Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Texas Residents United for a Stronger Texas (TRUST) report

Here is the Texas Residents United for a Stronger Texas (TRUST) report generated by Luis Figueroa at MALDEF regarding anti-immigration bills—the majority of which were defeated. -Angela

Texas Residents United for a Stronger Texas

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Session In Review

Bill Breakdown

Due to the sheer volume of bills relating to anti-immigration, it is difficult to construct a complete summary of what happened to all anti-immigrant legislation from the session. Despite possible omissions, this breakdown of filed anti-immigrant bills confirms the overall success of the TRUST coalition efforts in preventing such legislation from being passed. Chairman Swinford held to true to his promise of not letting his committee turn into a circus by not allowing unconstitutional anti-immigrant bills an opportunity to be heard.

· Number of anti-immigrant bills (or bills including anti-immigrant provisions) and resolutions filed in both houses: 60 +

· Bills never set for a hearing: 30

· Bills set for a hearing before a house committee, but not heard: 5

· Bills heard by committee and left pending: 13

· Bills voted out of House State Affairs and died in calendars or on the house calendar: 8

· Bills that died on the house floor: 3 (HB 855, HB 1274, HB 159)

· Bills that were amended to remove all immigration-related provisions while they moved through the process: 2 (HB 13 and SB 47)

· Bill voted out of house but not heard by senate committee: 1 (HB 1997)

· Bill voted out of senate but not heard by house committee: 1 (SB 1464)

· Bills sent to the governor, amended to limit negative impact on immigrants: 1 (HB 1196)

Immigration Legislative Round-up

· Of the over 60 filed bills and resolutions that included anti-immigrant provisions, three-quarters died in committee and almost half were never set for a hearing. Five were set for hearings but not heard by committee and 13 others were heard by committee and left pending. The successful prevention of anti-immigrant legislation from being passed testifies to the efforts of the TRUST coalition.

Bills Voted out of Committee

Three bills with an anti-immigrant impact died on the house floor.

· HB 855 would have expanded the offense of failure to identify so that individuals who were not yet under arrest could be charged for refusing to provide identifying information to a peace officer.

· HB 1274 would make it a requirement for commercial drivers in Texas to speak English. Chairman of Transportation Mike Krusee (R-Round Rock), when asked why he would allow such a bill out of his committee responded that, "You don't have to agree with every bill that you let out."

· HB 159 would remove the provision in current law that permits long-time Texas residents to attend Texas public universities and community colleges at the in-state tuition rate regardless of immigration status.

Bills that Passed Out of the House

· HB 13, which relates to homeland security issues, including border security issues and law enforcement and SB 47, were amended during the legislative process to remove all immigration-related provisions.

· In the end, only one immigration-related bill, HB 1196, which requires businesses who commit the federal offense of engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring individuals who are ineligible to work to repay any public subsidy they have received, was sent to the governor.

Positive Bills

· In terms of affirmative legislation, HB 1121, a bill that assists immigrant victims of human trafficking and other severe crimes, has been sent to the governor.

In the News and Highlights from the Session:

Editorial: Bills on immigration just fruitless gestures

State lawmaker: Leave most immigration issues to the feds. Most bills might not pass constitutional muster

The Death and Rebirth of HB 13

MALC Awards Rep. Farias, Rep Swinford, and Rep. Davis

Now it's Time For Congress to Act

Thank you all for your heroic efforts in making this session a tremendous success in terms of protecting the rights of all Texans. I would also like to present a special thank you to Rebecca Bernhardt and the ACLU of Texas for their tireless energy and work on behalf of the TRUST Coalition.

Luis Figueroa

Legislative Staff Attorney
110 Broadway
Suite 300
San Antonio, TX 78205

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