Rep. Jerry Madden (R-Richardson) and Rep. Joe Driver (R-Garland) – two Dallas County officials – attended a conservative group’s task force that drew up Arizona’s controversial immigration law in Austin on Oct. 29.
Rep. Jerry Madden favors the stipulation of the Arizona law. The Arizona immigration law makes it a misdemeanor crime if someone fails to carry his or her immigration documents and gives the police power to detain anyone who is suspected to be an illegal immigrant. While Madden favors the broader scope of jurisdiction and power, Driver, however, remained silent about it and did not comment further.
“I believe we ought to be enforcing the federal law, and that’s primarily what Arizona does. So the answer to that is ‘yes’,” Madden said, in response to a question about his feelings about Arizona’s immigration law.
Both lawmakers are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which passed a bill similar to the immigration measures, introduced two months earlier in Arizona.
Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070’s main provision is to deter illegal aliens from unlawfully entering the U.S. Its legislative intent is to also enforce federal immigration laws throughout the state through local government agencies and state policies.
Other provisions in the bill include transferring verified illegal aliens to federal custody and restricting state and local government from imposing bans or restrictions on not exchanging an individual’s legal immigration status. It also allows a legal resident of Arizona to sue if the local government adopts a policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws, to name a few.
A similar bill passed in the Texas Senate in May 2009. It would have allowed sheriffs and probation departments to check felons for their immigration status, but the Texas House ran out of time on the bill and it didn’t go any further.
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