First, a Texas state representative, Leo Berman, R-Tyler, joined the "birthers' movement" by introducing a bill with a real Texas twang. A bill that would require presidential candidates to present their birth certificates to the Texas secretary of state "because we have a president whom the American people don't know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place."
Now, another Texas state representative, tea party favorite Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, has introduced a bill with both a big Texas anti-immigration twang and an equally big Texas twinge -- not of conscience, but rather one of fear. Fear of "stifling the [Texas] economic engine"* and fear that "a large segment of the Texas population" would wind up in prison if the bill became law without a Texas-size tweak.**
The bill, House Bill 2012, would make hiring an "unauthorized alien" a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. What's wrong with that, you ask, that's enforcing the law of the land.
But wait, this is not a twinge of abiding by the law. No, it is a Texas-size loophole large enough to drive a Texas-size truck full of undocumented immigrants through it.
You see, there is a big Texas "unless" attached to the proposed law.
According to The Lookout, hiring such an "unauthorized alien" would be a crime, "unless that is, they are hired to do household chores":
Rep. Debbie Riddle -- who's been saying for some time that she'd like to see Texas institute an Arizona-style immigration law -- hiring an undocumented maid, caretaker, lawnworker or any type of houseworker would be allowed. Why? As Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, also a Republican, told CNN, without the exemption, "a large segment of the Texas population" would wind up in prison if the bill became law.
"When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers," Pena told the news giant. "It is so common it is overlooked."
Or as letzgetreal.com calls this story: "Don't Touch my [undocumented] Maid."
Rep. Riddle is the same Texas legislator who last year claimed that:
Unnamed FBI officials had told her that pregnant women from the Middle East were traveling to America as tourists to give birth, and then raising their children to be terrorists who could later enter the U.S. freely as citizens -- so-called "terror babies," a devious offshoot of "anchor babies."
She appeared on "Anderson Cooper 360" to discuss this "threat." When Cooper asked her what FBI officials had told her this and what evidence there was to substantiate her claim, the following exchange followed:
"Well, at this point, I don't have the hard evidence right here in front of me," Riddle responded. She would not reveal her ex-FBI sources or the basis for their claims, and then tried to change the subject to porous borders and the threat of dirty bombs.
"Border security is certainly an issue, and it's a good topic," Cooper said. "It's not the topic, though...I'm just asking for proof. You say you're still gathering it from unnamed former FBI people."
"When your folks called me in the preliminary, that was part of the conversation," Riddle responded. "They did not tell me that you were going to grill me for this specific information that I was not ready to give to you tonight. They did not tell me that, sir."
Yes, it is the same Texas representative and that same old tune with the same old twang.