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Government/Politics

Conservative Business Leader Denounces State’s Hypocrisy At Pro-Immigrant Rally

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The head of a leading conservative business group joined hundreds of immigration activists in a rally at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday. Bill Hammond, the CEO of the Texas Association of Business is pushing to have Republican lawmakers pass a number of laws that benefit immigrant families.

Hundreds of community activists were bused to Austin to join Democratic lawmakers at the State Capitol. The lawmakers are promoting a series of bills that expand services for Texas’ immigrant community. The group is specifically seeking support for a bill that protects the in-state tuition program for immigrants and calls for rejecting a so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ bill.

Hammond told the crowd that most of the people coming across the border did so for a better way of life and to become productive members of society. He said it was hypocritical to state that we, as a state, would pay for an immigrant child’s public education but would not extend the same child in-state college tuition rates.

“We literally spend tens of thousands of dollars on K-12 for these kids, some kids have been there from kindergarten on, the state and the local taxpayers have spent as much as $120,000 educating them, to get them ready to go beyond high school, which is so important. And to tell them they have to pay out-of-state tuition is unconscionable on the part of the State of Texas and we hope they will not make this change,” Hammond told the crowd.

The rally followed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s announcement, which called for an additional $12 million to keep the National Guard on the border for an additional two months. Speaker Joe Straus and Gov. Greg Abbott have not signed off on that plan. Hammond said the best way to secure the border was to allow enough legal immigration to meet the needs of employers.