Pro: States need to enforce immigration law because feds aren't doing enough
May 23, 2010 at 12:23 a.m.
WHAT SHOULD TEXAS DO?
Should Texas adopt an immigration law similar to Arizona's?
Protests around the U.S. have occurred after Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070, enabling officers, without a warrant, to arrest people if there is probable cause they are in the country illegally.
Victoria retiree W.D. Condron disagrees with racial profiling, but thinks some measures need to be taken against illegal immigration.
Condron said he thinks the controversial Arizona law only reinforces the federal policy at a state level. He supports Texas taking a similar step.
"They're getting it in the books at the state level because it's not being enforced," Condron said.
State Rep. Leo Berman, R- Tyler, said he will prefile a bill similar to Arizona's in November.
Berman said the federal government is not taking sufficient action to combat the problem.
"The bill is just giving the police the tools to deal with criminals," Berman said.
The bill would enable officers who conduct a routine traffic stop to question individuals on their legal status.
Berman said the law would be a step in the right direction.
"It's about time that states are doing something about it," he said.
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, said she hopes to reintroduce a bill that would allow officers to check the status of an individual under specific guidelines.
They would be authorized to check with Immigration Customs Enforcement to find out if the individual had entered the country illegally, said John English, Riddle's chief of staff.
"The individual would have to be under investigation of a felony or misdemeanor, not because of a traffic stop," English said.
Berman's bill would enable officers who find probable cause and conduct a routine traffic stop to inquire of an individual's legal status in the U.S.
"If you don't violate the law, you don't have to worry about the law," Berman said.
English said Riddle's main focus is securing the border.
For supporters of the Arizona law, the question is only if the law will be carried out.
"I think it'd be all right if they enforced it," said R.G. Stanford, a Victoria businessman.