Photo: Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Yesterday the legislative session started in Texas, and Republican Governor Rick Perry identified the two issues he considers his priorities and wants fast tracked: abolishing sanctuary cities and protecting private rights.
Texas legislators are not surprised by the private property rights but are shocked at Perry’s other choice, sanctuary cities. Others are wondering where tackling the $27 billion deficit fits in.
Nonetheless, Hispanic legislators are not only shocked but also angry, since abolishing sanctuary cities is viewed as a clear anti-immigrant stance. Sanctuary cities are muncipalities where law enforcement and public officials do not question someone on their legal status.
Some are wondering if dealing with an immigration issue is a popular distraction from the dirty work of closing schools and cutting public services.
As Rep. Mike Villarreal of San Antonio commented: “Doesn’t he know the election is over? He won. Not it’s time for him to take responsibility for our schools, our jobs, and the financial crisis he helped create.”
Or maybe Governor Perry is acutely aware that Texas has added four congressional seats due in great part to the growing Hispanic population, and that 25 percent of eligible voters in Texas are Latinos, of which the overall majority voted Democrat.