Group protests new immigration bills

DREAM act rally

Opponents of recently proposed legislation in the Texas Legislature responded by organizing a rally on the steps of the capitol in Austin. A number of UH students made the trip in order to show their opposition. | Daniel Renfrow/The Daily Cougar

An estimated 300 people gathered in front of the Texas state capitol in Austin for a rally supporting the Latino community and immigrant rights.

The rally was held in response to immigration legislation proposed for the 82nd legislative session. Opponents have denounced the bills as imitations of SB 1070, the immigration bill passed in Arizona last year. However, supporters of these bills say they are necessary.

The rally began at Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church and continued onto the front steps of the capitol building. Members of the crowd, that included a number of University of Houston students, chanted slogans along the way.

Once in front of the capitol building, the crowd chanted, “We are students,” and “We are family,” as they waited to listen to a panel of speakers before participating in group meetings with their state representatives.

UH Sociology junior Brendan Laws participated in the rally.

“Immigration is a big part of my life. My father was an immigrant,” Laws said. “It just connects to the history of my family. I’m here to tell them how the bills will destroy my community and family.”

The proposed bills include HB 197, a bill that requires proof of citizenship in order to work in Texas and would charge employers with a Class A misdemeanor if they’re found to have employed undocumented immigrants.

Another bill that has been introduced, HB 17, allows police officers to arrest someone without a warrant if the officer suspects that the individual is undocumented, and if the officer believes the person is committing or has committed another offense.

Kevin Taylor, principal of Henry F. Waskow High School from Belton, Texas was in front of the capitol building with a group of students when the rally took place. Taylor supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but believes that the federal government’s laws should be enforced.

“There’s a legal way to enter our country,” Taylor. said “Do it legally.”

State Rep. Dan Huberty, District 127 agrees that the federal government’s laws pertaining to illegal immigration should be enforced.

“Unless the federal government does something, we have to enforce our borders. Sometimes it creates animosity,” Huberty said. “I get both sides of the argument.”

HB 464, a bill proposed by Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, District 17, is another of the bills being protested.

The bill, which would repeal the Texas DREAM Act, would directly affect undocumented University of Houston students if passed.

The Texas DREAM Act was signed into law by Governor Perry and allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition.

“We will fight it to make sure the Texas DREAM Act is not repealed,” Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna, District 143, a UH alumna, said. “We know that education is the key.”

Jeronimo Cortina, UH assistant professor of political science, weighed in on the situation of undocumented college students.

“Why penalize these kids who were brought here without their consent? It just doesn’t make sense,” Cortina said. “The state is not paying for them. They are residents of the state. They pay property taxes,” Cortina said. “The only thing they don’t have is their migratory status.”

English junior Alejandro Caballero attended the rally in support of a friend.

“The new bills would destroy a lot of dreams,” Caballero said. “Many people would be devastated and America would be missing out on a lot of talent.”

Huberty believes that expanding the number of work visas and green cards and shortening the waiting time could achieve a practical solution for the illegal immigration problem. This would enable more people to immigrate into the country legally, Huberty said, noting that this solution is rarely talked about in the media.

“There are people who want to come here legally to work,” Huberty said. “We need to give them that ability.”

1 Comment

  • America is emotionally exhausted and mentally divided on the growing illegal immigration issue. Most lawmakers are afraid of it and will not touch it. For the prior thirty years or so these supposed legislators working for the American people have crippled any new laws against constructing the border wall, E-Verify or anything else that's come their way. Today is entirely different as many strong minded legislators as Sen. Sessions, and a few others have explored the massive impact of this terrible plague of cheap foreign labor. Arizona Governor Brewer and State Representative Peirce have realized the terrible impact they have had to bare, from those illegal workers and their families. As a Border State it has had to suffer silently, but with the gigantic downturn of the caustic housing market, brought upon us by such silent partners in crime as Andrew Cuomo who made it extremely easy through threats to force banks to offer low income, and a majority of illegal alien’s families to buy homes.

    On the main agenda now is the burgeoning battle over the 14th Amendment that gives rights immediately to the new born of an illegal parent? The commentary on this is well known, but to my opinion that anybody with a parent who owns allegiance to a foreign country, cannot have any binding right to any citizenship. Eventually the Supreme Court will hear the State of Arizona pleading to overrule the law meant for just slaves after the Civil War. However, with three (I think) out of five justices the law, will stay the same. We can certainly without any exceptions deport the parent or parents? Most Liberal doctrines are a sad ideology, that is a disgrace to this sovereign country and indirectly the progressives are to blame for the 2.500 people who died in the carnage at the World trade Center. Law enforcement was prohibited to ask, certain question of the Muslim murderers who crashed the jets into the buildings thanks to the "Politically Correct" philosophy of a zealot extremists in the Democratic Party.

    This report lays out some truths about the birthright law, that outlines some facts that American patriots must explore: This become unfair game to the despondent US Taxpayer as the 14th Amendment is costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually, that should be going to our poor, our senior citizens, our homeless veterans, our mentally handicapped the old and sick. and and Until the Liberal progressives cut off our right to "Free Speech" or introduce the "Fairness Doctrine" I will bring to America attention the dangers of illegal immigration, chain migration and amnesty. Here are the projections of costs of the huge inflow of women 9 month pregnant females and ready to conceive, arriving from every country from one hemisphere to the other, getting free prenatal care, welfare and even as they have more children low income housing. : And

    Another rip off of America's tax base is the massive fraud of the child tax credit, that the Fed's have done absolutely nothing about? This is mostly attributed to illegal immigrants who are largely responsible for this silent fraud that our taxes pay for. Another interesting statistic is "How many illegal immigrants have settled in the US, " is an article located in the Christian Science Monitor: I have added these new links because there are so many negative points that must be explored

    We must introduce every form of enforcement, including the border fence and scrutiny of every female who steps of a jet or arrive by ship. REMEMBER MOST LIBERTARIAN MEDIA WILL HAVE NO COMMENT BOX FOR YOU TO USE YOUR HEALTHY INTELLECT, AGAINST THEIR RAMBLING AGENDA'S BY SPEAKING OUT WITH FREE SPEECH. THEY ALWAYS TURN TO FOUL LANGUAGE, OR RACIST EPITHETS TO GRIND YOU DOWN, SO YOU WILL NOT STAND AGAINST THIS FINANCIALLY TROUBLING ISSUE. Join a local TEA Party for less government intrusion, fair taxation and to erase the illegal alien invasion that will escalate your tax burden. Learn more about this simmering financial problem and its consequences at and

    No copyright ever. Distribute freely.

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