Cracking down on some illegal immigration

CRACKING DOWN ON SOME ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION…. Reader V.S. passed this jaw-dropping story along, but I assumed he was kidding. This is one of those stories that’s hilarious, but it couldn’t possibly be real.

Alas, it’s real.

Texas has long been a hotbed of controversy on immigration issues. And a proposed immigration bill in the Texas state House is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows. The bill would make hiring an “unauthorized alien” a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, unless that is, they are hired to do household chores.

Yes, under the House Bill 2012 introduced by a tea party favorite state Rep. Debbie Riddle — who’s been saying for some time that she’d like to see Texas institute an Arizona-style immigration law — hiring an undocumented maid, caretaker, lawnworker or any type of houseworker would be allowed. Why? As Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, also a Republican, told CNN, without the exemption, “a large segment of the Texas population” would wind up in prison if the bill became law.

When it came to creating an exemption for “the help,” Riddle’s chief of staff said the provision was necessary to help protect Texas’ “economic engine.”

I don’t know how, in the interest of making fun of unhinged conservatives, we’re supposed to exaggerate for effect when they go this far on a regular basis.

Rep. Riddle made headlines last year when she claimed unnamed FBI officials had told her that pregnant women from the Middle East were traveling to America as tourists to give birth, and then raising their children to be terrorists who could later enter the U.S. freely as citizens — so-called “terror babies,” a devious offshoot of “anchor babies.” She became somewhat infamous on the web when she stumbled repeatedly in a CNN interview about the claims, complaining later that host Anderson Cooper’s line of questioning was more intense than she had prepared for.

“They did not tell me you were going to grill me on specific information that I was not ready to give to you tonight,” Riddle said when Cooper pressed her for more details. “They did not tell me that, sir.”

I can only assume Texas Republicans will be nominating her for higher office soon.