As election day rapidly approaches, it is important to understand the viewpoints each candidate for Texas Governor has on current immigration laws and proposed immigration reform. Understanding each candidate’s viewpoint will help you make a better decision on November 7, 2006.

Currently, the U.S. is home to approximately 10 million undocumented workers and their families. It is estimated that there are over one million illegal immigrants living in Texas. Each candidate has developed a plan to deal with illegal immigration and secure the Texas border.

Current Republican Governor Rick Perry wants to take action to tighten border security. This will include using the National Guard to patrol the U.S./Mexico border. He will ask for $100 million to fund border security efforts and will authorize the building of “border jails” to hold illegal aliens.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn, an Independent and former City of Austin Mayor, states that she will provide double the power of the Texas Rangers so that they can lead state border security measures and she will provide them with $15 million to do so. She believes that Texas must do more to protect the borders along the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico by taking all necessary steps to prevent illegal immigration.

Kinky Friedman, an Independent candidate, would like to send 10,000 Guardsmen to the border. He also wants to impose fines of up to $50,000 on companies that hire illegal immigrants, and require foreign workers to buy a taxpayer ID card and pass a criminal background check. He would also like to make the Mexican government fund the cost of illegal immigration in Texas.

Chris Bell, a Democrat and former Congressman from Houston, said that he wants to focus on employers who hire illegal workers, but has said that trying to deport illegal immigrants already here would be difficult. He also supports the McCain-Kennedy bill that would provide a so-called “pathway to citizenship” for millions of illegal immigrants already in the country, provided they had jobs, learned English, paid fines, and met certain other requirements.

Each candidate for Texas Governor has a different stance on illegal immigration and immigration reform, and your vote will help determine the future of immigration in the United States.

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