Thursday, April 15, 2010

HB 1205: Open Letter to Walker Hines

Hi, Walker - Well, they're at it again. And so am I. HB 1205 is an abomination. It is so full of unfunded mandates, criminalizing charity, authoritarian dictates, and punitive mean-spiritedness that I almost don't know where to start. This bill even tries to penalize young high school kids from being able to get a college education at any of our post-secondary public educational institutions if they can't prove their legal status. Is that what we've come to now in Louisiana? Punish the kids for the sins of the parents? And even then you'd have to think that simply crossing an imaginary line in God's earth in order to do what is necessary to survive and feed your family is a sin! Walker, you can't even imagine the impact that this bill would have on Tulane University's outreach efforts, its commitment to have its students engage in public service to our community irrespective of a resident's legal status, its ability to administer its many medical clinics, educational reform efforts, public safety efforts, etc. Are your colleagues in Baton Rouge so blinded by their fear and hatred of the foreign that they don't see what a job-crushing burden this bill will impose upon local businesses in New Orleans? Do they not see what this will do to the integrity and structure of not just the immigrant family, but also the families of those legal residents and citizens who are their relatives, neighbors, and friends, who will also experience the social ruptures and grief of such a draconian policy?

Needless to say, I expect that you'll be opposed to this measure. I hope and trust that you will. And as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, you're in a position to help keep this bill from ever making it to the House floor. I feel even more strongly about opposing this bill than I did any of the ones that were brought up in the legislative sessions from a few years ago. I know that this bill, HB 1205, came up for consideration today in the House Judiciary Committee and I, unfortunately, was unable to join my fellow colleagues from the Hispanic Apostolate and Puentes to testify against and protest this bill; but I will most certainly make every effort to get to Baton Rouge if this bill goes any farther. I will be watching this bill closely from now on out, I will be mobilizing all of the constituency muscle I can in opposing this bill, and I urge you to do the right thing not only in voting against it, but also in leading the charge to kill it. Don't disappoint me, Walker! If I can do anything to help you fight this bill, please let me know.


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