29 April 2010

AgCom Candidate Gilbert takes Republican Berman to School on Immigration!

Imagine a scene from one of those glorious old WWII black-and-white espionage movies where the hero's car is halted at a check point and an overbearing and sneering gestapo agent in a black leather top coat and black Homburg approaches the car and hisses..."your papers, please!

We fought a world war so that freedom would prevail and such human rights abuses and excesses against liberty would not find their way to America.  But now they have.  In Arizona.  And some pinheads in Texas want to copy.

Now fast forward to modern day, technicolor Arizona with a draconian new immigration law that mandates law enforcement officers verify the citizenship of anyone they "suspect" of being in the country illegally. White Stetson replaces black Homburg, western cut shirt and gold badge replaces black leather top coat, and nasal western twang replaces the Germanic sneer, but the effect is the same. We do not have to give it a name or label. Back then, it was called Fascism or Nazism and we fought and died to prevent its ugliness from coming to our country.  But it has.  In Arizona.  And some pinheads in Texas want to copy.

We also engaged in a nearly five decades long cold war against the Soviet Union's "Stalinism" where citizens were required to carry their identity papers and be able to "prove" their citizenship at all times. Again, America stood firm against the assault on human rights and individual freedom and led the world in opposing fascism.  Now it has made its way to America, in Arizona, and some pinheads in Texas want to follow suit.

OK, you say, that's Arizona, and the heat makes them do nutty things from time-to-time, but this is Texas where people don't squat on their spurs or kick cow patties. Well, says I, our very own arch-conservative nincompoop, and renowned xenophobe, state representative, Leo Berman (R-Dist. 6 - Smith County) is mindlessly posturing himself in favor of Texas adopting a law like Arizona's.

Now, before we continue, I have to acknowledge that I hold popinjay, Berman, in a singularly high state of personal and professional disregard and scorn. He has twice attempted to engage me in a battle of wits, and on each occasion, I found him only half-armed!

On Wednesday of this week, Democratic candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hank Gilbert, took Berman to school on the dire impact such a law would have on Texas Agribusiness and how those wholly negative effects would resonate throughout the entire state economy.  "...talk about driving up food costs, slashing tax revenues, and damaging out economy, then Leo Berman's bill is exactly what you want.  I can't imagine someone proposing something so irresponsible or damaging to Texas agriculture," Gilbert said.

According to Gilbert, the unadorned truth is that undocumented immigrants comprise a considerable portion of the agricultural labor force and if they can't move about freely without constant threat of police action, they will go elsewhere for work  "These men and women help Texas grow food not just for our state, but for the rest of the nation".

"Texas doesn't need this.  Human beings from south of our border who are coming and working in Texas-who contribute more in tax revenue than they cost the state in services-deserve some dignity.  It is not the responsibility of the state to enforce federal immigration laws." Gilbert said.

Gilbert noted that according to a report issued by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, December 2006, "undocumented immigrants residing in Texas have a positive economic impact on the state in excess of $17 billion per year, and a positive financial impact on the state budget.  "Undocumented immigrants bring more to the Texas economy and the state than they cost the state in government services", Gilbert said.

"In addition", Gilbert says, "...forcing local government entities such as police departments, sheriff's departments, and county jails to check immigration status and detain undocumented individuals would be cost significant sums of money annually that would have to be raised by increasing taxes."

You would think that a retired colonel of the Army Artillery Corps, as Berman so proudly boasts, would not be half-cocked when trying to release a broadside.  Now, you would, wouldn't you?

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