Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) — who was easily reelected last week — has consistently said that he does not support enacting an Arizona-style immigration law in Texas. “I fully recognize and support a state’s right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas,” Perry said in a statement shortly after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed off on SB-1070.
Others have suggested that since the Latino electorate in Texas is much larger and more empowered than its counterpart in Arizona, Texas lawmakers won’t be emboldened to pursue legislation that such a large segment of voters oppose.
However, the possibility of Texas enacting an immigration law like Arizona’s is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility.
Texas Latinos may oppose an Arizona-style law, but 57 percent of Texans support it.
For their part, Texas Republicans seem united in support of Riddle’s initiative. This past June, over 8,000 Republican delegates and alternates from Texas approved a GOP blueprint that prioritizes enacting Arizona-like immigration laws in their state. It doesn’t help that Texas Republicans appear to be just one seat short of a supermajority which would allow them to override vetoes and make constitutional amendments without input from the Democrats. That means just one conservative Democrat could help make Riddle’s bill law. (And those kinds of Democrats definitely exist.)