By “Alan Smithee”
It’s been a month since Arizona passed their infamous anti-immigrant bill and almost as soon as it was passed rightwing copycats decided to jump on the band wagon. Two Texas State Representatives, Debbie Riddel (R-Tomball) and Leo Berman (R-Tyler), have each vowed to introduce bills similar to Arizona’s.
Riddel and Berman have been telling everyone who will listen, including KPFT’s Partisan Gridlock, that the bill they want to introduce will be exactly the same bill, except of course there won’t be any racial profiling. Berman told Austin TV station KVUE that “It will be the same bill except that we will completely eliminate any verbiage of profiling. There will be no profiling whatsoever.”
He claims that the bill will allow law enforcement to ask about immigration status “only if the people they stop or arrest can’t show an official ID, such as a driver’s license.” Riddle went a little bit further in her interview with Partisan Gridlock.
When Riddle was asked why she thinks that minorities might be opposed to laws requiring them to show their identification papers to local law enforcement she said “(W)hen you have people that are used to entitlements, then they like the entitlements and they want the entitlements to keep coming.”
Needless to say that in an interview with ABC news in April Riddle kept her one woman show going. “The people who are saying [these laws] are racially motivated are trying to divert attention for their own selfish greed,” said Riddle.
This is not the first time that Riddle has made statements that could be considered “questionable.” In 2003 Riddle made this classic statement:
“Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it’s cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It’s not a tender heart. It’s ripping the heart out of this country.”
Riddel’s statement about public education won her a Joseph McCarthy award from Texas Monthly, who also routinely name her to their worst legislators list. Like everything else on the internet Riddle’s proposal to give local law enforcement the power to demand proof of a person’s immigration status has spawned a Facebook group.