HOUSTON – Texas State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) announced plans this week to introduce an Arizona-style immigration bill in January, when the Texas legislature convenes for the 2011 legislative session. Both Republican Gov. Rick Perry and his gubernatorial opponent in the November election Bill White have said that immigration reform is a federal issue.
Mark Jones, chair of political science at Rice University, is available for news media interviews on Riddle's proposal.
"While the proposed bill is more limited in scope than the Arizona law, Rep. Riddle is still sending a political message similar to that of Arizona Republicans -- that the current immigration system is broken and that the government needs to be more proactive in deporting undocumented immigrants," Jones said.
"Even though the bill places greater constraints on police action than the Arizona law, it still would likely result in racial profiling as well as involve the state in the area of immigration policy, and as a result would also be challenged in court if it were to pass.
"Like the 2009 session when a similar bill was presented by Rep. Riddle, this bill will never make it out of committee during the 2011 legislative session because the Republican party leadership in the House and Senate will neither want to disrupt other legislative business nor further damage the party's support among Latino voters by allowing the bill to be debated and voted upon."
Located in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. Known for its "unconventional wisdom," Rice is distinguished by its: size -- 3,102 undergraduates and 2,237 graduate students; selectivity -- 12 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources -- an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1; sixth largest endowment per student among American private research universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work.
CONTACT: David Ruth