There are many forms of criminal prosecution of which citizens should be aware. Any accusation leading to a conviction has the potential to carry harsh consequences. One of the most difficult crimes to address has to do with immigration. This is a particularly serious issue in the state of Texas, where many immigrants reside.
Any individual that is not a U.S. citizen could face deportation in the event he or she is convicted of a crime. Such a consequence then is extremely harsh for non U.S. citizens. Being uprooted from one’s home and family is much worse for many than jail time or heavy fines. In the past years, Governor Perry has pushed to make such immigration laws even harsher in the state. However, during the beginning of the legislative session, the topic of cracking down on immigration did not surface at all. When it comes to criminal defense, no news on immigration is likely good news.
The subject of immigration has been a hot one in the state of Texas. In 2011, Governor Perry gave a traditional speech on the need to crack down on immigration in the state, putting the infamous Arizona immigration laws on a platform of excellence. However, a bill that extended from such concepts didn’t pass that year. After the U.S. Supreme Court held that many of the new immigration laws in Arizona were preempted by federal law, some believe passing more of the same would be in vain.
Additionally, Hispanic Americans occupy more and more of the population every day. While former President Bush received 43 percent of the Hispanic vote, Mr. Romney received only 27 percent of the same in 2012. It seems the Republican Party is reevaluating their approach on such concepts as immigration. Perhaps the lack of the topic in Governor Perry’s speech represents such a turning point.
Whatever the case, a more difficult immigration policy that would put so many more Texans in danger of criminal prosecution many not be something to worry about this legislative session.
Source: KPBS, “Texas legislature reverses course on immigration laws,” Davis Martin Davies, Jan. 9, 2013.