AS REPORTED IN THE LONGVIEW NEWS-JOURNAL:
Northeast Texas lawmakers hope to affect gun laws, abortion access and state participation in national health care reform in bills filed in anticipation of the 82nd Legislature convening Jan. 11 in Austin.
“They would ask everybody the same question,” Tyler Republican Rep. Leo Berman said, describing his tweak to the Arizona immigration bill.
Berman’s bill, which he plans to file Tuesday in Austin, orders law enforcement officers to ask the citizenship status of everyone they detain. An Arizona measure, that continues to draw headlines since passage in April, requires officers to have a suspicion someone is not a citizen before asking the question.
“We’re taking out the officers’ discretion,” Berman said.
His immigration bill otherwise is largely patterned on Arizona’s: No city may act as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, and employers will electronically verify Social Security cards.
Berman also announced plans to file two other immigration-related bills Tuesday.
One of those would make English the official language of Texas, which he couched as a cost-cutter to help lawmakers handle a two-year revenue shortfall predicted as high as $20 billion.
“That will save the state millions of dollars in printing,” he said.
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