April 4, 2019 500 AM
AUSTIN – The following statement was released by Far West Texas State Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso:
“Tuesday, Texas Senate Republicans ambushed Senate Democrats to take up Senate Resolution 535. The resolution vilifies border communities and immigrants by repeating false narratives that conflate crimes against persons and property with immigration, and mischaracterizing refugees seeking asylum as a threat to our national security. If there is a crisis on the border, it is a humanitarian crisis created by the Trump administration.
“The author of the resolution chose to make this a partisan issue; he only asked Republican members to joint author the resolution. Senate leadership also chose to circumvent the usual process of holding a committee hearing on a substantive resolution where members and the public have notice and the opportunity to participate.
Instead, the resolution was laid out on members’ desks mere minutes before being taken up on the Senate floor. This procedural move sets a bad precedent for the Senate and may serve as a slippery slope for further resolutions seeking to make these types of declarations.
“There was one bright spot: I offered an amendment to urge the federal government not to separate families as a means of deterring asylum seekers, and to ensure humane treatment of asylum seekers, which was ultimately accepted.
“Nonetheless, I am disappointed that many of my Senate colleagues have allowed this resolution to be taken up in a manner that is contrary to the traditions of the Texas Senate.”