Despite contributions, Texans like to complain about illegal immigrants

Ruben Nararrette
Liberal Opinion

Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author
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In early July, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) enlisted the Texas National Guard to arrest and bus illegal Mexican immigrants back to entry points along the border. More recently, Abbott sent thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C. to prove a point about President Joe Biden’s lax immigration policies. Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette argues it’s hypocritical for pro-business Texas to treat immigrants so harshly when those immigrants have been so instrumental to the state’s success:

Texas sure produces some mighty bitter wine. What I can’t swallow is that here you have the second most populous state in the country, a place whose brand is all about strength and independence and taming the Wild West by unleashing the Texas Rangers to go kill a bunch of Mexicans. And yet, when the issue turns to immigration, Texas gets all squishy. It puts out a wine that’s so weak, so sour, and most of all, so transparent, you can see right through it.

Sure, I live in my home state of California. But before you chalk up what I’ve got to say to an interstate rivalry as old as Southwest, you ought to know that I have zero desire to mess with Texas. I love the place more than blue bonnets and yellow roses. In fact, I consider it my second home. My mom and my oldest daughter were both born in Texas, and I spent five years living in the Lone Star State while I wrote editorials and columns for the Dallas Morning News.

But recently, when a good friend who lives in Texas, a very conservative Mexican-American, glibly told me that illegal immigrants were “destroying the state,” I wasn’t having it. No, I corrected him. Illegal Immigrants built Texas. They made cities like Dallas and Houston virtually recession-proof all through the 1990s and 2000s. And even today, Texans can’t stop hiring the undocumented to do their chores for them.

If this is a wound, and I’m not sure it is, but if it is a wound, then it’s self-inflicted. I went on — if you Texans are really tired of winning, if you’re sick of doing so well with a powerhouse economy that even in bad times is going gangbusters, you should pass a law tomorrow that punishes employers. All the illegal immigrants would pack up and leave the state and go to Oklahoma or Missouri or Indiana. With every state in the country facing a worker shortage, there would be plenty of places eager to take these immigrants off your hands.

Texas sure produces some mighty bitter wine. What I can’t swallow is that here you have the second most populous state in the country, a place whose brand is all about strength and independence and taming the wild west by unleashing the Texas Rangers to go kill a bunch of Mexicans. And yet, when the issue turns to immigration, Texas gets all squishy. It puts out a wine that’s so weak, so sour, and most of all, so transparent. You can see right through it. Sure, I live in my home state of California. But before you chalk up what I’ve got to say to an interstate rivalry as old as southwest, you ought to know that I have zero desire to mess with Texas. I love the place more than blue bonnets and yellow roses. In fact, I consider it my second home. My mom and my oldest daughter were both born in Texas, and I spent five years living in the Lone Star State while I wrote editorials and columns for the Dallas Morning News. But recently, when a good friend who lives in Texas, a very conservative Mexican American glibly told me that illegal immigrants were, quote, destroying the state. I wasn’t having it. No, I corrected him. Illegal Immigrants built Texas. They made cities like Dallas and Houston, virtually recession proof all through the 1990s and 2000s. And even today, Texans can’t stop hiring the undocumented to do their chores for them. If this is a wound, and I’m not sure it is, but if it is a wound, then it’s self inflicted. I went on, if you Texans are really tired of winning, if you’re sick of doing so well with a powerhouse economy that even in bad times is going gangbusters. You should pass a law tomorrow, that punishes employers. All the illegal immigrants would pack up and leave the state and go to Oklahoma or Missouri or Indiana. With every state in the country facing a worker shortage. There would be plenty of places eager to take these immigrants off your hands. Boom, trick bomb. What was the last time you heard that kind of straight talk for a politician who’s sucking up to you. So you’ll vote for them. After all, the number one employer of illegal immigrants in America isn’t some big corporation, not hotels, farms, ranches, restaurants or construction firms. It’s the US household, which can’t function without nannies, gardeners, housekeepers and senior caregivers. If Texans and all Americans for that matter, really want to get rid of illegal immigrants, we could go after those who employ them. We could create a new three strikes law versus defense, you get a warning. Second Offense, you get what existing federal law already calls for a $10,000 fine per infraction. Third Offense, you get five days in jail. I want to show how tough we can all get on illegal immigration. Great, start locking up soccer moms, and high school chemistry teachers, and then get back to me. Until then piped down. Americans need to hear the hard facts, especially those who live soft lives in states like Texas. Those folks want to play dumb, and pretend they were just minding their own business, sipping sweet tea in their backyards, when suddenly over the horizon, came a foreign army to invade their state, an army of workers eager to care for Texans rate of do their chores for them so they could sit in the backyard and sip sweet tea. Is that the kind of invasion we’re talking about? Come on. Now. As they say down Texas way. I may have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night. It’s ironic, and frankly also a little bit sad. Conservative Republicans like the ones who run Texas man, they used to talk a good game, when they were lecturing the rest of us about how we had to own up to the consequences of our decisions and take responsibility for our actions. You know that sermon, yet when it’s time to step up and accept the consequences of their decisions to hire the undocumented where they go, they bob and weave they make excuses and they play the victim. It’s been the same way for years. Unfortunately, Texas wine is a vintage that does not age.

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