To The Georgetown City Council:
It has come to our attention that the Georgetown City Council will vote on January 8th to consider enacting a new Hazleton style city ordinance that will require contractors and subcontractors to prove their employees are in this country legally.
LULAC Council 4721 requests that the Georgetown City Council table the creation of any anti-immigrant ordinance. Georgetown’s anti-immigrant ordinance is simply not needed. Immigration law is a matter reserved for the U.S. Congress and federal law. In fact, in 1986 Congress enacted sweeping legislation that makes it unlawful for businesses to employ illegal immigrants and expressly pre-empts states and localities from imposing their own civil or criminal penalties.
The ordinance that is being contemplated is fueled by a mixture of misinformation and fear, if enacted, it will foster discrimination and racial profiling in Georgetown. This ill conceived ordinance will create opportunities to discriminate against anyone who simply looks like he or she might be an undocumented worker, citizen and non-citizen alike.
Other states and municipalities across the country have unsuccessfully attempted to adopt similarly divisive, unnecessary and illegal measures. Court’s across this country have found Hazelton type ordinances unconstitutional because it encroaches on federal immigration powers, fails to provide procedural protection to people before they are fired and violates federal civil rights laws. The Supreme Court has already determined it was the exclusive province of the federal government to determine whether a person is in the United States lawfully or not.
Our Council urges the Georgetown City Council to avoid spending taxpayer dollars on an ordinance that will simply produce legal challenges that will burden the local taxpayer.
Jose Orta,President LULAC Council 4721
From KXAN (Dec. 19, 2007)
The City of Georgetown is taking new steps to crack down on illegal immigration.
The council voted unanimously to have staff write a proposal for a new city ordinance that would require contractors to prove their employees are in this country legally.
That’s how Georgetown council member Keith Brainard came up with the idea to create an ordinance ensuring anyone working for the city in any manner, including sub-contracted, is a legal immigrant.
“People are tired of illegal immigration,” Brainard said. “They would like this country to police its borders.”
While some in Georgetown agree, some like Guadalupe Rodriguez don’t.
“When they come here they are willing to do anything, just as long as they can make enough money to support their families,” Rodriguez said.
She said one reason the council may support the idea is because there is no one on the council who looks like her.
“We have five men and two women,” Brainard said. “I don’t really think in terms of people ethnicity. As far as I can tell, they are all caucasion.”
“It’s just very hard, I guess, for a different kind of race to get on the board,” Rodriguez said.
Meanwhile, Brainard said the issue is not about race.
“If you are in this country legally than you won’t have a problem with this proposal,” Brainard said. “It really boils down to that. It really gets down to the issue of whether or not the City of Georgetown is going to support and encourage illegal immigration, or not support illegal immigration.”
Georgetown staff members are preparing the proposal for the city council to consider at their next meeting on Jan. 8.