By Manifesto Joe
We have a new nominee for most ignorant person in the world: Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball (Houston area). Riddle has introduced a bill in the Texas Legislature that would hit employers of illegal immigrants with heavy penalties. But she makes a very, very large exception -- for "single-family" employers thereof.
In other words, in the world according to Debbie Riddle (a Tea Party fave, by the way), about one-third of the restaurants in Texas would be forced out of business if they were to comply with such a law. But she could go on hiring nannies, gardeners, cooks, ditch-diggers and maids as long as they are employed by a single family.
Riddle should have known that she was setting herself up for "ridicule" here. In the first place, she resembles a cartoon character. There's a picture of her in an outfit that suggests the Texas flag, with white fences and horses and green pastures in the background. She appears to be about a size 6, but one can guess that she can afford plenty of arugula with her salads, and can't remember ever missing a meal involuntarily. She's a blonde who appears to have spent too much time out in the sun. It's taken a bit of a toll.
I don't recall the subject, but Anderson Cooper apparently tore her another one during an interview a short while back. She admittedly wasn't prepared for a grilling from a more-or-less real journalist.
Now, she comes up with this little legislative gem, House Bill 1202. Here's a link to a recent report from the Houston Chronicle.
I could find no biographical information on Riddle, other than that she's listed as a "horse breeder" by profession, and that her husband, Mike, is a lawyer. Oh, and she apparently attended Southwestern University. If that's the one in Georgetown, Texas, I remember it as a private school that's mostly the domain of rich kids.
Anyway, Riddle is being "ridiculed" widely for this stupid bill, which she depicts as a common sense approach to the problem of illegal immigration. A fellow Republican House member, one who happens to be Hispanic, explained that if no such exceptions were made, a pretty substantial portion of the Texas population (and rich 'uns, too, I will add) would go to jail.
I suppose that an "all or nothing" approach to this problem wouldn't be practical. But Riddle's solution is, at the very least, patronizing, and at worst just flat-out racist. Her lawn man and her housekeeper would be OK to stay. (Well, as long as they themselves weren't caught.) Just don't expect your fajitas to be as fast or as cheap the next time you visit a Tex-Mex eatery -- those that are still there. And the cost of car washes and roofing will go through the roof.
It's time to face reality about this. About 1.6 million illegal immigrants currently live in Texas, by one estimate. They are an integral and rather permanent part of the economy. Scholarly studies have indicated that their effect on wages here is very slight, and there are actually some kinds of businesses (car washes and lawn care come to mind) that could not even exist without their cheap labor.
So, where is Riddle coming from? This quote from a 2003 interview with the El Paso Times is a good indication:
"Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it's cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It's not a tender heart. It's ripping the heart out of this country."
Well, Debbie, I hate to break this to you, but none of that stuff is free in Moscow, and it never has been free here, either. People have to pay taxes for it -- except, of course, in Debbieland. In Debbieland (2011 America), the rich pay little or no tax, because they are the ones who create jobs -- for maids, gardeners, nannies, housekeepers, lawn men, etc. Preferably, those with brown skin.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.