Less than an hour after the period began for filing bills for consideration in the 2011 Legislative session, State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball), a leader of the newly muscular conservatives in the Legislature, filed an ‘Arizona style’ measure that would crack down on illegal immigration, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Riddle says her measure is a response to what she says is the escalating violence caused by Mexican and Latin American gangs in Texas.
“It is absolutely out of control with the gang related crime, which is going through the roof, so, yes, we are addressing this, and quite frankly, I am not worried about political correctness,” Riddle told 1200 WOAI news.
The measure would be similar to Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, in that it would require that local police work with federal immigration officials in determining the legal status of a person who is in their custody.
Republicans will hold 99 of the 150 seats in the Texas House when the biennial session is gaveled into order January 11th, the largest GOP majority in the Texas House in 140 years. The conservative landslide last week is expected to result in several measures on the conservative wish list which have been killed by Democrats and moderate Republicans being passed in the coming legislature.
Riddle’s measure would also deny all state funds to any community which declares itself a ‘sanctuary city’ and refuses to aggressively enforce immigration laws.
In addition to the healthy majority in the Texas House, Republcians will still control almost 2/3 of the seats in the 31 member State Senate, as well as Republicans in control of all statewide elected offices. But despite their healthy majority, Democrats like State Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) say they’ll fight Riddle’s propsoal.