Thursday, December 07, 2006

Border violence, tough talk, take Christmas truce?

Beyond the Border blog reports on the Christmas "truce" between warring drug cartels from now till the end of the holiday season. "As Mexico winds down into what is almost a month-long hiatus for the Posadas-Christmas-New Year-Three Kings Day celebrations, authorities in Nuevo León are predicting drug gangs are going to kick back with some rompope and put their grudges on ice until January," reports Sean Matteson.

Indeed, everyone seems to be in a less obstreperous mood as the holidays near, including Governor Perry, who now thinks a border wall would be "preposterous" and said the Legislature should avoid hot-button immigration topics that divide people. Those are federal concerns, he said, not matters for state and local legislation.

I wish Governor Perry had made his views on the border wall known when the legislation was in play before Congress! At that time all we heard were electioneering soundbites declaring we must secure the border from "terrorists." But I'm awfully glad to see the rhetoric shift in this new direction. Perry especially criticized base-pleasing legislation by Tyler state Rep. Leo Berman that would deny services to US citizen children of immigrants. Instead, Perry declared:
"I think any of those types of legislation that create divisions are bad. We need to look at ways to be bringing people together rather than driving wedges between them," Perry said in a speech to the Texas Border Coalition, made up of mayors and other public officials along the Texas-Mexico border.
That confirms to me that political winds are blowing away from hardline legislation bashing immigrants, though you couldn't tell it from what's happening Farmers Branch or Friendswood. OTOH, maybe you can tell because it's ONLY happening in Farmers Branch and Friendswood.

Despite Berman's bluster that he'll pursue the bill, anyway, typically when the Governor announces ahead of time he opposes a bill it's a non-starter in the Texas Legislature. Nobody wants to expend political capital on a dead letter, and this governor hasn't been shy at all about wielding his veto pen.

Kudos to Perry for getting out in front of the issue. Perhaps his comments will set a more restrained tone for the session on immigration matters. Some of the bills filed already have been aggressively hostile.

1 comment:

Glenn Willeford said...

Had your survey asked: "Decriminalize it" [marihuana] I'd have voted that way. There is an emphatic difference between "Legalization," ("to authorize or sanction by law": American Heritage College Dictionary) which seems to advocate marihuana use, and the transitive verb, "decriminalize" ("To reduce or abolish criminal penalties for"). Legalization is going too far.

Glenn Willeford