Last week, this lovely story came out pertaining to a Texas lawmaker who believes that illegal immigration is just an awful, awful menace.... unless of course, the "illegals" stay in their lane and stick to performing menial household duties for rich white folks. Then, she sees no problem, and would even grant exemptions to the penalties for hiring undocumented immigrants to people employ them as household servants.
Texas has long been a hotbed of controversy on immigration issues. And a proposed immigration bill in the Texas state House is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows. The bill would make hiring an "unauthorized alien" a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, unless that is, they are hired to do household chores.
Yes, under the House Bill 2012 introduced by a tea party favorite state Rep. Debbie Riddle -- who's been saying for some time that she'd like to see Texas institute an Arizona-style immigration law -- hiring an undocumented maid, caretaker, lawn worker or any type of house worker would be allowed. Why? As Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, also a Republican, told CNN, without the exemption, "a large segment of the Texas population" would wind up in prison if the bill became law.
"When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers," Pena told the news giant. "It is so common it is overlooked." SOURCE
In other words, hire an "illegal" immigrant to perform any job aside from serving white folks and face legal repercussions. But, hire an undocumented immigrant to perform menial labor in your home and you are good to go. Sounds like another peachy loophole for the rich. It assures the people of Texas that immigrants will not be able to work as anything but servants. Oh, joy...
While I believe that immigrants should be allowed to legally work in this country, I really have to wonder about the mindset behind unequal enforcement of laws that say they cannot. How is it that a small business owner who is hiring an immigrant to do work in an environment where there is a least some oversight is breaking the law and faces punishment, while a family who hires an immigrant to do household chores does not? There is so much more potential for abuse when an immigrant is hired to work in a private home. A private family can pay wages that are as low as they want. They can force their "servant" to live in substandard conditions. To work hours upon hours. To perform tasks that are dangerous. They can basically hold an "illegal" immigrant captive, refuse to pay them and subject them to the poorest working conditions without any fear of repercussions.
And somehow Debbie Riddle thinks this is a good idea? I wonder how many "illegal" immigrants Debbie Riddle has working in HER home?