How to contact the people who were elected to represent you:
Here’s the website that helps you find all the people who represent you on the both the federal and state levels. It gives you their names, websites, mailing addresses, and phone numbers.
Do it today. Even if you think they won’t care about your opinion. It’s our most basic and easiest way (besides voting) to participate in this democracy. You have a voice. Exercise it.
Julian Agular has a new post at the Texas Tribune about the (possible) controversial bills waiting to be put up to a vote in the state legislature. Below is me taking many, many bits from Agular and adding commentary. So, if you don’t want the commentary, just click on over to the Texas Tribune:
- This all started with the voter ID bill that passed last night in the Senate. If the house also passes it, Texas residents will have to show photo ID to vote. Who will most likely not vote if it passes? Minorities (read: Latinos), the elderly, and the poor, because they may not the means or the time to obtain photo ID.
- “State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, has made national headlines for his “birther” bill that would require a candidate for president or vice president of the U.S. to show proof of natural-born citizenship to be placed on the ballot in Texas.”
- Berman is also trying to “provoke a legal challenge to the 14th Amendment, which bestows citizenship on anyone born in the U.S., regardless of the status of the child’s parents. House Bill 292, if passed, would prevent a county’s local registrar from issuing a birth certificate to a child born to undocumented immigrants in Texas. “Instead, they will be given a notice of birth, with instructions to take it to their own consulate or embassy to get citizenship papers or a birth certificate from the country of their parents,” Berman said, explaining his bill. “If it passes, we expect to be sued immediately, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for — we want to be sued in federal court so that federal judges will finally read the 14th Amendment.” After that, he said, it’ll only be a matter of time before the federal government realizes the amendment was ratified in 1868 only for those children born in the U.S. to black slaves.”"
Just so you know, that reading of the Constitution is 1) wrong, 2) seeped in Berman’s clear hatred of Latinos, 3) ahistorical 4) anti-conservative (except, you know, that conservatives love to hate, well, everybody that ain’t white, hetero, and rich) and 5) the exact reason that a strict reading of the Constitution is hated on by so many.
- “Berman has also authored a bill — HB 294 — that would ban undocumented immigrants from suing legal Texans. They could not seek “equitable relief as a counter claimant or a cross claimant,” according to the legislation. “If you have an accident with a car driven by an illegal alien, you are going to pay for your own car. But if you hit them, they are going to get an attorney, an abogado, and they are going to try and sue you for everything you’re worth,” he said. “I have asked several lawyers, and they said it is constitutional.””
I love the Spanish. To drive home that “illegal aliens” speak Spanish. And since several lawyers have said that it is legal, it must be. I’m sure there are no conservative lawyers out there who hate the Spanish-speaking “illegal aliens” either who wouldn’t be thrilled to find a legal reason to back some hate-based legislation.
- “State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, has drawn the ire of Hispanic Democrats, educators and others for her proposed legislation — HB 22 — that would mandate that public schools keep track of the immigration status of students by requiring that they submit a copy of their birth certificates or other documents indicating their residency status “for inspection” by school officials at the time of enrollment. The bill also requires school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to submit information on the number of students enrolled in bilingual education or special language programs, and to “identify and analyze any impact on the standard or quality of education provided to students who are citizens that may occur as a result.” [...] “It’s just nose-counting. [Denying education] is not the intent That’s not what we hope happens either,” he said. “We just need to know how many illegal students we are serving.”"
So, Republicans want to slash the education budget and also implement rules like this that will cost the schools time and money. Just to make sure that certain kids don’t get an education? I will never understand the desire to deny education or health care. Yes, they cost money. But undocumented immigrants pay taxes, too. And we are talking about children. And their education and their health. How can you deny that group those things? I literally can’t understand. But just so you know, they aren’t doing it to deny education; they simply want to do it to know how many “illegal students we are serving”. Didn’t anyone tell them? Curiosity gets the undocumented student deported!
- “HB 21, also filed by Riddle, would require that state agencies report the costs of providing benefits to undocumented immigrants. Local governmental entities that receive state grants would also be required to submit that information to the grant provider.”
- “State Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, has filed legislation that targets legal aliens who are requesting indigent care. HB 655, if passed, would offer counties the option of adopting a policy that would consider the income of a legal alien’s sponsor if that alien applied for indigent care. A sponsored alien is one who is admitted into the country legally after an affidavit of support. The sponsor’s spouse’s income could also be included in the determination of an alien’s eligibility for indigent care. Taylor said Collin County officials approached him about filing the legislation, and that the bill has garnered support from his Republican colleagues in the Texas House and Senate. “People that have the wherewithal to afford health care are taking advantage of our indigent health care system, which is designed for the indigent,” he said. Last year the county spent more than $3 million on indigent care, though how much was on legal aliens is not known, according to his chief of staff. Randall Ellis, the senior director of government relations for Legacy Community Health Services in Houston, said the bill is a transparent attempt to discourage the sponsorship of aliens petitioning to enter the U.S. legally.
Wow. Going after the legal aliens now, too? Nice. Good move, Texas. Really proud.
Okay, Arizona. Your turn.