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Immigration Reform

I am a proponent of immigration, but the equation has changed. There was a time in our history when we used to say: ‘Give me your tired, poor and hungry,' But we are no longer in the same situation we when we, as a nation, needed everyone and anyone to come into the country. The nation was growing at that time and the country had territory that needed to be populated. If you don’t populate your territory, you cannot govern it, and you lose it. This problem has been before highlighted in the history of Rome and Mexico. At this point, our country is populated from coast to coast. The quote ‘Give me your poor, tired and hungry’ no longer applies. Now it is; ‘Give me your educated, give me your investors, give me your taxpayers.'

This does not mean I am opposed to immigration. What I am opposed to is open borders with no controls. We are a fully functioning nation that needs to remain competitive in this world. Those we allow into this country need to be able to contribute, not just take. Our congress has been stalling in dealing with immigration for almost a decade, and this affects us, Texas specifically. An high influx of immigrants can have major financial burden on both the U.S. and Texan economies. 

There’s an exponential increase in the cost of caring for these people, many of whom have little to contribute at this moment. Their contributions may come with the next generation, but at this moment, many have little to give to this country. I was raised on the Texas-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas and I am Hispanic. As a young man I was frequently questioned by U.S. Border Patrol as to my citizenship, so I am particularly sensitive to false accusations or incorrect assumptions of citizenship or residency status that amount to racial profiling.

A person in the U.S. is innocent until proven guilty. A person is also an American citizen until proven otherwise. While there are reasonable inquiries that can be made by federal immigration authorities when people are entering the U.S and to some extent inside our borders, there is no similar authority given to local, county and state police to perform immigration and customs duties and responsibilities such as immigration checks

Another key point is this, many are coming in legally are breaking laws passed by congress and are not being held accountable for it. We cannot be selective of which laws to enforce. To ignore laws on the books it to ignore the rule of law and will go down the slippery slope of selective enforcement. As a state representative I would ensure that State, County and local police entities enforce the laws of the penal code of the State of Texas, and not of the federal government, which is beyond the scope of their responsibilities.

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