Anti illegal immigration bill with a twist

Texas HB 1202 is getting a lot of attention these days.

The bill was filed by Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle from the Houston area.

The proposed bill would make it a state jail felony to knowingly hire undocumented workers in Texas.

But there is an exemption; the bill protects those who hire undocumented immigrants for certain jobs.

Those jobs include a maid, lawn care taker or another house worker at a single family residence.

Local state Representative Aaron Pena was in the national media talking about the bill.

"I think Representative Riddle filed the bill because her constituents have come to her frustrated with the federal government not simply doing its job, and so she's looking for a Texas response", said Pena.

Pena said he doesn't necessarily support the bill although he adds, "At least it recognizes the reality of the circumstances on the ground for most people living on the border".

On the other hand local state Representative Veronica Gonzales doesn't agree with Riddle's bill.

Gonzales told Action 4 News, "I think it's kind of a ridiculous bill because federal law already prohibits you from hiring an undocumented worker whether your a big company like IBM or whether your a small mom and pop place or an individual", said Gonzales.

Gonzales adds we don't need state laws that are going to contradict federal ones.

The lawmaker goes on to say for years the federal government has been trying to pass immigration reform, and its something that must be done.

The real answer is to reform our federal law so that way we can bring people out of the shadows allow them to work, allow them to pay taxes, allow employers to have the labor they need", said Gonzales.

If this bill is passed, violators could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to 10,000 dollars.