A proposed bill in Texas could potentially lead to a compromise in the immigration debate.
House Bill 12, written by Representative Burt Solomons, would not require law enforcement officials to inquire about suspects’ immigration status but it would bar any agency from implementing a policing prohibiting authorities from doing so, according to The Associated Press.
The Dallas Morning News reports that a recent hearing over the bill became emotional, highlighted by the testimony of a former police officer who was paralyzed after being shot by an illegal immigrant.
However, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo argued against using such factors when making laws.
“We are leading through emotion and politics instead of good public policy,” he said.
Some Democratic lawmakers said that the proposal would lead to racial profiling.
“My mom became a U.S. citizen [but] speaks broken English. Will she now need to carry her passport?” asked state Representative Jose Menendez said. “This type of legislation can have unintended consequences.”
According to the Pew Hispanic Center in the nation’s capital, there are about 1.6 million illegal immigrants currently living in Texas.