Saturday, February 26, 2011

Riddle me this: Does Tex legislator hire "illegals"?

Howdy, I don't hate illegals, my own bill even allows me to hire me some!

An Arizona-inspired bill making its way through the Texas house could lead to jail time for those hiring undocumented immigrants, or as the republicans like to call them, "illegals". Texas representative Debbie-Riddle, who herself is Arizona-inspired, authored HB 1012 which prohibits Texans from "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly" hiring or contracting an "unauthorized alien". I guess it wasn't enough for riddle to make it against the law to hire undocumented workers just intentionally and/or knowingly, she had to throw in recklessly just to make it sound worse. The maximum fine is $10,000 and from 3 months to 2 years in jail.  We might not be building new schools anytime soon but if Riddle gets her way, we sure are going to have to build a lot of jails. It makes me wonder if those in the prison building business are among her financial contributers.

Riddle has drawn some criticism because of an exemption she wrote into the bill. It made people wonder if she hires "illegals" herself. Here's an excerpt from a story that ran in today's Laredo Morning Times:

There is also an exception for domestic help.People who hire or contract with someone for work “exclusively or primarily at a single-family residence” are off the hook. English (her chief of staff) said that exception was geared toward not “stifling the economic engine” in Texas, so that people who contract out for work in or on their homes don’t have to vet everyone.

If homeowners hire lawn-care service, for example, English said, they shouldn’t be punished if a company employs undocumented workers. The exception for domestic help has some opponents of stricter state enforcement curious if Riddle, who owns horse ranches, was making an exception for herself. “She actually doesn’t hire anybody that works on her land that she hasn’t verified the immigration status for,” English said. “Let’s just say she is pretty thorough on that.”

Notice that her spokesman doesn't say that Riddle doesn't hire undocumented workers, he simply asserts that she checks out their immigration status thoroughly. Wouldn't making sure they're undocumented make it easier for her to exploit them any workers she might have on her ranch?


  1. What a stupid idea and I'm a Republican! Either make any hiring of illegals against the law or just don't.

  2. At least that would a consistent position but when politicians like Ms. Riddle start doing this, then their motives are rightfully questioned.