June 25, 2012
Senator Kirk Watson, Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s “Arizona v. United States” immigration ruling:
Today’s decision leaves intact parts of an Arizona law that all-but-encourage discrimination against full-blooded Americans over the color of their skin. The law was always a reactionary response to the federal government’s sad failure to address immigration in this country: it divides and weakens us as a nation. While the Court was right to reject key pieces of it, the truth is that no part of it – particularly the “show me your papers” provision that the Court maintained – should be law, whether it was upheld or not.
We need a Texas solution to the immigration issue that secures our borders, shows zero tolerance to those who commit serious crimes, and recognizes those who meet stringent requirements to serve our country and contribute productively to our economy. And we must assure that nothing so discriminatory becomes law in Texas. Texas can do better, and Texans deserve better, than something as poisonous and nonsensical as the Arizona experiment.
Unfortunately, in last year’s session alone, those in control of the Texas Legislature worked successfully to make it harder for minorities to vote. They also tried, unsuccessfully, to follow Arizona’s lead in having local law enforcement enforce federal immigration law. And for the first time in memory, they slashed funding for public schools – schools that are needed more and more to teach Hispanic students who represent so much of Texas’ future.
Such initiatives disproportionately affect Hispanics, and they helped make the last legislative session a distinctly anti-Hispanic one. It’s critical to Texas’ future that these efforts cease. Unfortunately, today’s Supreme Court decision will ultimately make them more likely.