Texas state representative pushing for immigration reform

State Representative Debbie Riddle
State Representative Debbie Riddle
Member of the Trinity County Patriots Rena Tempel
Member of the Trinity County Patriots Rena Tempel

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – The battle for the Texas border is heating up, as several state elected officials are promising sweeping immigration reform similar to the Arizona law.

Thursday night the Trinity County Patriots hosted a state representative who aims to pass an immigration law in January.

"Here you've got the Attorney General, the United States along with other nations suing Arizona when the only thing they're wanting to do for crying out loud is protect their citizens," said state representative for District 150, Debbie Riddle.

Riddle maintains that not one section of the controversial Arizona law is unconstitutional, including the parts blocked by a federal judge on July 28th, 2010.

Riddle says she's working to introduce a similar bill that would allow Texas law enforcement to check the immigration status of those arrested or stopped.

"They've got to have reasonable suspicion that a crime has either been committed, going to be committed, or about to be committed and if they so choose they can ask for legal immigration status of an individual," explained Riddle.

She says illegal immigration is costing tax payers precious dollars while threatening their safety.

"The numbers have just come out in testimony yesterday in Austin that the gangs in Houston that are working with the drug cartels in Mexico, that the gang related violence in Houston has gone up over 200 percent," said Riddle.

Members of the Trinity County Patriots hope Texas will follow Arizona's lead.

"I would like to see the federal government back us up and let our local police do the enforcing that they need to," said member of the Trinity County Patriots, Rena Tempel.

They say it's not just a state by state issue.

"We need to look at not just the Hispanics that are coming in Texas and Arizona, we need to look at the Haitians that are coming into Florida, we need to look at the Cubans that have tried to come in," said Tempel.

The Patriots say as American citizens, it's their right to feel protected.

Riddle says she's working with Texas officials, including law enforcement, as well as Arizona officials to form a new bill that she'll present in January.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.