Bill of the Week
Riddle's voter ID/education/immigration smash-up
House Bill 22Filed: Nov. 8, 2010. Author: Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball
Riddle is famous for three things: one, her love of voter ID bills (the first House bill filed this session was House Bill 16, her version of the measure); two, her fear of terrorist anchor babies; and three, for claiming that the idea of free public education comes "straight out of the pit of hell." All three policy points seem to be blended in HB 22. It sounds innocuous enough: "Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall determine the citizenship and immigration status of each student at the time of the student's initial enrollment." In fact, it would require that parents show school officials their children's U.S. birth certificates; otherwise, they would have 30 days to provide proof of immigration status. School districts would have to include this immigration data in their annual reports to the Texas Education Agency, which would then have to analyze the impact of having foreigners in the classroom. Apart from sounding a lot like an unfunded mandate on school districts – while turning principals into de facto immigration enforcement – HB 22 could also violate the Texas Constitution, which orders that "all Texas children have access to a quality education."