Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle Introduces Similar Anti-Immigration Bill as Arizona's

Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle is introducing a bill that is similar to Arizona's.

ByABC News
April 28, 2010, 12:41 PM

April 28, 2010 — -- A Texas lawmaker said today that she agrees with the controversial immigration bill passed in Arizona and plans to introduce a similar one in her own state to combat the flow of illegal immigrants.

Republican Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle told ABCNews.com that the bill she plans to introduce in the state legislature later this year "gives law enforcement officers additional tools, if they have the reasonable suspicion that there is a violation of a law, to inquire into an individual's immigration status."

Riddle, who is up for election in November, introduced similar legislation last session, but it never made it out of committee.

She says that like Arizona's Gov.Jan Brewer, who is under fire from both Democrats and Republicans over the state's new anti-immigrant law, her first priority is to "make sure that the safety and security of citizens is well established, not to determine whether I get positive or negative or no attention at all."

"The people who are saying [these laws] are racially motivated are trying to divert attention for their own selfish greed," said Riddle.

"To say police will be grabbing every Hispanic person off the street, that's ridiculous," she said. "That would be an abuse of the law."

Each officer would have to have "reasonable suspicion" to ask an individual for identification, said Riddle.

"If you're here legally, then by federal law you have to carry that green card on your person," she said. "So if you're here legally, there really shouldn't be a problem."

Riddle said that while her district is near Houston and isn't directly on the border of Mexico, illegal immigrants use her community's hospitals and schools and leave the bill to "tax-paying citizens of Texas."