In lieu of hearing my words on the floor, here they are in written form:
There has been a major disconnect between public perception and what this bill really does. If you go outside of these walls the average person on the street believes the bill that we are debating today is the strong enforcement cure to our immigration ills. For nine months we have heard inflammatory rhetoric that has attended this debate and appealed to the fear and anger in our community. Yet, at this 11th hour we discover that in fact this bill will have no meaningful effect on the way law enforcement deals with illegal immigration. Is it any wonder then that the citizens of the state have such deep seated cynicism toward their government and this body? Don't get me wrong. I disagree with a punitive enforcement only approach to this issue, however, I still cannot agree to support a benign bill that masquerades as something that it isn't. It is my opinion that the people are being bamboozeled into believing this bill is more substantive that it really is. I ask that my colleagues in this room join me to vote down this piece of legislation.
H.B. 70 was amended last Friday with "may" provisions to tone down the impact. Today on the floor it was amended further to indemnify municipalities from litigation in the event that they don't enforce the provisions of the bill. In essence, this misdirected bill has been diluted to futility. The public is completely unaware.