Valley community leaders react to immigration bill
Wed, 28 Apr 2010 02:25:33 GMT —
"I hope it doesn't come to the State of Texas," said Hidalgo County Judge Rene Ramirez.
Judge Ramirez is talking about the controversial immigration bill the governor of Arizona signed last week.
"It doesn't send the right message," said Ramirez.
The bill allows police to question a person's legal status.
Opponents think it also opens doors for racial profiling.
Judge Ramirez said with Hidalgo County so close to the border, a law like that would be detremental to the state's economy.
"If it were to try to be enacted here in the state of Texas, I think it would have some negative economic impacts on the community," said Ramirez.
He said the commerce that comes back and forth from Mexico is a big part of the state's economy, and to constantly question people of their status could hurt that.
"It's actually the wrong approach to go ahead and try to criminalize an alleged activity with regards to our law enforcement trying to figure out if somebody has documentation," said Ramirez.
Juanita Valdez Cox, the director of La Union Del Pueblo Entero, LUPE, agrees.
She told Acton 4 News that Arizona's immigration bill isn't the way to go.
"In Arizona, by doing this, they're making a bad situation worse," said Valdez Cox.
She said if it can happen in Arizona, it can happen anywhere.
"Some law maker or legislator in Texas might get the idea that this is the way you fix the immigration situation," said Valdez Cox
Instead, she said there needs to be comprehensive reform.
"That is what is needed--not for local policeto take on the job of immigration officials," said Valdez Cox.
LUPE is joining forces with other activists opposing the bill to ask for a complete overhaul of the immigration system.
They are asking people to rally with them May 1 in McAllen from 10 a.m. to noon at the Archer Park.
The rally is to protest the immigration bill signed by the governor of Arizona.