SA public, council debating merits of resolution opposing Arizona bill

Greg Harman

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I'm on the one mission

To get a politician

To honor or he's a goner

By the time I get to Arizona

â?? Public Enemy

By the time the anti-immigrant politics of Arizona arrive in Austin with the opening of 82nd session of the Texas Legislature, San Antonio's objections should be plain to the world. A resolution on the floor right now (below) would push the Feds to pass comprehensive legislative immigration reform and object to any efforts to pass a law in Texas similar to Arizona's divisive Senate Bill 1070.

It got the support of local law enforcement straightaway.

“This type of law would be very, very bad for local law enforcement,” said SA Police Chief Bill McManus. It would “destroy” the fragile relationship his officers have with the community. While the sentiment was embraced with applause in the Council chambers, the first speaker from the public complains the resolution does not go far enough in decrying the inherent racism of Arizona's anti-immigrant measures.

State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer has a thoughtful editorial in today's paper that warns of the expanding employment gaps that he suggests will require expanding immigration.

Anyone who thinks all we need is a big wall or harsher enforcement has not read about the coming labor shortage. Right now, 90 percent of manufacturers have a shortage of production employees.

More than 80 percent of the nation's 17,000 law enforcement agencies, large and small, have police officer positions that they cannot fill. We also have a severe shortage of medical doctors in our nation. Last year alone, 40 percent of the fast-tracked, newly licensed doctors were trained internationally. A nation that cannot make things, cannot police itself, and cannot heal itself, also cannot afford to enact divisive laws.

Things get colorful fast in the peanut gallery with the commentary of regular meeting attendee San Antonio Jack M. Finger dressed in red, white, and blue Texas flag shirt, U.S. flag necktie, and cowboy hat. Finger called the resolution an example of the sort of “idiotic, lame-brained, ridiculous resolutions” City leaders take on before demanding to know which politician brought the resolution in the first place. “Last year you were the grand marshal of a homosexual parade and now this,” Finger said to SA Mayor Julián Casro, before whining in perfectly practiced Rush Limbaugh cadence: “You couldn't possibly be a liberal?”

Here's what's being debated:

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