Tag Archives: Undocumented Aliens

In Texas, It’s a Felony to Harbor an Illegal Alien – But What Does that Mean?

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a Texas law that makes it a felony punishable by up to 10 years to harbor illegal aliens.  The ruling lifted an injunction that had blocked the 2015 law from taking full effect, in a ruling praised by both the state and immigrant advocates.

The law makes it a felony to encourage unauthorized immigrants to enter or remain in the country by concealing, harboring or shielding that person from detection.  Two landlords had sued to prevent enforcement arguing that the law was overly broad and could apply to people who rent apartments and homes to undocumented immigrants.  Texas argued that the law was intended to apply only to alien smuggling and human trafficking operations.  But that wasn’t the way the law was written and  – given the near total control of the State by the Red Meat Wing of the Republican Party – it was an open question as to who could be prosecuted.

The Fifth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Jerry Smith, cleared the air by holding that the law as written does not apply to persons who provide shelter to or conduct business with illegal aliens.

“There is no reasonable interpretation by which merely renting housing or providing social services to an illegal alien constitutes ‘harboring … that person from detection.'”

Thus, landlords and homeless shelters cannot be prosecuted.  Here, the Fifth Circuit saved the bacon of the pathetic excuse for an Attorney General that is Ken Paxton by issuing a ruling that saves the statute but likely does not accomplish what the Tea Party dominated State House really wanted.

Gregg Abbott Takes Action Against Non-Existent Texas “Sanctuary Cities”

Gov. Gregg Abbott, Tea-Party Wannabe, is cracking down by threatening to withhold funds from so-called “Sanctuary Cities.”  There are a couple of problems with Abbott’s plans.  First, the funds he wants to withhold are miniscule in the scheme of things for the larger cities and counties in Texas.  Second, it is really unclear if there are in fact any SC’s in Texas.  The essence of an SC is that it’s law enforcement officials will not indefinitely hold an undocumented alien in custody for a minor crime until the Feds can get there and take the UA into custody for immigration violations.  It does not appear that any major law enforcement agencies in Texas are actually refusing to do just that.  So our poor idiot Governor (who is just one in a seemingly unbroken line of OPIG’s) is doing nothing more than his typical and customary grandstanding for his Tea Party base while ignoring the real issues that are facing our state.  If you want more on Abbott’s latest sad effort to look gubernatorial, you can check out FoxNews.  Even they have the correct take on Abbott’s folly.

Pope Francis Reaches out to Texas Teen

Pope Francis has been conducting video teleconferences with parishioners around the world.  He recently connected with a Texas teenager who claims to have lost a soccer scholarship when the school found out he was an undocumented alien.  ABC News has the full story.

Soccer aficionado Pope Francis took a page from his favorite sport’s handbook recently in his message to a young man in McAllen, Texas, who had shared his story of adversity during an ABC News virtual audience with the pontiff via satellite.

Ricardo Ortiz, 19, of Houston, told Pope Francis on Monday that he’d lost a soccer scholarship to college once the school had found out he was not a U.S. citizen.

“They informed [me] that I wasn’t able to attend the university of my dreams,” he said. “I ended up going to a community college, started working full time, started supporting my family.”

When Ortiz was around 17, his father had an accident and nearly lost his leg. He was not able to work.

Thankfully, due to the 2012 immigration law Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Ortiz attained a work permit and held down after-school jobs.

“That happening impacted my life in a very deep way. I had to become the breadwinner of the family. I had to be the person that supported our family,” said Ortiz, whose family had then grown with three younger brothers. “I never lost faith. I never lost the strength that my father and mother gave me.”

Eventually, his father was able to return to work and Ortiz was able to graduate high school, where he’d picked up soccer in his junior year and excelled. On Monday, he asked the pope what was the solution to the world’s problems.

Pope Francis, a well-known avid soccer fan, expressed admiration for Ortiz and told him Monday that “the match is played between friendship in society and enmity in society.”

“We are all created for friendship in society. All of us bear responsibility for everyone else,” the pope said. “And each one has to make a choice in his or her heart. And we have to help that choice to be made in the heart. Escaping it through addiction, through violence, does not help. Only closeness and giving of myself, all that I have to give, the way you gave everything you could as a boy, when you supported your family. Don’t forget that.”