By Jose Medina
ACLU of Texas Media Coordinator
By now we’ve all heard about the misguided step Arizona lawmakers took in approving a racial profiling law disguised as an immigration law.
Well, it didn’t take long before some in Texas expressed a desire to ignore the Constitution and throw their support behind something similar for the Lone Star State. Thus far two legislators have said they plan to introduce legislation similar to Arizona’s when the Texas Legislature convenes in January.
ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke issued the following statement Tuesday in response to the news that State Rep. Leo Berman of Tyler wants this state to follow in Arizona’s footsteps:
“At a time when the State of Texas is facing an $11 billion shortfall, it is preposterous that an elected official would even consider throwing an unconstitutional racial profiling law into the legislative mix. Last session, we wasted months on Voter ID, another proposal disguised as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist – polling place fraud. We can’t afford nonsense like that in the coming session.”
And today the San Antonio Express News reports that State Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball also thinks Arizona’s law is a good idea for Texas.
“Arizona’s law is unconstitutional. It doesn’t make Arizonans safer. It is leading to national protests and perhaps an economic boycott of the state. Over time, enforcement will erode community confidence in police and reduce community cooperation in fighting crime. Texas doesn’t need any of these bad results from a bad law,” added Burke.