From an Obsessive Optimist in the Eye of A Hurricane.

life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Texas “Dream Act” is pure Texas Two Step


I love Texas.  It is my adopted state.  I came to live here in 1988 and except for a couple of years in Saltillo, Coahuila Mexico and another 5 years in the great midwest, I have lived in Texas.  My husband’ s family were German immigrants to Texas in 1860.  Both of my children were born in Texas.  26 years I lived in San Antonio, TX.  I am passionately conservative and very conflicted about the illegal immigration issue.  This conflict has now surfaced in the run for the GOP presidential nominee, with the entry of our Governor, Rick Perry.

I voted for our Governor, Rick Perry and despite his dismal, really dismal debate performance, I believe he would make a good president.  His pragmatic approval of instate tuition for students who had been schooled for three years or more by the state of Texas, regardless of the students legal status is example of how our Governor sides with common sense.  Common sense is a rare thing in politics.  These children did not sneak over the border by themselves and attend school, just to receive the instate tuition.  Prior to the intense documentation, many, many illegal children, who had gone to school in Texas, received instate tuition as a matter of course.  Unlike the President’s version, which is all encompassing and gives free tuition to illegal immigrants to age 100?, this is strictly for young adults who have spent 3 or more years in the Texas school systems prior to entering college. 

I have many friends who are illegal immigrants, from Mexico.  I lived in Mexico and speak Spanish.  Most people in South Texas have friends,  or at least acquaintances that are illegal.  In San Antonio, where the population is over 70% hispanic, it is more common to hear Spanish than English spoken, in many areas of town.  This is the experience from which this law germinates. 

In the past, in South Texas, most immigrants from Mexico were illegal.  Wading across the border for better opportunities was the normal.  No one even considered it breaking the law.  The father of a very good friend walked across to pick crops,  then married an Irish girl who was picking crops.  They crossed back and forth between Mexico and America.  My friend was born at home.  Which home was never clear.  At six, she was enrolled in a Texas Public School, and that, back in 1952 made her an American.  

This is our conflict with illegal immigration, in Texas.  A Texan, born in Texas not only has friends and acquaintances that are illegal immigrants but has a good chance of having an illegal immigrant or two as a grandmother, grandfather, mother or father.  Our Governor was born in a small town in South Texas.  This is his reality.  This makes his Texas “Dream Act” both pragmatic and common sense.

The second step of the Texas Two Step, is neither our Governor, or most Texas citizens, legal or illegal want illegal immigration to continue.  We all want it stopped.  None of my illegal friends or acquaintances want to import the violence in Mexico, which they are very familiar with, here to Texas or the United States.  This is also the position of our Governor. 

Our Governor has done a better job of protecting Texas from current illegal immigration than any other Governor on the Mexico border.  I attribute this to 4 things. The Texas Rangers (not the baseball team!).  Texas gun laws, our citizens are armed.  Texas extradition law, we will not send murderers back to Mexico, so they can buy their way out of jail and Texas justice, if you murder in Texas, you die. 

Our Governor has upset some conservatives by saying he does not support a border fence.  Our Governor again is pragmatic and full of common sense.  He says, 

“No, I don’t support a fence on the border,” The fact is, it’s 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Two things: How long you think it would take to build that? And then if you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good.

 

This is a direct quote from a speech in New Hampshire on September 4, 2011.  Pragmatic and common sense.  We need to secure the border now.  The fence will take time to build.  Now we need boots on the ground.  Our Governor has requested National Guard troops on our borders many times. 
 
Our Governor’s position on sanctuary cities has incensed many latino activists.  In June 2011 he called a special session of the Texas legislature and said, 

“Texas owes it to the brave law enforcement officials, who put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and communities, to give them the discretion they need to adequately do their jobs,Abolishing sanctuary cities in Texas, using the federal Secure Communities program and ensuring that only individuals who are here legally can obtain a valid Texas driver’s license sends a clear message that Texas will not turn a blind eye to those breaking our laws.”

Again, pragmatic and common sense.  This protects our law enforcement officers, so they can do their job.  The latino activists say that our Governor Rick Perry and Texas cannot have it both ways, we cannot support educating our students and eliminating sanctuary cities.  Texans and our Governor say, “Yes we can, yes we can, because in Texas we are pragmatic and have common sense.

This is the Texas Two Step.  We were part of Mexico.  We obtained our own independence.  We choose to be part of the United States.  Mexican immigration is an important part of our state and personal history.  Not to educate our students, our students, would be to deny them the opportunity extended to ourselves.  No Texan wants terrorists or the Mexican Cartel crossing our borders.  Texans want our borders protected, now.   Texans, like our Governor are pragmatic and full of common sense. 

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