Racism: A Cost Savings Method?

That’s right. Anti-Latino Texas State Rep. Leo Berman introduced an English-only bill which he calls a cost-saving method for the state budget.

Stating that the state would save millions of dollars if state documents were only printed in English, Berman seems to have found a way to file bigoted legislation without looking bigoted.

But that doesn’t matter. We know some of the things Berman is known to say. His intentions are strictly anti-Latino. As are some of the other bills discussed yesterday in Austin.

Remember Debbie Riddle’s exempt-the-wealthy bill?

A bill by Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Houston, raised questions because it initially exempted people who hired illegal immigrants as domestic help. However, Riddle removed that clause from her bill, leaving only those who attempt to verify the citizenship status of their employees as exempt from the state felony charges.

Hardly an improvement. We need comprehensive immigration reform, not wholesale round-ups and warehousing of families. Immigrant labor continues to be an economic engine for Texas and it is obvious the federal government has shirked its responsibility by increasing enforcement and other family separation measures. It’s bad for the Texas economy, period.

Another bill discussed yesterday was to force employers to use the very flawed E-Verify system to check applicants’ citizenship status.

Supporters say Texas employers should be required to use the program, but opponents say the error rate is too high and the program doesn’t actually detect a large percentage of unauthorized workers. They say E-Verify is limited in its nature and can’t detect stolen identities.

And, again, you cannot institute this program without some sort of comprehensive immigration reform that first brings people out of the shadows and weeds out others. Now, that would be a cost-savings method.

So, let’s say that the cost of translating and printing documents in Texas was to save the state money, costs would still be driven up because of extra use of employees who would need to do live-translation of documents if any state business is going to get done. And all of these other enforcement measures drive up costs for the state. Whether it is through court costs, human warehousing (jails), or the use of other criminal and civil sanctions, the state cannot afford to hate Latinos and immigrants at this time.

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