization. That is, in fact, its only mission. When legislators head in the wrong direction with respect to the rights that our forefathers sought for us and that our men and women in the military have died for, the ACLU is there to correct the direction. Like many, I tend to not like the positions that the ACLU defends, but I am damn glad they are there. I could not do it.

numbers guy
numbers guy

So we have quite a number of states considering similar bills and they are all being threatened with economic reprisals. Would not it be logical that if all of these states passed the bills then the likelihood of economic reprisal diminishes? Also, what is to keep the majority of Americans that support such measures from boycotting the other states that are not aligning with their own views on this issue?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Don't commit any crimes or do anything that gets an officer's attention and you won't have to worry. Seems easy enough.

Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

For the record, I hate the Texas Republicans more than the Miami Heat, but I wanted to pass this on:

I have a friend of the family that many, many years ago went to Germany as an exchange student, fell in love with a man who would later become the Head of Anesthesiology at a hospital. They got married and had a son who is now going for his PHD in Computer Science at a prestigious German university.

This friend speaks fluent German and her job is translating medical texts from English to German, and vice versa. Eventually, her husband's alcoholism was too much and she had to divorce him after at least 20 years of marriage.

Guess what - she still wasn't eligible to become a German citizen!

In fact, if she had lost her job they had the right to kick her out of the country. She eventually moved back to the US.

Now, contrast this to the typical Mexican who comes here illegally and after 20 years the best they can do is say, "No habla ingles!", waves the Mexican flag like they still live there, demands citizenship and cries racism when they don't get it.

When the grand compromise on immigration reform is reached, I hope they go to a points system like Canada where they have a scoring system based on language ability, education, etc.

If you are an immigrant that can speak English, and has a [legit] Masters/PHD/Bachelors in the hard sciences or some other hard to find specialty then I will personally roll out the red carpet for you. Otherwise, just stay where you are. We don't want or need you.

Just one man's opinion.

TimCov
TimCov

In some ways I agree with you (I want them to come here legally). But, if there was not demand for illegal workers, we would not be having this problem. While illegals have moved into jobs that used to be taken care of by teenagers/college students, they also work jobs that the vast majority of people in the USA will not do without a prohibitively high amount of money being charged.

We need a multi-pronged approach to illegal immigration:1. Make it where they can come here legally to work the jobs that others won't do.2. Go after employers who knowingly hire illegals and make it easy for employers to determine the legal status of employees.3. Make it where any illegals currently here have to go to the end of the line when these reforms are enacted.

Just kicking out the ones here will not work. As long as the opportunities here are better than they are back home, they will continue to come to this country.

md
md

There is demand for low-wage workers because they increase the profit at the top. The more low-wage workers there are, the more demand there is for additional low-wage workers so other companies can compete. If the supply of low-wage workers eXceeds the number of jobs available, the more downward pressure there is on wages. Complicating matters is the fact that technology will continue to displace many unskilled workers.

What we need are educated workers.

Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

I don't think you could be further from the truth.

With the exception of possibly picking vegetables or working in a meat processing plant, there is no job right now that others won't do. Businesses want to pay their employees to make as little as possible, shut up, and not complain about anything - and illegals are music to their ears.

I've worked as a military contractor overseas, and know Americans that have signed up for the military and willingly going to Iraq and Afghanistan because there are literally no entry-level jobs anywhere [although this may be changing for the better now].

I live near Ross Avenue just north of downtown - a slightly sketchy area. I see a lot of black guys who are just screwed now. In the past, before illegals started coming across our border like the North Koreans streaming across the 38th parallel, employers would take a chance on a guy who had a criminal record and sub par skills.

Not anymore - these guys are not hire-able anymore. Collecting cans is the best they can do. Who would take a chance on these guys when you can hire an illegal? This is really bad for society. When I was a teenager years ago, I delivered newspapers, worked the fast food circuit, and mowed lawns. Teenagers can't do any of these now.

Furthermore, increased productivity means that fewer blue collar workers are needed and that trend is not ending time soon. A quick fact from this week's Businessweek: In 1980 it took 10 man-hours to make a ton of steel. Today it takes only two.

The lamest part of your argument [and others]: "... they also work jobs that the vast majority of people in the USA will not do without a prohibitively high amount of money being charged."

So what if they have to pay more for labor? In the late 90's my sister worked as an HR manager at a Marriott hotel in Manhattan. Because of a shortage of workers they had to pay their unskilled housekeepers $18/hour + benefits which was outrageous for the time compared to the rest of the country.

Guess what - the world didn't end. The hotel did just fine and everyone was happy.

The US doesn't need any more unskilled labor right now, and for the foreseeable future.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

You are the finest!This is PRECISELY what I've been saying.

Back in mid-70's through late 80's there were many types of employment available. Now all of those are taken by illegals.

New home construction--when's the last time you saw anyone who could speak English working that field.

It's because the contractor does not have to concern himself with OSHA claims or worker's comp insurance or safety issues. Saves a lot of money.

Actually, the illegals tend to bring about the opportunity for the employers to break more laws.

Don't have to pay an illegal worker overtime pay, either.

Uncle Scrappy
Uncle Scrappy

I agree with them about DUE PROCESS. I say, we arrest them & the deport them. They are here ILLEGALLY & should be deported ASAP.

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