Time is running out for Republicans in the Texas State Legislature, and that is a very good thing.
After a rollercoaster of speculations, the repeal of the Texas DREAM Act seems to be less likely by the day. Early last week, America’s Voice reported how Republican Senators were slowly mounting their opposition to the measure:
“I don’t speak for other Senators… I don’t know. I think there is a chance that there are other Republicans who are against repealing [the Texas DREAM Act]. I think you are punishing the wrong people [DREAMers]. The system is completely broken, the federal government has got to fix the immigration system” — Senator Eltife, R-Tyler
“What does it accomplish really, if we take away in-state tuition? Keep in mind that these kids aren’t taken places up in schools that other young people need… It also assumes from a purely fiscal point of view, if we don’t let in this [undocumented] student with in-state tuition, is that spot going to be filled by somebody from out of state who is then going to pay out-of state tuition” – Senator Seliger, R-Amarillo
With just five weeks left to legislate, Republicans are fighting themselves on the issue. The split is not just obvious from members who are defying the will or their party, and are willing to ignore a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, but rather from the finger pointing that is currently taking place between Texas Republicans:
“The House wants the talking point of addressing illegal immigration without actually passing the substantive policy that would address it,” said Luke Macias, a Republican consultant whose clients include several tea party lawmakers.
The Senate bill in question, SB 1819, which would repeal the Texas’ landmark state DREAM Act, was able to somersault itself into the spotlight after passing out of committed and straight into the Senate’s intent calendar. However, the bill has since been removed from the calendar — possibly due to a lack of votes to actually pass a floor vote.
With almost no interest in part of House Republicans, where companion measure have not been scheduled for any committee hearings, the repeal effort continues to be stalled in the Texas Senate.
SB 1819 is not the only immigration related bill with an uncertain future:
“Sanctuary cities” bill: Would bar local rules that prohibit police from asking the immigration status of people they stop.
Status: Out of Senate committee. May not have enough votes to be heard on Senate floor. No House committee hearing scheduled.
Interstate border security compact: Would potentially allow Texas and other states to enforce federal immigration laws — and perhaps to create their own border security force.
Status: Out of Senate committee. Prospects in full Senate unclear. No House committee hearing scheduled.
Risking embarrassment at the hands of their own party, as both Texas Governor Abbot and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, are just mere examples of how Republicans nationwide continue to trip themselves over the issue of immigration.
For now, advocates should be cautious of any attempt by Senate Republicans to add SB 1819 as an amendment to other higher education bills.