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Monday, October 2, 2023


Republican bill enslaves illegals

p>Government officials are often accused of behaving hypocritically, but Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle has gone so far as to enshrine her own hypocrisy into law. The Republican representative from Tomball has proposed a bill that would make the deliberate hiring of an illegal immigrant a felony.

On the surface, this sounds just like another harsh law consistent with partisan politics and anti-immigration rhetoric.

The duplicity arises from the fact that the proposed law exempts anyone who hires an undocumented immigrant to work in a single-family residence.

In other words, illegal immigrants can still be hired to do your household chores without you having to fear a felony charge. No one needs to worry about who will mow their lawn, paint their house or serve as their maid.

Backers of the proposal defend it by saying that these types of workers are just too common in Texas and that such employees should be casually overlooked.

Texas Rep. Aaron Pena, a Democrat, said that without the exemption, “her bill will see a large segment of the Texas population in prison.”

Apparently Riddle and other supporters of the bill find the use of undocumented domestic servants too convenient to outlaw.

The ostensible premise of the proposed law is that by taking away the source of jobs, the incentive to cross into the U.S. illegally is removed.

From a legal standpoint, this bill is a hollow proposal. There are already federal laws that prohibit businesses and companies from employing undocumented workers.

With punishment ranging from $10,000 in fines to up to five years in prison, only the most audacious of corporations would risk hiring those who are in the country illegally. The Texas bill simply adds a state penalty on top of the existing consequences.

As it stands, federal law does not cover illegal immigrants in the domestic sector, and the state bill deliberately does not address this area either. Its selective enforcement renders it completely ineffective in curtailing the most prevalent forms of illegal immigrant employment.

In addition to being legally insignificant, this proposal reeks of arrogance and discrimination. It tacitly asserts that illegal immigrants are suitable for low-wage, menial labor, but not for more skilled and higher paying work.

Simply put, they can scrub floors but can’t work on an assembly line. If passed, the law would promote poverty and expose illegal immigrants to abuse and exploitation. Households would be free to continue hiring undocumented workers at below minimum wage, and in some instances, refuse to pay illegal immigrants at all.

Potentially dangerous jobs such as tree cutting and roof repair would remain available. Even workers of less hazardous jobs could essentially end up as indentured servants, with households detaining them under the promise of payment.

In any case, illegal immigrants would still be able to easily find work and would remain drawn to the state for employment opportunities.

Regardless of where one stands on the issue of illegal immigration, everyone should be opposed to Riddle’s self-serving grandstanding.

Her proposal is a disgraceful attempt to win political points from tea-party activists and hard-line Republicans.

If enacted, the law would neither change current hiring practices nor act as a deterrent against illegal immigration. Empty rhetoric has no place in Texas law, and this bill is nothing but thinly veiled pandering.

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