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Texas News Archives - Page 2 of 2 - BobPrice.com Brings You...

May 25, 2019

Principled Texas Lawmakers Save the Texas Economy Millions – No Harsh Anti-Immigrant Laws in Texas

Several states passed Arizona style anti-immigrant laws this year. Texas did not.  Did we sidestep a landmine of unintended consequences? To point, Alabama and Georgia passed laws cracking down on illegal immigrants and employers.  These laws are palliative at best because they don’t address the root cause of our illegal immigration problem, a wide open and unsecured border.  But the worst side of these laws are the unintended consequences, which are currently negatively impacting these two states.

July 1st, Georgia put into law, one of the toughest laws yet to fight illegal immigration. Despite the fact that a federal judge overturned the portion of the law that would require the police to check the immigration status of unidentified suspects (which could be useful in removing the criminal element of the illegal alien population), the portion of the law making it a felony to use false documentation to apply for a job remained in effect.

On the surface that sounds like a great idea, right.  But let’s look at what has happened since then.

Photo by Vino Wong

Immigrant farm worker picking blackberries in Georgia. Photo by Vino Wong

In South Georgia, there is a bumper crop of Blackberries standing by to be picked. However, despite the high level of unemployment in our country, Americans are not showing up to apply for the jobs to pick these berries.  And, because of the new law in Georgia, the immigrant workers who normally line up for these jobs are staying away.

As a result, $200,000 worth of blackberries will rot in one farmer’s field as they remain unpicked.  Extrapolate that out to hundreds of farmers across the state and you will find increases in the price of blackberries at your grocery store.  Yet another unintended consequence.

Former President George W. Bush

I remember screaming at my television when then President George W. Bush said in a State of the Union Address that illegal aliens were doing the jobs that Americans don’t want to do.  But the more I have learned in my years of studying and working on this issue is, he was right in many cases. There are many jobs in this country that go unfilled if illegal aliens do not take them.  Of course, part of the reason they are illegal is because we cancelled programs that used to allow them to come here legally to do these kinds of jobs. This must be fixed.

7200 Homes and Businesses Destroyed by Tornado - Who will rebuild?

Similarly, the situation in Alabama, where 7200 homes and businesses were leveled by a massive tornado in April.  There is a high demand for construction labor to rebuild these homes.  Yet, according to Bloomberg, much of that labor force is disappearing after Alabama’s enactment of tough anti-immigrant laws.

In June, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed the 72 page document that became one of the newest and strongest immigration laws in the country.  The unintended consequence here, Hispanic workers are fleeing Tuscaloosa by the thousands.

Hispanic Constructions Workers Disappearing in Alabama

According to the Bloomberg report, “Hispanics, documented and undocumented, dominate anything to do with masonry, concrete, framing, roofing, and landscaping,” said Bob McNelly, a contractor with Nash-McCraw Properties, during an interview at a coffee shop near a destroyed gas station and bank.

“There are very few subcontractors I work with that don’t have a Hispanic workforce.

The city of 90,000 imposed a moratorium on major reconstruction that ends Aug. 8 to enable it to plan its remaking. The rebuilding, McNelly said, will be harder and more expensive without them: “It’s not the pay rate. It’s the fact that they work harder than anyone. It’s the work ethic.

These kinds of stories are being replicated in every state that has enacted strong anti immigration laws. The unintended consequence is always economic damage to the state.  I know this is not going to be a popular article, but it is something we must think about.

Why should we shoot ourselves in the foot when these laws do not address the root cause of the problem – The federal government’s failure to secure the border and enact responsible immigration reform.

Rep. John Garza

Texas State Rep. John Garza

This year, the Texas House Republican Hispanic Conference introduced a resolution, HCR88, to call on the federal government to do just that. Secure the border and address immigration laws in a responsible fashion that does not allow for amnesty, but recognizes the economic impact of immigrant workers in this country. Wisely, the leadership of the legislature avoided passing harsh anti-immigrant laws that would have caused negative economic impact in Texas.

Our undefined border policy has left a situation of chaos and lawlessness along our southern border. This chaos has caused drug cartels to flourish and has created a new industry of human trafficking and abuse of decent human beings.  A virtual war has broken out south of our border because we will not address the issue responsibly. States are scrambling across the country trying to figure out how to solve a massive problem that affects them but they have no real authority to address.

We must send a message to Washington that we want our border secured and we want an end to the broken system of unenforced ineffective immigration laws which must be addressed to ultimately resolve this problem.

 

Employee Misclassification on Mansfield ISD Construction Project – Rampant across Texas Construction Sites

Mansfield ISD - Fair Employment Practices?

Employee misclassification raises its ugly head once again. This time in a Dallas area school district that is building a new Center for the Performing Arts using contractors who are not properly classifying their employees. This report comes fromWFAA TV 8 in the Dallas area. Their story amplifies what we have been previously reporting at TexasGOPVoteabout the costs to Texas because of misclassified workers.

Previously I discussed the missed opportunity to address this issue in this last legislative session. Republican leadership needs to get a handle on this issue and the WFAA story helps illustrate why.  Let’s take a look.

Mansfield, Texas is located southeast of Fort Worth. It is a growing community with a rapidly growing school district. For some reason, in this season of budget cuts and reduced school budgets, Mansfield Independent School District (ISD) has decided to build a $39 Million Center for the Performing Arts! Let’s take a look at what is happening on this construction site…

Video | News | Weather | Sports2011-07-12 15:29:27.0

Texas misses out on an estimated $175 million each year to unpaid state payroll taxes.view full article

Yes, you heard that right. With unemployment numbers still rising, Texas is missing out on an estimated $175 million dollars a year, just in unemployment taxes. This does not take into account the federal taxes, workman’s compensation insurance and child support dollars that are also lost because of unethical companies cheating the system.

The other element in the room is these jobs are magnets for the illegal immigration problem. Because contractors are not reporting these workers, many hire illegal aliens to do the work and often times cheat them out of their wages. Wage theft is not limited to the illegal aliens, however. As you will see in the following interview I did with a construction foreman, Bobby Herndon, on a job in Houston at a new Wal-Mart store, these unscrupulous employers will cheat anyone they choose. Herndon was working for Carole Johnson Builders, LLC.

Following is a check received from Carole Johnson Builders, LLC for some of the work he did. As of the interview I did with him, he has been unable to cash his check. Many other of the workers he supervised are in the same situation of having been cheated out of hours worked and being issued checks that would not clear according to a story on Construction Citizen, a website that promotes ethical hiring and employment practices in the construction industry.

Bobby Henderson Victim of Wage Theft from Worthless Contractor Check

As indicated in the WFAA story, an estimated 1 in 3 workers on these types of construction sites are misclassified. Why, because it gives the company an unfair advantage over ethical companies who try to follow the law like Linden Steel referenced in the story above.  Linden Steel owner Andy Anderson told WFAA he can never be as cheap as AB Rebar (the company who won the bid and admitted not paying payroll taxes).  He said, “There’s just no way a bona fide contractor is going to compete with these guys.”

There is a way, but it is going to take work from all of us. In this legislative session bills were introduced to put some teeth into the misclassification and wage theft laws of Texas.  The bills received bipartisan support in the committee that first heard the bills but died in Calendars Committee after the AAB and Perry Homes allegedly put pressure on the Calendars Committee to kill the bill.  Sound familiar?

Employee Misclassification is cheating us out of revenue that should be helping Texas make up its budget shortfall. It is also cheating good companies from the opportunity to win business ethically and provide good paying jobs for Americans who are wanting to work. Finally, it continues to attract the illegal alien migration train. We need to either enforce the laws or get rid of the laws governing employee misclassification. The chaos that goes on now is not good for business. It is not good for Texas and it is not good for all of us.

PS.  Shame on Mansfield ISD for wasting taxpayer money building this center. I wonder how many teachers they are threatening to lay off due to budget cuts?

This is what the $39 million facility will look like when it is finished. Built with the money equivalent of blood diamonds, the taxpayers of Mansfield ISD should be proud of this building built by some allegedly unethical contractors.

Texas Legislature Honors Fallen Warriors at Texas Capitol – Interviews with Families and Legislators

As Memorial Weekend kicked off in Texas on Friday, the Texas Legislature took a break to honor 96 Texas Warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice for our state and nation.

KXAN TV in Austin partnered with TexasGOPVote to report:

“Every session, members from both chambers – both sides of the aisle, for that matter – they take some time to gather here in memory of those who have fallen in Afghanistan and in Iraq,” said Gov. Rick Perry, as he addressed a joint session in the Texas House.

“Let these brave men and women be an example to us in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana. “May we serve our state and nation with the courage and strength befitting of their sacrifice.”

Lawmakers honor 96 fallen Texans: kxan.com

 

After the service, I took a few moments to speak with some families who lost soldiers and Texas Legislators and Senators about the service.

As the service was concluding, members of the Texas National Guard fired a cannon salute from the eastern lawn of the Texas Capitol in memory of many of their own friends who died in the line of duty.

Texas National Guard fires salute to fallen warriors at Memorial weekend service.

Texas Republican Hispanic Conference Endorses Rick Perry for President

Congressman Ted Poe Discusses Murder of BP Agent Brian Terry, Operation Gun Runner and EPA Overreach in Exclusive Video

Congressman Ted Poe

In an exclusive interview with TexasGOPVote, US Representative Ted Poe (R-TX 2nd CD) talks with Bob Price of US Border Watch and TexasGOPVote about a variety of topics including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE, ATF) bungling of Operation Gunrunner leading to the deaths of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terryand Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jamie Zapata.  Congressman Poe also discussed his own plan for securing the US/Mexico Border and the overreach of the Federal Government’s EPA into areas like light bulbs, Texas air quality and offshore drilling.

“The whole idea is nonsense”, Congressman Poe said about Operation Gun Runner. “A thousand or more of those weapons have gone to Mexico.” Of course the ATF has not been able to trace those guns.

Congressman Ted Poe

“We do know about two of them. One of those guns was used apparently in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. One of those other weapons was used in the shooting of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico.”

We also discussed the hesitation of Border Patrol Agents to act in their own defense because of prior wreckless prosecutions of Border Patrol Agents by former US Attorney Johnny Sutton.  This could be part of the reason why Border Patrol Agents are taking “bean bag weapons” to the gunfight along our southern border.  Congressman Poe discusses this in the following video.

 

On Border Security, Congressman Poe has proposed a resolution named the “National Guard Border Enforcement Act“.  This bill calls for deployment of 10,000 National Guard troops along the US/Mexico border.  The troops would be paid for by the federal government, but would remain under the control of the border state governors. This would enable the troops to retain law enforcement authority while guarding our border.

Bob Price Interviews Congressman Ted Poe

On the EPA, Congressman Poe said, “The EPA should not be in control over what kind of lights we have in our home and offices.” This was discussed during our conversation about a South Carolina bill that would allow the manufacture of incandesent light bulbs in South Carolina to only be sold in South Carolina thereby nullifying the overreach of the EPA by eliminating their Interstate Commerce “jurisdiction”.  Of course, we must also look at Mr. Poe’s now famous speech on the House floor about the infamous CFL light bulbs.

We went on to discuss the economic war being waged by the Obama Adminstration against Texas.  This can be illustrated by looking at the examples of economic warfare by this administration against the Lone Star State.  These include cutting back NASA, refusal to place a Space Shuttle in Houston, the cutting of the BAE Systems Armored Vehicle plant in Sealy, Texas, the offshore drilling ban, and the recent refusal to allow federal disaster assistance for the fire stricken areas of Texas.

Poe Discusses EPA in Texas

The EPA now wants to regulate clean air in Texas despite the excellent job being done by our own Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  “The House has passed legislation to not allow funds to be used to implement the so called greenhouse gas regulation,” Mr Poe said.  “I introduced a bill to defund the EPA to prevent them from regulating CO2 emmissions.”

Congressman Poe encouraged voters to stay in touch with their legislators to make sure they are following their will as voters.

More of Congressman Poe’s unique House Floor speeches can be found on YouTube.

Congressman Poe is a great example of the kind of leadership our country is missing.  His “get things done” style of leadership should be a lesson to other members of Congress, especially the leadership in Congress.  It was a great opportunity to meet with Congressman Poe and lean more about his actions on our behalf

Interview with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott took a few minutes out of the national TV news schedule today to talk to the people of Texas in an exclusive interview with TexasGOPVote.com. In what started out to be a short five minute interview, we expanded the information for you to cover several viewpoints of this week’s federal court ruling that ObamaCare is unconstitutional and no longer the “law of the land”.

In this expanded interview we covered this case versus the other court cases on this topic and why this case is very important. We talked about other states efforts to “nullify” the overreaching federal action and the impact this had in preparing the lawsuits.  We also talked about actions currently underway in the Texas Legislature and where that should proceed.  And finally, we discussed Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) laughable idea that somehow the US Senate should determine what is Constitutional.

Here is a list of all of the states that have filed suit against the federal government relating to the ObamaCare bill.

Here is the interview with General Abbott in its entirity for your review and comments:

I would like to thank the Attorney General of Texas for his tireless efforts to defend the US Constitution and the State of Texas from this overreaching federal government. We look forward to speaking with him again about efforts to bring more energy jobs to Texas by reigning in the EPA’s job killing regulations. We will have more on this soon.