FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 7, 2011
Contact: Cristina Parker 915-497-2747
GOV. PERRY’S MISTAKE ON SANCTUARY CITIES WILL COST ALL TEXANS THEIR SECURITY
On SB9, Republicans buy into the bad politics of immigration at the expense of good policy
(AUSTIN, Texas) — The following is a statement from the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance on Gov. Perry’s proclamation adding SB9 to the special session agenda.
Today, in an unprecedented, politically motivated move, Gov. Rick Perry added Arizona-style anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant proposals to the special session of Texas Legislature. The news was greeted
with deep disappointment from thousands all across Texas, including law enforcement leaders, faith leaders, business owners and human and civil rights advocates.
Unfortunately, Gov. Perry did not stop at calling for the abolition of the mythical “sanctuary cities,” but added provisions related to S-Comm, a failing federal program that is under investigation, and driver’s license restrictions that would increase the cost and time it takes to get a license for all Texans,immigrant or not. The governor has essentially endorsed Senate Bill 9 filed by Senate Republicans last week.
Texas cannot afford to follow Arizona down on their costly, dead-end road. After passing SB1070, Arizona suffered the consequences of bad ideas becoming bad laws. The state became synonymous with xenophobia and racial prejudice. Boycotts have cost Arizona over $750 million and counting. This Arizona state law has consistently lost legal challenges based on the fact that it violates the Constitution of the U.S.
Gov. Perry’s proclamation today and SB9 would divert law enforcement resources away from their real job: keeping all Texas communities safe. This phenomenon has been proven in Arizona by SB1070. The Governor and the Republican leadership in Texas are not prioritizing public safety when they push this divisive proposal against the advice of our trusted law enforcement leaders.
Gov. Perry’s pandering, political hypocrisy reached a new low today. It was only April of last year that he said “…Some aspects of [SB1070] turn law enforcement officers into immigration officials by requiring them to determine immigration status during any lawful contact with a suspected alien, taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe.”
We in Texas believe that we can do better than Arizona. We stand with sheriffs and police chiefs across the state who say this law will keep them from doing their real job — keeping Texans safe. We stand with faith and community leaders who say this law divides their communities and violates their beliefs. We stand with local taxpayers who cannot afford a law that is impossible to fund.
One wonders if Gov. Perry believes in his heart that it is worth alienating the growing Hispanic community in Texas for the momentary benefits of political posturing. While children in Texas are still waiting to find out if they will receive school funding, Gov. Perry is pandering and playing politics.
In light of this affront to Texas’ values, security and economy, RITA is organizing community responses across the state. Business, faith and law enforcement leaders will be holding a press conference at the Capitol Monday, June 13. More information will be available Friday. Then, on Wednesday June 15, hundreds of RITA members will rally at the south steps of the Capitol at 12:30 p.m. They’ll also be delivering thousands of signed letters from Texans in opposition to SB9 and the governor’s immigration agenda to lawmakers.