Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Immigration House Bill 2012

There has been some serious controversy and opposition towards House Bill 2012, and rightfully so. It creates an exception for people who hire for the purpose of obtaining labor or other work to be performed exclusively or primarily at a single-family residence, even if the homeowner-employer intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly hired the worker without employment authorization.

This is especially important for Texans because of the large number of illegal immigrants that work as babysitters. Texas state rep Aaron Pena said, "A large number of the Texas population would end up in prison if the bill is passed. When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers. It is so common it is overlooked." 

The fact that a state representative is admitting a hard truth like that to a news giant like CNN shows the gravity of this situation. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the future because of the mixed message it portrays. They might as well make it easy and say, "We want you here, but we don't." Bills like these tend to weaken efforts of immigration reform because they propose penalties and restrictions which appear to be based on arbitrary distinctions and class privilege. 


-Matt Looney

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