Sticking to her guns today, state Rep. Debbie Riddle defended comments she made on a radio talk show last week after she was asked about the chances of an Arizona-styled law succeeding in Texas. When asked how to generate an outcry over illegal immigration among people of color, Riddle said it would be difficult because: "When you have people that are used to entitlements, then they like the entitlements and they want the entitlements to keep coming."
In a statement released today, Riddle provided a little more insight.
"I told my constituents a long time ago that I had declared war on political correctness. That means I “call ‘em like I see ‘em.”
When Geoff Berg asked me last week “How do you generate an outcry among the people of color that is equivalent to the outcry from white people?” it was clear to me that he was asking why legislative groups like the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus oppose my bill, which does nothing more than allow state law enforcement to arrest those who are confirmed to be here illegally, so that they may be identified and deported by federal agents.
And I gave my honest answer: I think that those lawmakers believe that illegal immigrants are entitled to services that we reserve for our citizens, services that must be paid for by the tax dollars of our citizens, and are too often given to illegal immigrants instead of our citizens. I think this is not just wrong, not just unjust, but truly and utterly immoral in every sense of the word.
As our state deals with the largest financial crisis we’ve seen in recent memory, lawmakers have unpleasant and unpopular decisions that must be made. We must choose to provide for the safety and security of our citizens before we make concessions to those who do not have a legal right to be here in the first place.
I will not send our citizens to the back of the line in order to appease the politically-correct left."
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.