History of LWV-TX Action on Immigration

1997 Because immigration is largely regulated by federal law, few bills relating to immigration were introduced during the 75th Legislature and no League action was taken. However, one of the League's legislative priorities in 1997, fair and adequate funding and delivery of vital state services in the era of block grants, encompassed needs of all low income persons, immigrants as well as non immigrants.

2001 The League supported legislation to require the Texas Department of Human Services to develop and implement a food assistance program.

2007 The immigration issue generated much sound and fury during the 80th Legislative session, but none of three bills supported by LWV-TX passed. HB 28 (Berman) would have excluded state services to children born in this state to parents who are not citizens or nationals of the U.S., and who have entered the U.S. without inspection and authorization of an immigration officer. The bill died in committee. HRC 11 (Solomon) would have directed the office of the attorney General of Texas to pursue all available remedies to demand the enforcement of all existing federal immigration laws an to recover any money owed Texas by the federal government for costs incurred by the state in dealing with illegal immigration.

SB 151 (Shapleigh) would have prohibited discrimination relating to immigration status or nationality of a person needing or receiving emergency medical care.

2011 The 82nd session saw several proposed bills regarding immigration. The main thrust behind each was to implement the governor's objective to enable all law enforcement agencies across the state to verify the legal status of anyone legally detained. This included increased use of the federal electronic verification system. LWV-TX opposed all of the proposed immigration bills, basically because immigration is a federal issue. The LWV supports federal law providing an efficient, expeditious system for legal entry into the U.S. None of the proposed bills were successful in the regular session.

2009 The 81st Texas Legislature did provide a few minor affirmative measures like allowing children to be absent from school if they are involved in an immigration court hearing, and providing services and protection to victims of human trafficking. However, of the more than 100 immigration bills filed, more than 60 were anti-immigrant. One questionable bill that did pass was a measure which would provide deportation for those convicted of a misdemeanor involving family violence. According to the Progressive States Network the anti-immigration movement failed in most states, and Texas was rated as a somewhat integrated state.