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Jason Villalba. Photo: Billy Surface.

State Rep. Jason Villalba, to Lt. Gov. Candidates: ‘Illegals Are People’

Being Jason Villalba is not easy. He’s a Hispanic Republican, one of only 482 in the 93,000-resident District 114 in North Dallas. But that also affords him an opportunity to look at Texas’ Republican party from a different vantage point. And today he did just that, with an open letter to the Republican lieutenant governor candidates.

In a courteous but sharp note, Villalba addresses their tone in the recent lite guv debate:

Please know that like you, I am a principled conservative who believes in and supports the rule of law.  I do not believe that we should reward those who violate our Nation’s laws and like most conservatives, I am adamantly opposed to amnesty.  As well, it is clear to me that border security should be a critical component of any long term solution.

However, other than your singular focus on border security and a passing reference to supporting a guest worker plan, you provided no specifics about how we might address the unauthorized population in our state.  Nor did I hear any proposals on how we might better cooperate with the Federal authorities so that we can assist in the enforcement of existing laws, which you seemed to agree, were sufficient to address many of our concerns.

Most disconcerting to me was the tenor of your remarks.  I heard fellow human beings referred to dismissively as “illegals.”  I heard that we must “stop the invasion,” comparing those seeking the promise of our great country with war-mongering foreign adversaries.  I heard statistics about crime committed by the undocumented, but heard nothing of the economic benefits recognized by the state’s agriculture, oil and gas and construction industries.

Friends, these “illegals” are people.  They are human beings who love their little ones just as much as you and I love our little ones.  They want a better life for their families and they want their children to have a better life than they have had.  No, this does not mean you have to abandon your conservative principles and support open-borders amnesty or reward those who have broken our laws.  But it does mean that you should take just a moment to acknowledge the humanity of a hard-working and productive people.  Respect them.  Engage them.  Understand them.  And when you articulate your positions about these issues, always remember that you are talking to and about people.

Standing, clapping.

  • Tejano

    Way to pander Rep. Villalba! We don’t need a ‘guest-worker’ program; those here illegally are certainly people, but they are people without any legal standing here and who are violating our sovereignty every day! They also cost Texans over $9 BILLION per year… How is this even an issue? Other countries don’t cater to trespassers and neither should Texans.

  • That Jeff

    Of course you can watch that debate here:

  • GailS

    The nation of Mexico has comparable natural resources to the US. The only reason that Mexican citizens come to the US for jobs is that their government is horribly corrupt. Unlike our forefathers and many of our present day patriots, the citizens of Mexico are not willing to hold their government accountable.

    If the US has fallen short, it is in the continued tolerance of Mexican corruption. If the people of the US have fallen short, it is in not assisting our neighbors in creating and organizing grassroots groups to challenge the governmental abuses.

    As far as all of the illegal aliens who have been educated here in the US, it is no crime to return them with their parents to Mexico until they are 18 years of age. The best and brightest of Mexico flee north of the border. The nation of Mexico needs those citizens who have learned through experience what it is to be treated with cordiality and respect by their government.

    We need to deliberately train all of the illegals living in the US in grassroots organization, to mentor them and assist them in taking their countries back. Fleeing, illegally to a nation that recognizes and protects the sovereignty of its citizens is not the same as wresting their liberty from a corrupt oligarchy. Until the citizens of Mexico achieve the will to compel their government into subservience, they are a liability to the USA.

    Once they assume their liberty in their own nationw, to which they legitimately owe their allegiance, they will not need to flee. We are not doing the citizens of Mexico or any other nation any favors with amnesty. Nor is it advantageous to the US to accept these people to America as they have not demonstrated the will or the courage to restrain their own governments.

    Of course, that docility is exactly why the Democrat party wants them to vote in US . . .they are obedient to their superiors. In America, the citizenry are the superiors, and our government doesn’t like it any more than the Mexican government.

    We have common cause with the Citizens of Mexico and other Central American nations. We must pull together to reign in our governments, to compel them to serve the people as is their duty.

    It won’t be easy, but it is necessary, as Rafael Cruz reminds us at every opportunity: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

    No one unwilling to take and honor this pledge is worthy of US citizenship. If you won’t put your life on the line for liberty, you are only here to pillage and plunder. And to quote yet another great American:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ” Theodore Roosevelt

    Anyone looking for the “easy way” is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Jackson

    Stand and applaud as you are able, but there is nothing in Villalba’s policy position on immigration – nothing — that is different from current Republican orthodoxy. Those to his right are really off the wall on this issue as usual, and those to his left who think he’s exhibiting fresh thinking are just as wrong. Is it his friendlier language that sways? His surname? His words cut no unique or gutsy swath.

  • Bushwood Smithie

    “Unlike our forefathers and many of our present day patriots, the citizens of Mexico are not willing to hold their government accountable.”

    Damn right! You sure as hell didn’t see any of the folks who settled this country leaving their homes in Europe because they were unhappy with the government.

  • jbarn

    Oh my gosh, a somewhat moderate Republican? How did this guy ever get elected in this state?

  • Edward

    Anyone who quotes Rafael Cruz should be automatically disqualified from participating in a reality-based conversation.

  • Tejano

    Anyone who focuses on personalities instead of facts doesn’t live in reality.

  • JtB

    Several Republicans have had a sensible view on immigration and many northern Dems do not. To me its certainly not a conservative vs. liberal argument, its a sanity vs. xenophobia argument.

  • Avid Reader

    “No, this does not mean you have to abandon your conservative principles and support open-borders amnesty or reward those who have broken our laws.”

    And your solution to this issue that doesn’t involve amnesty for those who jumped the legal immigration line is…….?

  • gimmethewooby

    He represents North Dallas

  • Mike

    Illegals are people, people who will get in your face if you don’t give them what they want –

  • Bill Marvel

    All those here who are not descendents of immigrants, please raise your hand.

  • Ted

    I think your point is indisputable. Mexico is hoarding its assets and externalizing its social costs and liabilities no differently than many large corporations who are criticized daily for doing.

    You don’t have launch cruise missiles or drone strikes on a neighboring country to gain control of its resources, you can get a two-fer by putting the social costs you’d otherwise have to pay on the neighbor’s infrastructure and tax base while also reaping a dividend in the form of unblocked and untaxed remittances back into your GDP.

    This isn’t your daddy’s war, this is investing using human equity shares. If you can make the neighboring shareholders and their legally resident employees feel good about what you’re doing and bad about stopping your looting their asset base, so much the better. Geopolitics ain’t beanbag, and nobody’s leveraged their geopolitical standing better than Mexico.

  • Avid Reader

    Like your attitude. Laws-be-damned. Anyone in the world should be able to break any nation’s laws. Because, you know, the past.

  • GlennTheHunter

    Bill, the topic is not immigration. It’s illegal immigration.

  • Not Buffy

    Hey GailS, epic fail on your intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills. Google it and you’ll discover why the Pilgrims fled England, why America celebrates Thanksgiving and how the promise of a better tomorrow compelled a whole host of foreigners to flee their homelands for America. Top of mind (through legal and illegal immigration) are the Irish who fled Ireland for a better life (and FOOD) in America, and a lot of Germans (through legal/ illegal immigration) who hightailed it out of Nazi Germany, for, well, jeez, if I have to explain that to you….

    But here’s where you truly lose me:

    “It won’t be easy, but necessary, as Raphael Cruz reminds us at every opportunity….”

    You put a serious crimp in your own argument with that Raphael Cruz reminder given that Raphael Cruz:
    a) Is from Cuba
    b) Bailed on his homeland when the going got tough , unlike Nelson Mandela who didn’t bail on his country; he stayed, fought, was imprisoned and eventually elected to lead his country
    c) Got to Texas on a student visa, when a lawyer friend of his Cuban parents bribed an official to stamp “exit” on his passport – .
    Moreover, I’m not sure what the Cuban bribery laws were at that time, but nevertheless, don’t you consider that an ethical issue, if it weren’t a violation of Cuban law, GailS?)
    d) Was so eager to meaningfully contribute to his beloved Texas and America that he moved to and started a company in Canada
    e) Was so enthusiastic about being an American that it took him more than 40 years to apply for citizenship, finally becoming a U.S. citizen around 2005

    I’m curious about your critical thinking skills. Do you know what was happening in Cuba when Raphael fled his own country? Do you not question whether it was legal or ethical for someone to bribe a public official so his friends’ son could get to America? Cruz goes on ad nauseam about his legal immigration to the U.S. and brags about having the same social security number since he came here, but fails to constantly enlighten audiences as to the “means” employed to get him here. If coming to America legally, by being complicit in potential ethical lapses or legal violations of another country is okay with you, GailS., do the ends justify the means? Since you took great pains to reference Cruz, would it be fair to assume you do?

    Next time you want to wax poetic about “taking your countries back” and putting one’s “life on the line for liberty,” you might want to exemplify the legacy of Nelson Mandela, not Raphael Cruz, as an example of what you preach.

  • Sam May

    If the “human beings” didn’t come here legally, they need to leave NOW, and re-enter this country legally or not at all. It is NOT the responsibility of taxpayers to subsidize their desire for a better life.

  • Sam May

    Those who come to this country illegally should leave NOW and come back legally or not at all. It is not right for American taxpayers to subsidize their desire for a better life.