(CNN) — Amid a number of bills filed in Texas that address the issue of illegal immigration, one, proposed by Republican state Rep. Debbie Riddle, stands out.
As proposed, House Bill 1202 would create tough state punishments for those who “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” hire an unauthorized immigrant. Violators could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
But it is an exception included in the bill that is drawing attention. Those who hire unauthorized immigrants would be in violation of the law — unless they are hiring a maid, a lawn caretaker or another houseworker.
You know, people that a lot of rich people hire and pay crappy wages to.
Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, a Republican, said the exception is a wise one.
“With things as they are today, her bill will see a large segment of the Texas population in prison” if it passes without the exception, he said.
“When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers,” Pena said. “It is so common it is overlooked.”
The Texas legislature convenes only once every two years, so Texas has not passed tough anti-illegal immigration laws like some other states.
Another bill would place an 8% surcharge on all money wired from Texas to Latin America. About $480 million could be collected from money sent to Mexico alone, the representative said. The proceeds would be earmarked for state hospitals.
A third bill would require police officers to ask every person they stop what their citizenship status is.
Amid all of these tough proposals, why the large exception to Riddle’s bill on hiring unauthorized workers?
Riddle did not return repeated calls for comment. Her office said she would not comment on the bill because it could still be modified.
In a interview with the Texas Tribune, Riddle’s chief of staff, Jon English, explained that the exception was to avoid “stifling the economic engine” in Texas.
But, Debbie, what if some of those maids are carrying terror babies? Don’t you remember what you said before? From THE HUFFINGTON POST (August 11, 2010):
Riddle appeared on “Anderson Cooper 360” to discuss the threat of “terror babies” — a supposed threat in which terrorist organizations send pregnant women to the United States to have their children, who would be US citizens but trained and raised abroad to be terrorists and could enter and leave the US without raising suspicion.
Riddle based her claims on her conversations with “former FBI officials” but Cooper demanded evidence.
“What former FBI officials?” he asked. “What evidence is there of some sort of long-term plot to have American babies born here and then become terrorists?
“Well, at this point, I don’t have the hard evidence right here in front of me,” Riddle responded. She would not reveal her ex-FBI sources or the basis for their claims, and then tried to change the subject to porous borders and the threat of dirty bombs.
(Video at THE HUFFINGTON POST link)