TRUST Business Letter to Save the DREAM Act

From the Texas Association of Business to the Texas State Legislature:

January 23, 2015

RE: Business Community Support of In-State Tuition and TEXAS Grants for Texas Residents

Dear Members of the Texas Legislature,

On behalf of the undersigned businesses, we respectfully request your support for the continuation of in-state tuition and state financial aid for all eligible youth who attend high school in Texas. We are deeply concerned over state legislation introduced that would end the “Texas DREAM Act” and block access to TEXAS Grants for DREAMer students who meet certain requirements. We urge you to resist those efforts to turn our backs on what has been visionary and bipartisan state law since 2001. Such proposals would hurt Texas businesses and impede prosperity for the people of our state.

As business leaders, we are well aware that a highly-educated workforce is an imperative for our state if it will continue to attract businesses. The rich binational commerce from which Texas benefits is key to preparing our workforce and remaining competitive in a global marketplace. Supporting long-standing law that allows DREAMers to qualify for in-state tuition and TEXAS Grants will provide students the opportunity to attain academic success, serve in our military, and make contributions that will help stimulate our state’s economy through an increase in wages, taxes and consumption of goods and services.

Please consider the needs of our economy, employers, and future workforce and the economic ramifications a repeal of in-state tuition and TEXAS Grants for Texas DREAMers would have on our state.


Texas Association of Business

Perry: No new state services for illegal immigrants

Mike Ward of the Austin American Statesman reported on 8/20/2012:

Joining a growing chorus of complaints about President Barack Obama’s new policy giving some illegal immigrants a two-year reprieve from deportation, Gov. Rick Perry has advised state agencies that the federal move will not change Texas’ policies against providing services for those who remain in the country.

In a letter distributed to state agencies on Monday, Perry calls the president’s plan “a slap in the face to the rule of law.”

“To avoid any confusion on the impact of the Obama administration’s actions, I am writing to ensure that all Texas agencies understand that (Homeland Security) Secretary (Janet) Napolitano’s guidelines confer absolutely no legal status whatsoever to any alien who qualifies for the federal ‘deferred action’ designation,” Perry said.  Read more »


Huffington Post: The Beginning Of The End Of The Anti-Immigrant State Law Movement?

On July 2, 2012 Kristian Ramos (HuffPost) wrote:

Anyone who witnessed Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s rambling, borderline incoherent press conference on the Supreme Court’s SB1070 ruling must have been struck by two things. First, she had written her speech well before actually hearing the court’s verdict, and secondly she had no idea what had actually occurred in the ruling. Tellingly, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his adviser Kris Kobach, the mastermind of the anti-immigrant state law movement were respectively silent and sober in their immediate post-ruling spin. They must have realized that the Supreme Court had just gutted the anti-immigrant state-law movement’s core belief that states could create and enforce their own immigration laws.

Read more »

KUT News: For Texas GOP, A New Position On Immigration Reform

On June 9, 2012 Morgan Smith and Julian Aguilar (Texas Tribune) wrote:

Late Friday night, Texas Republicans approved an unprecedented change to their official party platform: a call for a national guest-worker program.

The more moderate language is a welcoming gesture to Hispanics who have avoided the GOP because of what they view as its hardline position on immigration issues.

“It takes away a tool that Democrats have used for years to drive a wedge between conservative Hispanics and Republicans,” said’s Bob Price, who is also a delegate at the Republican Party’s state convention.The platform, which is not binding, is more of a political statement than a rulebook and often ends up advertising the state party’s most radical views. That means the new philosophy won’t necessarily translate to new policy — in fact, a state guest worker bill carried by two Republican legislators failed to pass last session. But it does reflect a concrete effort to reach out to Hispanic voters, which may come at the expense of irking the party’s conservative activists. It passed the floor of the convention after many delegates resisted what they called a watering down of conservative principles.

Read more »

GSN Magazine: State immigration bills see significant drop, but not off the table

On 5/23/12 Mark Rockwell wrote:

The number of bills introduced in states across the U.S. dropped significantly in the first quarter of 2012, according to a state legislature association study released on May 22, but some may be waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in.

The National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), which bills itself as a bipartisan organization serving legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories, said although immigration continues to be a hot-button issue with state lawmakers, bills aimed at immigrants and refugees saw a steep decline in this year’s first quarter compared to last year’s.

Read more »

Clarion Ledger – Immigration bill: Not a state issue

Editorial published March 15, 2012:

The Mississippi Legislature appears determined to forge ahead with punitive immigration enforcement legislation, despite the evidence that it is not needed and potentially harmful.

Mississippi does have a growing immigrant population, but a small population of illegal immigrants. Estimates put the number at about 45,000. Illegal immigration has not been a major issue for this state.

But, illegal immigration is a hot-button, popular political issue for some legislators, who have offered up copy-cat proposals from other states. Arizona and Alabama have passed the most punitive anti-immigration laws, which have been challenged in court and have brought economic boycotts and protests against the state. A University of Alabama study found that Alabama’s law could cost that state $2.3 billion annually and result in the loss of 70,000-140,000 jobs. Read more …


WNYC: Solidarity Between Immigrants, Civil Rights Marchers After Ala. HB 56 Ruling

On March 9, 2012, Sarah Kate Kramer writes:

Immigrants in Alabama are pushing back against the controversial immigration law HB 56, and it’s working.

In the same week as thousands of Latinos are marching with African American leaders to commemorate the bloody civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery that took place 47 years ago, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked two more sections of HB 56 on Thursday.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined Sections 27 and 30 of the state law until legal challenges brought by the federal government and a coalition of church and civil rights groups are resolved.

The state legislature passed HB 56, a law targeting undocumented immigrants in June 2011, and it immediately gained notoriety as the toughest immigration law in the country. In September, Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn issued preliminary injunctions against a few provisions of the law, including one prohibiting undocumented immigrants from attending public universities, another that outlawed harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants and a third that outlawed stopping for day laborers if a motor vehicle blocked traffic. But Judge Blackburn left intact two of the most controversial elements of the law. Read more …

CBS News: Court blocks parts of Ala. immigration law

March 8, 2012:

ATLANTA – A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked two more sections of Alabama’s tough new law targeting illegal immigration pending the outcome of lawsuits that seek to overturn the law entirely.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order temporarily halting a section that says courts can’t enforce contracts involving illegal immigrants and another that makes it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state.

The law adopted last year was challenged by both the federal government and a coalition of activist groups. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit heard arguments last week but said it won’t rule on the overall case until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a federal challenge to a similar law in Arizona. The appeals court is also weighing Georgia’s law.

Lawyers in the Alabama case had asked the court to at least temporarily stop the two sections and others, claiming they were causing harm to people in the state.

“We are very pleased that the Eleventh Circuit understood the harms these provisions were causing in Alabama, and saw fit to enjoin them,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Sam Brooke, who argued before the panel last week. “This is a great day for the residents of our state.”

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said he strongly disagrees with the court’s decision.  Read more …