Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Should Texas Follow Arizona's Lead in Immigration Law?

This past Saturday afternoon, my wife and I watched democracy in action as an immigration rally convened at the steps of our Capital building in Austin, Texas. We watched in awe as the protesters began slowly marching down Congress Avenue with banners and chants. Undoubtedly, this anti-immigration law rally in Austin was inspired by the new immigration law that was passed and quickly signed by Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer. According to this law, members of Arizona's law enforcement will now be required to confirm a person's immigrant status if there is reason to believe he or she is in the country illegally. Before this law was in place, police officers could only check the immigration status of people when they already were suspected in another crime.

Immediately, questions were raised concerning the intentions of the law and how exactly police officers would go about determining whether or not there is a legitimate reason to question someone's status in our country. In fact, as Attorney General Eric Holder shared earlier today, the Obama administration is considering a court challenge of the law at the federal level. Also, some states are considering a boycott of Arizona's professional sports offerings, business contracts, and tourist spots.

As another border state, Texas also grapples with how to legislate the difficult issue of illegal immigration on a regular basis. At BERTOLINO LLP, we have immigration law attorneys to help you navigate through the rules established at both the state and federal level. If you need assistance with your immigration paperwork, if you are an employer wanting to make sure that you are complying with the law, or if you are ready to apply for citizenship, we can help. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

What do you think of the new law in Arizona? Is this a measure that you would like to see replicated in Texas? Or, do you agree with its critics who say it is nothing more than racial profiling and detrimental to the broader efforts of immigration reform?

1 comment:

bill said...

It seems to me the immigration law is on the books we should try to enforce. Arizona is taking the lead. We've hood winked and played games with immigration since before Ronald Reagan's election. When the pressure gets great enough we'll enact another amnesty no doubt. We ought to enforce the law or declare it an open border.

I would like too see Texas and California adapt similar laws and not worry about profiling with the heaviest penalties on employers. Stiff fines and jail time for violation. Put some teeth in the immigration laws.