Ah, Texas, my adopted homeland. There’s so much to love about you, but then you do silly things like this, and so everyone thinks you’re insane. One of the most recent anti-immigrant bills to come out of the Legislature basically makes it illegal to not use super duper verification systems to make sure your workers are legal, but maids are okay. The Texas Tribune reported:
House Bill 1202, authored by state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, would make it a state jail felony to knowingly hire undocumented workers in Texas. The bill would punish those who “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” hire or contract with an “unauthorized alien”, or with someone who knowingly subcontracts with an undocumented worker. The maximum fine is $10,000, and guilty parties could face a stint in prison of 180 days to two years. (Riddle has also filed HB 17, legislation that would make being in the state illegally a trespassing offense.)
There is also an exception for domestic help. People who hire or contract with someone for work “exclusively or primarily at a single-family residence” are off the hook…
This, according to the report, is probably because Riddle herself owns horse ranches and hasn’t verified whether the people she hires are “legal” to work — how very Lou Dobbs of her! If you recall, Lou Dobbs the guy whose schtick consisted of bashing immigrants for years, was recently discovered to be doing the very same thing Riddle is afraid of. I guess it doesn’t count as “illegal hiring” when you just don’t care, I mean, know.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD[Image Courtesy Ras67]