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Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 9:56pm
EL PASO, TX - It's controversial, but one high profile El Pasoan isn't shy about showing his support for Arizona's new immigration law. Jaime O. Perez, Republican candidate for County Judge, is pushing for a similar bill in Texas.
The Arizona law requires officers to ID anyone they think may be in the country illegally, in border areas that may mean hispanic-looking people. That's why protestors hit the streets this weekend. Civil Rights groups say it will open the door for racial profiling by police, but Perez says that's a concern that's being blown out proportion.
"I think that's an exaggerated claim. I don't believe that. I think that's a claim being put out by people who want amnesty, because what they're trying to do is draw a line in the sand that will force the Federal Government to do comprehensive immigration reform," he said.
Perez says he is proposing a similar bill in Texas that will also call for police to ID people who look like they may be here illegally.
"How can you say it's not going to open up flood gates for racial profiling," New Channel Reporter Anthony Garcia asked. "Well, I mean, there are a lot of immigrants from all over the world and my proposal is for all immigrants whether they're form Greece, England, or whoever came on a student visa and stayed for example," Perez answered.
Perez admits along the Mexico border it will be Hispanic-looking people who are ID'ed, but he say's if those people are here legally they should have nothing to hide.
"I don't think that's offensive, and why would you be afraid to be asked for your identification," he said.
Perez said the bill is not meant to turn police into immigration officials, but rather to put pressure on the Federal Government to fix a broken system.