People from many areas in the state gathered on the Capitol on Tuesday to speak out about several immigration-related bills. Leaders from the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance estimated there were 3,000 people of all ages marching on the streets to the Capitol. Hundreds of these folks stayed for a rally in hopes of visiting with legislators on the subject.
One group, according to a New York Family Lawyer, was there to talk the legislature into rejecting nearly 60 immigration bills that he said are anti-immigrant, anti-family and anti-law enforcement.
The group specifically opposes a bill that would lead to a law in Texas that allows police to question anyone who they think might be in this country illegally.
“We bring the message of our people to the legislators,” said one of the leaders, who came with the labor rights group LUPE, or La Unión del Pueblo Entero. “Texas needs to be a leader, not a follower.”
He went on to explain that he and his group strongly oppose the idea of school officials to report undocumented students and even one that denies birth certificates to children born in Texas to undocumented parents.
Crowds chanted and repeated the phrase, “Si’, se puede,” which means “Yes we can!”
Many people claim these immigration-related bills would tear apart families of mixed citizenship because many US citizens have parents who were immigrants.
“We are all equal,” one man said. “We should be treated equal.”
States Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, one of the lawmakers who spoke to the crowd, switched between English and Spanish and claimed the state’s leaders have misguided priorities.
“Texas officials should focus on more important matters than the emergency item that Gov. Rick Perry has fast-tracked to eliminate ‘sanctuary city’ policies that prevent police from asking about immigration status”, he said.
A Nassau County Family Lawyer said the senator also said he opposes the bill that would allow school officials to ask children about immigration status and one that would deny benefits to children of people in the country illegally.
“We won’t stand for this type of legislation,” he firmly stated.
Jon English, who is the chief of staff for one of the House’s most prolific immigration bill filers, said he was visited by some of the people at the rally. He claimed he told them that the bills from his boss, Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, are meant to assist in the current enforcement of federal laws.
The laws for immigration are ever changing in our states today. If you have a legal concern, speak to Stephen Bilkis and Associates today.