Texas Tea Party activists petition Perry on illegal immigration
GOP presidential front-runner Rick Perry was in New York today delivering a speech in defense of Israel’s sovereignty.
Back at home, Texas Tea Party activists had their own press conference to call attention to Perry’s inattention to home state border and sovereignty issues:
Texas Tea Party leaders are unhappy with Gov. Rick Perry’s immigration-related positions and want him to call another special legislative session to give state lawmakers a third opportunity to ban sanctuary cities.
“This is an issue that is simmering and bubbling up to the surface … We are tired of lip service. We are fed up. We are fed up, too, Gov. Perry,” Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee chair JoAnn Fleming of Tyler said Monday.
Perry declared sanctuary cities an emergency issue in January and put it back on the legislative agenda in June after lawmakers failed to approve legislation during the regular session. Legislation to ban so-called sanctuary cities – and subject anyone stopped for a traffic violation to document their citizenship – also failed during the special session.
Tea Party leaders said they thought they had Perry’s support following a June 28th meeting in the governor’s Capitol office.
…Maria Martinez, executive director of the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas, and others believe that legislative leaders conspired to ensure that sanctuary cities legislation would die. Several business leaders in the home building and food industries opposed it.
“We witnessed the use of tricks, delays and special deals to (help) cheap-labor advocates,” Martinez said.
More than 40 immigration-related bills were introduced this year, but only 21 got a hearing and all but two died, she complained.
“He needs to address whether he is serious about illegal immigration,” Martinez said.
Tea Party leaders told Perry during their June 28th meeting that it “wouldn’t look good” if he tried to run a national campaign with a failed illegal immigration policy hanging around his neck.
More from the Texas Tea Party:
“My father migrated from Mexico, legally, and became a U.S. citizen. He came to the US because he knew the great opportunities America offered. Today, things are very wrong in Texas! Our elected officials have failed to serve and protect citizens and legal residents of Texas. They have failed to remove sanctuary city policies throughout Texas. They have failed to enforce the law. They should protect our Texas families and those who protect us – law enforcement officers. Sanctuary city policies have cost the lives of five Houston police officers and left another officer seriously impaired. It is time our state officials took care of this unfinished business.”
— Maria Espinoza, Co-Founder of The Remembrance Project
“As legal immigrants in the late 1960’s, my family and I fled communism. We came here with the mission to become “Americans,” and we did so to become part of all that makes this country great. We cannot sit by and have our laws ignored by politicians who take an oath to uphold the rule of law and then proceed to choose the laws they want to ignore. We cannot afford the burden of paying the tax liabilities for those who cross the border, remain “under the radar” and use this country for their purposes without any responsibility whatsoever. I am here today to say that our Texas elected officials need to do their job and quit playing games with our security and financial future.”
— Roberto Gonzalez, Clear Lake TEA Party
Although Perry proclaimed the bill a top priority, the measure drew behind-the-scenes resistance from influential business leaders, including Houston home builder Bob Perry, one of the governor’s biggest individual political donors.
…Despite Perry’s public commitment to the measure, some critics questioned the depth of his support after reports that Bob Perry, who is not related to the governor, and San Antonio grocery store magnate Charles Butt were waging a subsurface effort to scuttle the bill.
Bob Perry and his wife, Doylene, have contributed more than $2 million to Rick Perry since 2001. The Houston home builder has also donated to the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, whose members led opposition to the sanctuary cities bill.