Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, November 17, 2008

Immigration Battle Coming to Texas Legislature

Or at least it will if there is much action on bills to be filed by Representative Leo Berman (R-Tyler), Berman Will File 9 Bills About Illegal Immigration. The Texas legislature has not been heavily involved in the immigration fight that has been a major topic in some other state's recent legislative sessions but that could change this year.

According to the paper's story, the bills to be offered by Berman would among other things:
  • challenge automatic citizenship under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The bill says the state of Texas will not issue a birth certificate to children of illegal immigrants born in the state;
  • put an 8 percent surcharge on money wired from Texas to Mexico, Central and South America;
  • make English the official language of Texas;
  • require "sanctuary cities," such as Houston, Austin and Dallas, to enforce immigration laws or be held liable for nonaction;
  • pass a bill similar to one passed in Oklahoma that would provide no public state benefits for illegal immigrants and authorizes law enforcement officers to take Section 287 G training with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security allowing them to deal directly with illegal immigrants; and
  • require employers to verify citizenship of anyone they hire.

It will be interesting to see how much traction this type of legislation gets as Berman himself thinks it is possible that his proposed legislation will be blocked by the Senate or vetoed by the Governor.

It is also a reminder that we are into the second week of filing season for the 81st session of the legislature which convenes on January 9, 2009. Stay tuned for summaries of filings of bills of interest to employers.

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Rumor has it that Spurling has gotten the nod.
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