On Memorial Day the Texas legislature conducted ceremonial proceedings, concluding its current legislative session. Those proceedings were interrupted by protesters angry over the passage of SB-4, Texas’s new “anti-sanctuary” law. SB-4, requires Lone Star State police chiefs and sheriffs to cooperate with requests to hold criminal aliens in custody, for arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Critics charge that the bill will lead to “racial profiling” and “civil rights” violations.
The protesters, many of whom wore red tee shirts that read “lucha” (“fight back” in Spanish) and carried signs reading “I am illegal and here to stay,” eventually became unruly. In response, Representative Matt Rinaldi took the eminently reasonable step of calling ICE. Apparently, this touched off a scuffle on the floor of the legislature.
The media response has been predictably biased. Most mainstream media outlets have implied that Rep. Rinaldi committed some unpardonable sin. Coverage of the incident by The Daily Beast is typical. In a piece titled, “Report: Texas Republican Called ICE on Protesters,” it quotes Democrat Representative Ramon Romero, Jr. who said of Rinaldi, ““He saw a bunch of people who look Latino, and he assumed they’re undocumented. So how can he say SB 4 won’t lead to racial profiling?”
It’s not abundantly clear how Representative Romero could have said that with a straight face (although, the anti-borders lobby is not noted for being logical). It seems fairly clear that Representative Rinaldi, when confronted with a group of people overtly declaring their illegal alien status, simply took them at their word. Therefore, it’s beyond absurd to claim that Rinaldi’s motivations were racist.
Of course, what the mainstream media, Representative Romero, and the anti-borders lobby don’t seem to understand is that most Americans don’t see immigration as a “racial” issue; they see it as a rule of law issue. And, when they see illegal activity posing a threat to their communities, they expect their law enforcement dollars to be spent resolving the situation.
If a group of self-admitted burglars had been protesting harsher penalties for theft, the whole world would have wondered why no one simply had them arrested. So the thought foremost in the minds of most Americans reading about the dustup on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives was probably, “Hallelujah, Representative Rinaldi! What took you so long?” Now, if only ICE had answered the call and actually showed up.