NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 2, 2007

Not long ago, George W. Bush was governor of Texas, praising the benefits to his state and this nation of immigrants, legal and illegal.  He still does, but his political heirs in a state that has a 1,200-mile border with Mexico have embraced a slightly different view, says Investor's Business Daily.


  • A recent report from the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 1.4 million to 1.6 million illegal aliens reside in Texas, about 14 percent of the U.S. total.
  • Another study, this one from the Lone Star Foundation in Austin, said illegal aliens drain $4.5 billion from the Texas economy, mostly in health care costs.

As a result, a growing number of Texas politicians on both sides of the aisle are seeking, in the absence of what they perceive to be meaningful action from Washington, to put the brakes on what was once a relative trickle and is now a flood.

State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler), is the author of one of more than two dozen proposals that target illegal immigration in Texas, proposals that amount to more stick and less carrot:

  • His bill would deny benefits to the children of illegal aliens who under the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment automatically become U.S. citizens.
  • He noted that at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and the public hospital in Houston, 70 percent of babies are born to illegal aliens.
  • In addition to health care costs, Texas schools paid more than $1.7 billion to educate illegal immigrants and the legal children of illegal immigrants in 2003-04, said the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Berman is not alone.  Other bills would tax money that illegal immigrants wire abroad, require parents to verify legal residency before receiving state medical services and eliminate in-state tuition breaks for illegal immigrants.

Source: Editorial, "Even Texas Has Had Enough," Investor's Business Daily, March 1, 2007.


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